How To Create Beautiful Writing Instruments From Figured Wood

Here you’ll find information that will help you to create a beautiful writing instrument with inlaid wood accents. Designing and building a pen by hand does not require too much experience, and the resulting piece of art does a great job of displaying the quality of figured wood, not to mention your own skills as a craftsman. Making a spindle-turned pen from a wood pen blank requires a minimum of tools, and the finished product can be reached without spending more than an afternoon, requiring much less effort than would be necessary for a larger piece of art or furniture. Even though pens are common everyday objects, a handmade writing instrument can be a real showpiece and an eye-catching display of craftsmanship.

To begin, you’ll need a pen “kit”, including the hardware necessary for a functioning writing instrument. The most common style of pen kit uses a familiar mechanism – the ballpoint (rollerball). However, you can also find traditional fountain pen styles that are evocative of earlier times, and other unique kits also exist. Many kits include a removable cap, which you’ll prepare using your woodturning skills on its own, independently of the pen’s body. Other choices represent “click-style” retractable pens, with a single body unit. The pen hardware you select may or may not include a rubber grip or additional decorations, but will require a pen blank to show off as the primary material featured in the pen’s body.

Figured wood is a time-tested favorite material for artistic creations. It presents a winding, complex grain texture that increases the visual appeal of finished wood pieces. Spalted Maple includes deep dark lines woven throughout its light wood grain texture, and is of particular value to woodturners.

A crucial step in building a pen is to cover the wood surface with a polished finish, to give it a nice appearance and protect it from dirt and grime. Depending on the look and feel you’re interested in for your pen, other options are using a stain to deepen the color of the wood, or rubbing with oil (such as linseed) for a more natural appearance. Bear in mind that a well-used pen will inevitably pick up some scratches and signs of wear as a result of its use, which will also impact your choice of finish material.

The final step is assembly of the remaining hardware, and your finished product will be ready for display and use. After practicing this process several times, you’ll have worked out a streamlined workflow that will help create future pens, and even woodturning with bowl blanks, with efficiency and skill.

When preparing to build a piece of furniture or other large work of art, compare wood burls of maple, oak, and other wood varieties.

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