Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sandalwood Pen

Recently, I was asked to make a pen from sandalwood. This was a material that I had not used before, so I did not know its properties. Also, sandalwood is not easily available in pen blank sizes, and import would be troublesome. So I searched locally for sandalwood and to my surprise found sticks of the wood available with stores that are selling incense sticks. So, I bought two sticks that I thought would serve the purpose, shorter one for the cap and longer one for the barrel:

This particular wood is hallmarked, which indicates that it is (most likely!) genuine.

The challenge now was that they we not exactly round. I used the hallmark as a guide as it appeared to be placed where the wood was round. I was lucky that both pieces turned down to the dimension I wanted without leaving any gouges.

The wood was extremely aromatic while turning. Yes, I did save a few shavings!
I did not use any CA or any other method to stabilize the wood, because maintaining the fragrance was critical. The only adhesive used is for the Ebonite inserts.

It is a relatively soft wood and drills very easily. I was able to sand it and leave it with a nice smooth surface.

Here is the finished pen, installed with a custom nib section that was supplied to me:

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