Pen blanks ?????

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Doug Jones

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Jan 9, 2004
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Crawfordsville, Indiana, USA.
Can a person take regular lumber that he/she has out in their shop and cut them to pen blank size and use them for pens? If so is there anything I should be aware of. The wood I have is all dried/ cured, its just left over pieces from other projects I've built. If there is nothing wrong with using this type of wood, I will have a new swap wood in the swap section.
Thanks, Doug
 

Scott

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Blackfoot Idaho
Absolutely! As long as it's a piece big enough to make a pen out of, you can use it! This is a great way to use up scraps! But be aware that what we consider to be beautiful lumber for furniture projects, looks kind of boring for something the size of a pen. Like plain old oak. I like oak furniture, especially Mission style. But plain oak makes a boring pen. Oh, and don't get hung up on just using wood! Remember the corn-cob pen! Anything that can be drilled and glued and turned can be a pen. Have fun!

Scott.
 

Doug Jones

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Crawfordsville, Indiana, USA.
OK. now part two. Is it better to cut the blanks in length running with the grain, or against the grain. My uneducated guess would be,,, depends on the wood and the grain pattern. Again any input is greatful.

Oh yeah, I guess it would help if you all knew what kind of wood it is. I have about a 1" X 8" X 6ft long piece of very yellow hedge wood.
 

Daniel

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Reno, NV, USA.
Doug,
Actually the wood is cut in every direction from straight to cross grain and every degree in between. often cutting a plain wood at an angle to the grain will give it lots of character for making a pen out of. strictly cross grain can cause problems with it staying together for softer woods.
at an angle can also do this depending on the wood and how loose the grain is but usually not as bad. a little time looking at the wood with some imagination will direct you how to cut it. pen blanks are best with lots of very little figure or grain. and then Holly is a nice wood as well. and it's about as plain as wood gets. a 1X8 could be cut just about any direction you need to go. the min length for a pen blank is 5-1/4 inch but you could also pair up half blanks (2- 2-1/4 inch pieces) if the cuts came out right.
Right off the top of my head and without seeing the wood. a cut that is about 30 degrees to the grain usually has a very nice outcome. but if the wood already has a good figure to it then keep it straight.
 
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