What type of wood to use?

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audrey33

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Dec 26, 2020
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Hi everybody :)
I don't think I even consider myself a newbie since I'm just starting to get into pen turning and blank making. So i'm really sorry if my question is not in the right section, I wasn't sure if this one or the penturning one was more appropriate.

I want to start making hybrid blanks, but I was wondering what type of wood is the best for pen turning? What is less likely to chip or get uneven. They would be cast so that the split between the resin and the wood is made vertically (on the long side of the pen) so the joint would be the length of the pen. I'm not sure if i'm really clear.

Please let me know what type of wood are you using :D thanks a lot
 
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magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Generally, the harder the wood the better.
I don't make blanks, but I do buy them. . For hybrid blanks, I prefer Australian burls ... Corrugatta, Concinna, Red and Brown Mallee ....
Of course, the wood needs to be extremely dry.
 

KMCloonan

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Jun 13, 2017
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Fox Lake, Illinois
You will need to be very careful with the seam between the wood and resin running the length of the blank. The cutting tool you use (chisel, or carbide cutter) will remove material from the wood at a different rate than the resin. Also, every revolution of the blank on the lathe is two opportunities for your chisel to "catch" or tear out as it hits the transition between the two materials twice with every revolution. Most hybrid blanks I have seen have wood at one end, and resin at the other, so the transition between the two materials is more manageable.
 

1080Wayne

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Feb 5, 2006
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Brownfield, Alberta, Canada.
As Mal said , the harder the wood the better , to lessen the disparity between it and the plastic . Stabilization of softer woods will help .

Kevin is also correct in the opportunities the tool has to catch , although my experience is that it usually catches more on one side than the other . Very sharp tools , and very thin cuts are a must , to minimize the tool pressure against the blank . CA application at the joints may help . It may be necessary to build up a fairly thick uniform Ca coat , and then turn down to size to maintain cylindricity .

Be very careful when sanding . My preference would be lengthwise by hand only , off the lathe .
 

magpens

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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@audrey33

Thanks a lot for all your answers!
I don't really know what CA means? Do you have a picture of the product?

CA = Cyano-Acrylate .... a liquid glue commonly used by pen-makers mainly because of its fast-setting characteristics.
A chemical accelerator is sometimes sprayed over the CA to further speed up the setting. . In some cases the accelerator is not advised.

It is also used as a finish on wood blanks (and some others) because it takes a brilliant shine when sanded and polished.
For this purpose, it requires multiple coats and also requires some skill development to use it effectively.

It is also called "crazy glue". . It has its pros and cons but has been quite widely accepted.

One of the suppliers of CA is Bob Smith Industries. .

A product called "Glu-Boost" has fairly recently come on the market as a "competitor" to CA. . Some folks like it better than CA.

Here's a picture from one Canadian vendor showing a small size bottle of CA glue.

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