Sometimes Your Really Get Surprised

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DrD

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Looking thru my cache of blanks I found some identified as Mesquite Burl. They had been recommended to me; I had never turned any Mesquite Burl, and I had no idea of what to expect. For me. one of the great pleasures in turning is seeing the beauty of Mother Nature that lurks just beneath the surface. I hope you enjoy the enclosed photos. This is a modified Ti Gold StreamLine with Mesquite Burl:
 

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DrD

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Marvelous work! Even though I live in Texas, it is difficult to obtain mesquite burl. Wasn’t it a pleasure to turn? I rank it nearly as nice as olivewood, my favorite. Well done.


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I enjoyed turning the Mesquite Burl more than any other wood I can recall. Although it is a burl, tearout wasn't an issue; it didn't dull the cutter, and it finished nicely - 3 coats PensPlus , 2 coats Ren Wax.

Thanks for the comments!

Don
 

egnald

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Very Very Nice - I really appreciate the comments about turn-ability. I love the way Olive turns and the Mesquite Burl is a gorgeous piece of wood, I'll have to keep my eyes open if any shows up for sale anywhere. - Dave
 
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magpens

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Lovely pen, Don !!!

Thanks for showing !!!

Gonna hafta dig through my own stash and discover some Mesquite Burl to try .... I MUST have some !!!
 
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DrD

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Very Very Nice - I really appreciate the comments about turn-ability. I love the way Olive turns and the Mesquite Burl is a gorgeous piece of wood, I'll have to keep my eyes open if any shows up for sale anywhere. - Dave
Thanks for the nice comments.

It was much easier to match the upper and lower barrels, less/lack of seam between the barrels than with other wood I've done this with.

Don
 

DrD

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Lovely pen, Don !!!

Thanks for showing !!!

Gonna hafta dig through my own stash and discover some Mesquite Burl to try .... I MUST have some !!!
Thanks Mal!

I hope you have some of this stuff. I bought 6 blanks some 15 years ago and never got around to turning one. Glad I finally did!

Don
 

Kenny Durrant

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Very Pretty Pen. I also live in Texas and love Mesquite. Probably because I’m a wood turner and not a farmer. The tree itself isn’t good for much. It’s not a pretty tree and has plenty of thorns. I think it’s more of a scrub tree because the farmers try to keep them cleared so most of what you see are short scrubby trees. As you’ve just shown the wood can be gorgeous and I use it to cook with as well. Great job on the modification also!!!
 
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MPVic

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Hi Don: Beautiful work & the blank is really classy. Intrigued by the "satin" finish - is that typical of the products you have used? Always wanted to try a 'softer' finish apart from the glossy CA finish. Thanks for sharing.
 
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DrD

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Hi Mark, thanks for the kind words.

In the past 2 weeks, I have really gone on a concerted study to find something other than CA for my wood pens. From previous turning I found Mahoney's Utility Finish darkened the wood, generally not to my liking. I had recently gotten some Mylands - both Sanding Sealer and Friction Polish, in addition to some PensPlus. 4 of the last 5 wood pens I completed were finished with PensPlus and the last with Mylands Sanding Sealer followed by Mylands Friction Polish. The Mylands really darken the wood, thus I didn't go any further than the one pen.. PensPlus, appears to only darken the timber a little, and it really brings out the figure of the wood! Moreover when holding one of these pens, it feels like wood, not acrylic.

Thus I would say the Mesquite Burl is typical of what I come to expect from PensPlus. No doubt, PensPlus is now my go to finish for wood pens. Of course, all will also receive 2 coats of Ren Wax.
 

howsitwork

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Really nice work there Don . Beautiful grain swirls and structure. Haven’t got any of that stuff yet .
Thanks for the information on penplus which I have just got some of and will give a try. I have had little success with CA thus far on hybrid pens ( resin and wood) but will keep trying. I must admit I like it to look and feel like wood hence using melamine lacquer so the grain still shines through .
 
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howsitwork

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Thanks for the comments Ian. I haven't tried melamine lacquer, how would you rate it?

Don
A challenge to apply it undiluted as it is dissolved in cellulose and so drys really quick, and I do mean REALLY quick!

I apply first two coats diluted 50:50 with cellulose thinners using a soft fine bristled artists brush. I stand the barrels on large nails to dry ( making a stand shortly) so they dry on end. Leave overnight to totally cure. Then with full strength apply a couple of undiluted coats sanding between with 600 grit. You really need to literally flow it on from the brush and leave it as if you go back over it it’s started to set and you get brush marks. If the grain is prominent ( thinking Wenge here ) then the grain hides any bush strokes. Mind you if you get brush marks a quick touch with diluted lacquer can help but you can then get runs !

Finish is very resilient to abrasion and you can make it as gloss or matt as you want by using nylon wool pads on it. Could apply wax on top or buff it when cured ( allow 24 hours for it to “through cure” ) .

I like it as it leaves the grain open but protected
786E264F-F99A-404D-B0A2-72A795E103E5.jpeg
08493206-9038-4B27-BC04-CFCCDE15D0CB.jpeg
sorry for the glare on my fountain pen above but it shows how it doesn’t disguise the grain and it still looks like wood not plastic. Makes it nice to grip too. This is a wenge one because I liked it so much . Lots of careful skew chisel work involved .
 

DrD

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Thanks Ian for describing the process. Sounds too involved for me at this time; I may investigate further at a later date.

Thanks,

Don
 

howsitwork

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Don

it takes longer to describe than do , honestly. Advantage of melamine is it drys quick ( maybe too quick) but you do need to leave it to cure fully overnight, like resin really in that respect.

Smells nicer too
 
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