Third Place Pretty Wood Pen

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Edgar

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Thanks to all who voted for my pen in the Pretty Wood contest. There were certainly some beautiful entries & I’m honored that you felt my pen was worthy of placing.

This was a Spalted She Oak blank that I got from George’s Bits of Timber. It seemed to have some good promise, but that snake-like pattern that emerged as I got down to final size was a pleasant surprise.

I only decided to enter this contest at the last minute and had to hurry a bit to finish it before leaving on my trip. I first tried to give it a CA finish, but I rushed a bit too much & it didn’t turn out well at all, so I sanded back down to bare wood, sanded up to 600 again & burnished with wood shavings again. I didn’t have time for another CA attempt, so I just gave it 3 coats of friction polish.

I also chose a Zen to save some time since it only has one tube, but is long enough to really show off a nice blank.

I was surprised at how hard this blank was. Even as heavily spalted as it was and not being stabilized, there were no soft spots in the blank at all. I’d say that this AU She Oak is noticeably harder than any of the Texas oaks I’ve turned.

Here’s a few additional photos of the pen.
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Edgar

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You had my vote Edgar! Definitely a pretty wood and the fit/finish looked impeccable.
Your slimline entry wasn't too shabby either ;)

Thanks Fred, the slim was one that I turned for my wife in Dec - I hadn’t posted any photos of it anywhere, so I decided to enter it just for the heck of it. I really liked the way it turned out, it was just a little on the plain side.
 

pshrynk

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Edgar:

Texas Oak? Are you talking Live Oak, or other type of oak, such as that found in northern Texas? Live Oak is closer to the coniferous (pine) end of the oak spectrum than say, shag bark or English oak. As the characteristics get closer to the deciduous end of the scale, the wood becomes harder.
 

Edgar

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Edgar:

Texas Oak? Are you talking Live Oak, or other type of oak, such as that found in northern Texas? Live Oak is closer to the coniferous (pine) end of the oak spectrum than say, shag bark or English oak. As the characteristics get closer to the deciduous end of the scale, the wood becomes harder.

The oak on our places is mostly live oak, but we also have black jack, pin, water, and post oaks. Several species of oak are sometimes referred to as live oak, but the Quercus virginiana (sometimes called Southern Live Oak) is what we have. It scores 2680 on the Janka hardness scale, higher than mesquite.
 

Edgar

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Very nice. I thought it looked like the cactus blanks. Does all she oak have the cracked up grain pattern look to it? Congratulations on your win.

I’m not sure - I can’t say how much of this pattern is typical to She Oak and how much is due to sparring. I got the blank from George Valentine (Robutacion). He has some on his George’s Bits of Timber web site (look for timber #14). He could probably tell you a little more about this and other Australian oaks.
 
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