Sources for Historical Wood, Woods with a Story Pen Blanks

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Hartwell85

Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
55
Location
Findlay, OH
I've been searching for historical wood or wood with a story for pen blanks but only finding architectural companies that want to sell as lumber or fabricated products. What sources have IAP members used for these pen blanks?
 
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farmer

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
807
Location
NV
I've been searching for historical wood or wood with a story for pen blanks but only finding architectural companies that want to sell as lumber or fabricated products. What sources have IAP members used for these pen blanks?
I had one customer his dad was a zoo keeper that pretty much took care of the last African deer of its kind .
After the deer died the zoo gave him the antlers.
The son who writes books about billiards and pool cues had me make him a pool cue with some of the deer's antler
.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,000
Pen blanks with a story that I have used:

Olive Wood and Carob Wood from the Holy Land:
Olive wood pen blanks from locations around Israel and Palestine, mostly around Bethlehem. They come with a small card size certificate. You can get them from many sources. They are easy to find. You can also get similar pen blanks from carob wood with certificates. In my opinion, the carob wood is bland and uninteresting.

Ancient Bog Wood (typically hundreds or thousands of years old):
Ancient bog wood comes from trees that fall into swamps and start the transition to fossilization in the oxygen-free sediment. You can get them from multiple sources in Europe. Certificates vary, but you can also make your own, which I have done. Depending on the source bog/country, the typical ages are thousands of years old.

Ancient Kauri Wood (> 50,000 years old):
You can get ancient kauri pen blanks that are over 50,000 years old - beyond the limits of carbon dating. They were covered over by a tsunami.

Novelty Pen Blanks:
I buy and try the weird stuff like glow-in-the-dark (Glow Stonez), coffee bean, etc.

Family History:
The one remaining piece from my parents' dining room set was the base of the china cabinet, which was being used by the neighbor as a TV stand. When she moved away and put it on the curb for the landfill, I got it back and disassembled it for the wood. I made some pieces into pen blanks. I made pens for my siblings as sentimental keepsakes to remember our parents.

Blanks with a story that I have not had to courage to buy or try:
Fordite and Cordite and other car paint pen blanks.
Fossilized mammoth bones and tusks, which are expensive and very challenging to get right.
 

Blood Woodson

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Florida
Pen blanks with a story that I have used:

Olive Wood and Carob Wood from the Holy Land:
Olive wood pen blanks from locations around Israel and Palestine, mostly around Bethlehem. They come with a small card size certificate. You can get them from many sources. They are easy to find. You can also get similar pen blanks from carob wood with certificates. In my opinion, the carob wood is bland and uninteresting.

Ancient Bog Wood (typically hundreds or thousands of years old):
Ancient bog wood comes from trees that fall into swamps and start the transition to fossilization in the oxygen-free sediment. You can get them from multiple sources in Europe. Certificates vary, but you can also make your own, which I have done. Depending on the source bog/country, the typical ages are thousands of years old.

Ancient Kauri Wood (> 50,000 years old):
You can get ancient kauri pen blanks that are over 50,000 years old - beyond the limits of carbon dating. They were covered over by a tsunami.

Novelty Pen Blanks:
I buy and try the weird stuff like glow-in-the-dark (Glow Stonez), coffee bean, etc.

Family History:
The one remaining piece from my parents' dining room set was the base of the china cabinet, which was being used by the neighbor as a TV stand. When she moved away and put it on the curb for the landfill, I got it back and disassembled it for the wood. I made some pieces into pen blanks. I made pens for my siblings as sentimental keepsakes to remember our parents.

Blanks with a story that I have not had to courage to buy or try:
Fordite and Cordite and other car paint pen blanks.
Fossilized mammoth bones and tusks, which are expensive and very challenging to get right.
I know a guy that used like an inch or inch and a half of mammoth tusk on a pen. I touched the source piece. He cut a round section out from right in the middle so it would be the most stable. It feels like really thick fingernail, so it’ll probably have the same properties while it is worked and either shed off as dust as you turn, or crack.

What did you do when you used coffee beans? I had the same idea.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
1,000
I know a guy that used like an inch or inch and a half of mammoth tusk on a pen. I touched the source piece. He cut a round section out from right in the middle so it would be the most stable. It feels like really thick fingernail, so it’ll probably have the same properties while it is worked and either shed off as dust as you turn, or crack.

What did you do when you used coffee beans? I had the same idea.
These pen blanks from Rockler. They are very challenging to turn. The beans are soft and want to pop out, and inlace acrylester is hard and brittle. A challenging combination. I would be lying if I told you that I had succeeded with one. I have one started, but not done yet.

 

Ron R

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2016
Messages
2
Location
Jeffersonville, IN USA
I've been searching for historical wood or wood with a story for pen blanks but only finding architectural companies that want to sell as lumber or fabricated products. What sources have IAP members used for these pen blanks?
I have some blanksfrom the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant (INAAP) built in 1941-42. The plant was mostly masonry construction and most of the wood used in manufacturing (single base propellant for large caliber artillery) was treated with creosote. When the plant closed 30 years ago I found a cabinet built on site and salvaged some wood (pine) and cut it for pen blanks. I can create a COA for it.
 
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