Playing with Hemp Wood

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Jim Campbell

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So let me start by saying I have not reverted back to my post high schools days, but I have gotten into Hemp. 😊

Hemp wood that is. I received four pen blank off-cuts so I thought I would play around and see what it looks like in different pen kits.

Left to right is a Sierra (Berea), Navigator (Woodcraft), Seam-ripper (Pen State), Hybrid Cigar (Berea), and a Sierra Elegant (Berea).

8FACA06B-C041-49B6-944D-EF172CB105D7.jpeg
 
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Mr Vic

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Almost looks like a Carmel Acrylic. I like them all. Would go good with gunmetal components.
 

magpens

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I think they are awful !! ... the "graininess" of the wood just reminds me of that compressed chip board .... LOL !!

Sorry ... don't mean to offend, but that was my first reaction !!!

You have certainly done some nice pen-making, though !! . I am not knocking that. . It is just the first impression I got of the "hemp" .... LOL !
 

Jim Campbell

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I think they are awful !! ... the "graininess" of the wood just reminds me of that compressed chip board .... LOL !!

Sorry ... don't mean to offend, but that was my first reaction !!!

You have certainly done some nice pen-making, though !! . I am not knocking that. . It is just the first impression I got of the "hemp" .... LOL !
Your spot on! Hemp wood is compressed wood. It’s just hemp instead of wood chips.

some folks like the look and others can’t stand it.
 

sorcerertd

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That makes for some interesting "grain". Is it hard to work with? I would hope the matrix used would make it less chippy than palm? There are some beautiful dyed blanks available out there, too.
 

penicillin

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One of our local lumberyards (Reel Lumber) had a display of hemp wood at the So Cal Pen Turners Gathering near Los Angeles at the end of February 2020. It was apparent to me that the material is really just compressed hemp fibers in a glue/resin binder. I was impressed with the contrasting grainy look of it with a gloss finish. Besides, Reel Lumber is my favorite local source for woodworking hardwoods.

I don't know how much hemp wood costs to make, but the price seems high for what you get. I wondered whether it was due to the cachet of "hemp." Perhaps it is because quality glues/resins/epoxies are costly and they require more of it. By the time I visited their table they were mostly sold out. There were no pen blanks, and only a handful of expensive boards. I did the math for the "per pen blank" cost on them and didn't buy any.

https://www.socalpengathering.com/
https://reellumber.com/hempwood/
(The photos on the website don't look as good as seeing the hemp wood in person.)

P.S. On a sad personal note, that was the last time I went to any gathering. The pandemic took off after that. Gatherings and meetings "Zoomed up" in their place. :-(
 

Jim Campbell

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That makes for some interesting "grain". Is it hard to work with? I would hope the matrix used would make it less chippy than palm? There are some beautiful dyed blanks available out there, too.
I hit the blank with thin CA after drilling. It helps knock down the chippy-ness to close to zero. The pen will still have a bit of a rustic natural feel to it. I good probably get it glass smooth, but it takes a bit more effort.

the one ding I have is cutting and squaring the blank. It produces a really fine dust. Coats everything in site, even with dust collection on.
 

Jim Campbell

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One of our local lumberyards (Reel Lumber) had a display of hemp wood at the So Cal Pen Turners Gathering near Los Angeles at the end of February 2020. It was apparent to me that the material is really just compressed hemp fibers in a glue/resin binder. I was impressed with the contrasting grainy look of it with a gloss finish. Besides, Reel Lumber is my favorite local source for woodworking hardwoods.

I don't know how much hemp wood costs to make, but the price seems high for what you get. I wondered whether it was due to the cachet of "hemp." Perhaps it is because quality glues/resins/epoxies are costly and they require more of it. By the time I visited their table they were mostly sold out. There were no pen blanks, and only a handful of expensive boards. I did the math for the "per pen blank" cost on them and didn't buy any.

https://www.socalpengathering.com/
https://reellumber.com/hempwood/
(The photos on the website don't look as good as seeing the hemp wood in person.)

P.S. On a sad personal note, that was the last time I went to any gathering. The pandemic took off after that. Gatherings and meetings "Zoomed up" in their place. :-(
The original off-cuts came from someone I bought an engraver from in Kentucky. He was buying the bowl blanks from HempWood.com.

HempWood had a minimum order of 10 at the time. He was buying the larger lots, re-sawing them into blanks, and selling them on Facebook.

HempWood no longer has minimums. A four pack of pen blanks is $20. I bought four bowl blanks and four pepper mill blanks. I prefer to have 1” blanks so I’ll re-saw to get the pen blanks.
 

penicillin

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In case anyone cares, hempwood is more than 80% hemp, less than 15% soy, less than 5% cured resin, and less than 2% "other." The soy is in the form of soy protein, which is used as a binder. They use less resin than I expected.

I found the information in their MSDS here:
https://secureservercdn.net/45.40.1...m/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/HempWood-SDS.pdf
Because the above link contains a specific IP address, just in case it changes in the future, I found the link here:
https://hempwood.com/hempwood-documents/
 
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magpens

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Here is one reference that I found for "hempwood", doing a Google search :-

 

darrin1200

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This is a very interesting product. I actually like the stranded look and the environmental value. I would love to try some out, but can’t seem to find anywhere in Canada to get it. I tried checking out with their sample pack, but the company does not seem to ship to Canada.

@magpens Mal, have you seen anywhere to get it? I only found a cabinet manufacturer out in Moncton, that is using it.
 

Jim Campbell

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Somewhat hidden in a reply from Jim is the answer as to the source of hemp wood. This is the actual URL - https://hempwood.com/product-category/wood-turning/. He does say it's a little expensive!

I bought four bowl blanks and four pepper-mill blanks. I think $15 for the bowl blanks and $22 for the pepper-mill blanks is reasonable. They do sell pen blanks in a 4-pack for $20.

The shipping is another matter. It cost $48 to have the eight blanks shipped from Kentucky to California.

I prefer to cut my blanks since I enjoy doing fountain pens occasionally which often require larger blanks. I cut up one of the bowl blanks this past week. I ended up with eight 1" blanks, and four off-cuts, which were 3/4" x 1".

Including shipping that works out to about $2 a blank in my case.
 

sorcerertd

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Here are some that I found when this post first caught my eye. Have not ordered any, so not sure what the shipping is. The double dyed looks pretty cool.
 

ed4copies

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I have a skid of various sizes. They are not listed on Exotics yet, because they are very difficult to drill and turn successfully.

But, it would only take a couple hours to list them if there is sufficient interest and you understand I do NOT guarantee you can turn it.
I will start a new thread, so as not to hijack this one, but I am interested in feedback!!

Find the poll thread here

Thanks,
Ed
 
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