wooden kitless pens

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MedWoodWorx

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Besides the various "kitless looking" kits (artemis etc.)is there ar way to make wooden bespoke pens? I have seen a few pens that are made from wood which has been lined with ebonite or similar materials. Is stabilised wood appropriate for such an application (i.e. cutting threads etc) without the use of metal tubes? thank you for any advice, cheers
 
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duncsuss

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Making threads in wood using taps & dies is too difficult for me.

Stabilised wood gave me a better result than non-stabilised wood, but the threads were not as nice looking as I want for my pens. Since I also choose to line the barrel and cap with acrylic acetate or ebonite anyway, I have stopped trying to thread wood.
 

walshjp17

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Our woodturning club - Waxhaw Woodturners - had a demonstration last night where the demonstrator successfully turned threads in Claro Walnut. Granted, this was a much larger piece than a pen blank, but it does show that that threading wood is possible. The demonstrator has also used CA glue to strengthen the threads in other woods not normally thought good for threading such as Cherry. The bottom line, try it on a piece of wood - you have nothing to lose but a piece of wood.
 

its_virgil

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I have made several. I made a sleeve with acrylic acetate as mentioned above. The cap needs to be sleeved to prevent the in the feed from drying. 20220731_123236-01.jpeg20220715_154016-01.jpeg20220715_154854-01.jpeg
Do a good turn daily!
Don
 

Curly

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There are a few members that have made all wood pens and they cut the threads one of two ways. A single point cutter using a metal lathe, taking multiple passes or a live cutter (motor driven cutter) that cuts the thread with a metal lathe, CNC lathe to milling machine or a jig that unwinds the wood into the revolving cutter similar to the ones for threading lids and turned boxes. Here are a few threads about it. I'm almost certain @Pierre--- has shown some that he made. If not him another Frenchman has.




Needless to say you'll need more tools and practice to get there.

Adding. It is Pierre--- that does wood threads. He is the guy to ask and he is closer to you than we are. Perhaps you can arrange a phone call.

 
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MedWoodWorx

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There are a few members that have made all wood pens and they cut the threads one of two ways. A single point cutter using a metal lathe, taking multiple passes or a live cutter (motor driven cutter) that cuts the thread with a metal lathe, CNC lathe to milling machine or a jig that unwinds the wood into the revolving cutter similar to the ones for threading lids and turned boxes. Here are a few threads about it. I'm almost certain @Pierre--- has shown some that he made. If not him another Frenchman has.




Needless to say you'll need more tools and practice to get there.

Adding. It is Pierre--- that does wood threads. He is the guy to ask and he is closer to you than we are. Perhaps you can arrange a phone call.

Thank you for your feedback, well pierre is a maestro i ve seen his work and i am nowhere near him. However these solid wood pens are really fragile to be carried around and be used every day. I believe that a sleeve ( of metal or plastic) is necessary for a pen to be functional and pass the test of time.
Here is what i made, with a kit however, that is indicative of my goal. Cheers
 

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mredburn

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I have made a couple all wood pens I still used brass tubing to reinforce the body and cap. That included threading them. It was easy enough to run a tap into them before turning them down to final size but I used a Sherline metal lathe to thread the outside. A die will only break the threads off as you try and cut them. You can find some of my efforts searching under " simple wooden pen" under myuser name, I think I also had a thread where I threaded an ebony part that had threads inside and out.
They do not take well to rough handling at all.
Here is the thread with the threaded ebony, link
 

Pierre---

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However these solid wood pens are really fragile to be carried around and be used every day. I believe that a sleeve ( of metal or plastic) is necessary for a pen to be functional and pass the test of time.
Do you know that by experience?

I made 8 years ago what became my EDC, a snakewood fp, it is still perfect, and I use it all the time, carry it in my pocket and the like. I have some antique needle cases, made of boxwood one or two centuries ago (a French specialty) that are still perfect. So when one say a sleeve is necessary without testing sleeveless, I would say it is only a fear, not a reality. Threads are to be done the right way with the right wood.

I could say that a plastic sleeve won't move, but the wood will (which is correct), so it will crack one day or the other, but who knows if it is not just a fear? As I never really used such a pen everyday, in fact I cannot say anything for sure.

Does anybody have a wooden sleeved EDC? That would be very interesting...
 

MedWoodWorx

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Do you know that by experience?

I made 8 years ago what became my EDC, a snakewood fp, it is still perfect, and I use it all the time, carry it in my pocket and the like. I have some antique needle cases, made of boxwood one or two centuries ago (a French specialty) that are still perfect. So when one say a sleeve is necessary without testing sleeveless, I would say it is only a fear, not a reality. Threads are to be done the right way with the right wood.
Well you raise some important points; it is true that the wood movement will crack the pen eventually and this can't be (always) prevented by a tube. What i wanted to say is that an all-wooden pen would be really fragile (half of the youtube videos i ve seen the pen is broken while it is made; maybe not a strong argument but its indicative) at the hands of the casual user.
I have to agree with you however saying that this is a fear i have, especially since i have never tried making and using one.
Would you like to elaborate on what woods or threading have you found suitable for this?
Thank you for your input.
 

Pierre---

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Not sure you got one point of what I said: the wood moves, but what makes it crack is often the sleeve, be it metal (moving too, but differently: if the weather is hot and dry, metal will expand and wood will retract, crack! I guess most of the kit makers who used snakewood agree) or plastic (not moving, so if the wood retracts, crack again! )
If the pen is sleeveless it will be free to move, and than has less chance to crack. When turned along the grain, it will not be fragile until you walk on it. Remember recorders, bassons, clarinets and hoboes are made of wood, have a hard time with the player blowing warm wet air in it all the time and they are not prone to crack...

As for threading pens, the best results I got is using a 1 mm pitch (single or double thread) cut with a router running very fast (mine is set on 10 000 rpm); taps work honestly (a good thing for threading the section to receive the nib unit...), but not the dies - except in diameters larger than any pen. The male-female tolerance has to be comfortable to allow a certain change in geometry, so the barrel may wobble a bit in the cap when not completely screwed, this is why a good abutment is important to close them tightly.

As for species, very hard and fine-grained woods usually thread like a charm: boxwood, African blackwood, beefwood, lilac, dogwood are my first choice, threads look like been cut in metal. Most rosewoods, some fruit woods, and many other quite hard woods are not bad. Some hard woods are a bit brittle and thread a bit less perfectly, like snakewood, others have large pores (some rosewoods for instance) that do not help. But the threads are still good. The softer the wood, the crunchier the threads are, results are better if some thin CA is liberally poured before threading, but I do not have a total confidence in CA, so I cannot say anything on the long term.
Most music instruments are soaked in almond oil, so whatever the wood is, I soak my pens one day or more in linseed oil thinned with turpentine, it helps them not to move too much - or too quickly - when the weather gets drier. Or so I think...
This is what works for me.

The wood has some drawbacks though. The nib dries quickly in the cap (I put some varnish inside the cap), and the section is easily stained with ink (I only warn the customer... Some of them ask for an ebonite section to avoid ink marks).

One of the best woods for threading in my opinion, lignum vitae:
1662853105417.png
 

mark james

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Not sure you got one point of what I said: the wood moves, but what makes it crack is often the sleeve, be it metal (moving too, but differently: if the weather is hot and dry, metal will expand and wood will retract, crack! I guess most of the kit makers who used snakewood agree) or plastic (not moving, so if the wood retracts, crack again! )
If the pen is sleeveless it will be free to move, and than has less chance to crack. When turned along the grain, it will not be fragile until you walk on it. Remember recorders, bassons, clarinets and hoboes are made of wood, have a hard time with the player blowing warm wet air in it all the time and they are not prone to crack...

As for threading pens, the best results I got is using a 1 mm pitch (single or double thread) cut with a router running very fast (mine is set on 10 000 rpm); taps work honestly (a good thing for threading the section to receive the nib unit...), but not the dies - except in diameters larger than any pen. The male-female tolerance has to be comfortable to allow a certain change in geometry, so the barrel may wobble a bit in the cap when not completely screwed, this is why a good abutment is important to close them tightly.

As for species, very hard and fine-grained woods usually thread like a charm: boxwood, African blackwood, beefwood, lilac, dogwood are my first choice, threads look like been cut in metal. Most rosewoods, some fruit woods, and many other quite hard woods are not bad. Some hard woods are a bit brittle and thread a bit less perfectly, like snakewood, others have large pores (some rosewoods for instance) that do not help. But the threads are still good. The softer the wood, the crunchier the threads are, results are better if some thin CA is liberally poured before threading, but I do not have a total confidence in CA, so I cannot say anything on the long term.
Most music instruments are soaked in almond oil, so whatever the wood is, I soak my pens one day or more in linseed oil thinned with turpentine, it helps them not to move too much - or too quickly - when the weather gets drier. Or so I think...
This is what works for me.

The wood has some drawbacks though. The nib dries quickly in the cap (I put some varnish inside the cap), and the section is easily stained with ink (I only warn the customer... Some of them ask for an ebonite section to avoid ink marks).

One of the best woods for threading in my opinion, lignum vitae:
View attachment 340897
Superb explanation! 👏 👏 👏
 

MedWoodWorx

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2021
Messages
382
Location
Greece
Not sure you got one point of what I said: the wood moves, but what makes it crack is often the sleeve, be it metal (moving too, but differently: if the weather is hot and dry, metal will expand and wood will retract, crack! I guess most of the kit makers who used snakewood agree) or plastic (not moving, so if the wood retracts, crack again! )
If the pen is sleeveless it will be free to move, and than has less chance to crack. When turned along the grain, it will not be fragile until you walk on it. Remember recorders, bassons, clarinets and hoboes are made of wood, have a hard time with the player blowing warm wet air in it all the time and they are not prone to crack...

As for threading pens, the best results I got is using a 1 mm pitch (single or double thread) cut with a router running very fast (mine is set on 10 000 rpm); taps work honestly (a good thing for threading the section to receive the nib unit...), but not the dies - except in diameters larger than any pen. The male-female tolerance has to be comfortable to allow a certain change in geometry, so the barrel may wobble a bit in the cap when not completely screwed, this is why a good abutment is important to close them tightly.

As for species, very hard and fine-grained woods usually thread like a charm: boxwood, African blackwood, beefwood, lilac, dogwood are my first choice, threads look like been cut in metal. Most rosewoods, some fruit woods, and many other quite hard woods are not bad. Some hard woods are a bit brittle and thread a bit less perfectly, like snakewood, others have large pores (some rosewoods for instance) that do not help. But the threads are still good. The softer the wood, the crunchier the threads are, results are better if some thin CA is liberally poured before threading, but I do not have a total confidence in CA, so I cannot say anything on the long term.
Most music instruments are soaked in almond oil, so whatever the wood is, I soak my pens one day or more in linseed oil thinned with turpentine, it helps them not to move too much - or too quickly - when the weather gets drier. Or so I think...
This is what works for me.

The wood has some drawbacks though. The nib dries quickly in the cap (I put some varnish inside the cap), and the section is easily stained with ink (I only warn the customer... Some of them ask for an ebonite section to avoid ink marks).

One of the best woods for threading in my opinion, lignum vitae:
View attachment 340897
Thank you for sharing this; it makes perfect sense.
 
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