Good save or too weird?


Corporate Member
I fell in love with end-grain while making some cutting boards a while back. I have made several pens with end-grain blanks. The wood has a tendency to blow out so I've learned to use freshly sharpened tools and take light cuts. I also stabilize some of the more challenging pieces with a CA glue soak. Takes longer but it's worth the effort.

Today I had one blow out turning a pencil blank and the chip went straight up the dust collector. I have a cyclone with a 40-gallon bin so there was no way I was going digging for it. Since the chip did not expose the barrel I figured I'd try to turn it out. Worst case if it didn't work, I'd just turn away the wood down to the barrel and start over.

I was able to shape and finish the blank but now I can't decide whether chalk this up as a great save or just weird looking. Given how thin a pen barrel usually is outside the tube, I was quite surprised there was this much room to work with.

That's Canarywood, by the way.

Please help me make up my mind on this one. I'm teetering between keeping it or disassembling and turning a new barrel.



Corporate Member
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I'm going to take the advice and keep it.

How does it feel?

Well, the fingers grip at the knurled tip and the part that rests on my hand is above the concave section so it feels like a regular shaped pencil. At least for my hand size. Maybe the concave section would bug someone with a smaller hand.

I made the same pencil from an acrylic blank so I can make a direct comparison. Center of balance for both is < 1/8" apart yet the wood pencil is noticeably top-heavy. The acrylic pencil is 24 grams and the wood one is 21 grams and it surprised me how much difference the 3 grams makes. Pretty sure I'll get used to it though.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

The acrylic pen was a commission from my grandson. He picked the blank and the kit and it turned out quite nice. Kid's got a good eye.



Definitely keep.

If you know someone who plays darts, I think that it would make a great Christmas present.

If you really wanted to be extravagant, you could make a set of darts out of the same wood as part of the gift. I think that I would make the darts long-grain, though, for impact strength in use.

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