Oak Flooring Pens

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JonathanF1968

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
150
Location
Massachusetts
Hello everyone! Long time no see.

So, in 2020, I moved, on relatively short notice, and have been essentially without a functioning shop since then. (An oversimplification, but it will do for now.) Finally, a few weeks ago, I got a space together where I can turn again.

I'm back at it.

In my life, I've turned perhaps 30 pens. Not an expert, but not a total newbie. Few enough that taking a three-year break set me back a bit. Over the past few days, I've turned my first three pens in the new place, trying to remember how I used to do it. Some techniques come back fast, some are more elusive. I have found many but not all of my old tools and supplies. It takes me a minute to remember what many of them are for, such as my brass bottle brushes. (Oh yeah, cleaning glue drips out of copper tubes....)

My interest in turning has always been related to sentimental wood: limbs pruned from favorite trees, replaced thresholds from renovated doorways, scraps of wood from my travels all around the world. I was in Thailand this past year and brought back some ebony. Years ago, I was in Brazil and made friends with a luthier who gave me a few selections from his astonishing scrap bin.

What I'm starting with now, though, is leftovers from the renovation of my new old house. Primarily, this is oak cutoffs from my writing studio floor. Yikes, that's tough wood to turn! I thought it was just me, forgetting how to do it, until I turned a pen using instead walnut leftover from our kitchen counter, which went lickety split (5 minutes compared to 30 minutes). I do think that I'm not remembering how to sharpen my tools well, though. This oak is really heating up, so there's too much friction....

Anyhow, it's good to be back. Photo attached of a couple Professors made from my flooring cutoffs. I guess they finished the floor with some tinted poly or something. I'm using some bottles of mystery finish that I had, labeled 1 and 2 with a Sharpie, and a lump of carnauba wax.

Fun! My skills aren't what they were, but each pen is getting better than its predecessor.
 

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JohnU

Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
5,044
Location
Ottawa, Illinois
I've turned lots of flooring scraps over the years and it's always great to see the character show up in the pen like yours did.
Welcome to being back at it!
 

Hippie3180

Member
Joined
May 30, 2023
Messages
1,035
Location
Texas
Hello everyone! Long time no see.

So, in 2020, I moved, on relatively short notice, and have been essentially without a functioning shop since then. (An oversimplification, but it will do for now.) Finally, a few weeks ago, I got a space together where I can turn again.

I'm back at it.

In my life, I've turned perhaps 30 pens. Not an expert, but not a total newbie. Few enough that taking a three-year break set me back a bit. Over the past few days, I've turned my first three pens in the new place, trying to remember how I used to do it. Some techniques come back fast, some are more elusive. I have found many but not all of my old tools and supplies. It takes me a minute to remember what many of them are for, such as my brass bottle brushes. (Oh yeah, cleaning glue drips out of copper tubes....)

My interest in turning has always been related to sentimental wood: limbs pruned from favorite trees, replaced thresholds from renovated doorways, scraps of wood from my travels all around the world. I was in Thailand this past year and brought back some ebony. Years ago, I was in Brazil and made friends with a luthier who gave me a few selections from his astonishing scrap bin.

What I'm starting with now, though, is leftovers from the renovation of my new old house. Primarily, this is oak cutoffs from my writing studio floor. Yikes, that's tough wood to turn! I thought it was just me, forgetting how to do it, until I turned a pen using instead walnut leftover from our kitchen counter, which went lickety split (5 minutes compared to 30 minutes). I do think that I'm not remembering how to sharpen my tools well, though. This oak is really heating up, so there's too much friction....

Anyhow, it's good to be back. Photo attached of a couple Professors made from my flooring cutoffs. I guess they finished the floor with some tinted poly or something. I'm using some bottles of mystery finish that I had, labeled 1 and 2 with a Sharpie, and a lump of carnauba wax.

Fun! My skills aren't what they were, but each pen is getting better than its predecessor.
Those are beautifully done, and I could tell you had writing ability before your mentioned it within your text.

Of course the main thing is that you find enjoyment, the skills will come back.
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
12,872
Location
Medina, Ohio
Welcome back, and your two pens look very nice - compliments! Yes, muscle memory does come back, and tools will be found eventually. Nice to see a returning turner. Be well and thanks for sharing.
 
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