I finished up this beauty earlier this week and wanted to share the experience with you.
Penturners are notorious for looking a something and thinking “I bet I can make a pen with that”. While visiting family I took a trip to my mother-in-law’s farm and noticed a pile of old fence posts and brush; hmm, I wonder if…. I sorted through the pile and grabbed a couple of pieces that looked like they would be large enough to make a pen blank from and took them home with me. The wood is hedge (osage orange) and is commonly used by farmers for fence post around fields.
The section of post I used was about 2″ (50mm) in diameter. You can see a short piece of the wood in the photo with the pen. The wood has a nice weathered look that can be partly retained by drilling closer to the outer edge instead of centered in the blank. Osage orange is a hard wood but turns well with sharp tools and polishes nicely. The finish is three coats of Hut’s friction polish. I did use some CA glue to fill in the crack on the lower barrel. Some crushed stone would also work well as a filler.
The pen kit I used was the Saturn (purchased from Woodturningz). Similar pen style from other suppliers are: Streamline (Berea Hardwoods), Roadster (Craft Supply USA), Trimline (Penn State Ind.), Toni (Woodcraft). For additional suppliers/dealers refer to Pen Turning Suppliers page. This style of pen uses a 7mm size tube and has larger center band that promotes a larger body than the Traditional or Slimline style pens. The components of this kit fit well together and I did not experience any difficultly in the assembly. I also was pleased with the smoothness of the twist action.
If you are interested in “woods with a story”, then reclaimed osage orange from fence post might be a good addition to your collection. I’m not aware of any suppliers that offer this material but I’m sure it won’t be long before someone picks it up. Check out related post on pen blanks with a story.
Your comments and feedback are welcome.