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Thread: Minimum size of block for pen turning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    10,188

    Minimum size of block for pen turning

    Ive been throwing out alot of stips under 1 and a 1/4 inch, all kind of hard woods, mahogany, ash, red oak, sapele, maple,
    If its under 1.25, I really havent had much use for it, so I cut it down and toss it.
    I saw another thread and figured Id ask, maybe put it all into a box and give it to someone who might want it.
    Im not talking hundreds, but I must have thrown out 6-8 inche by1 inch, maybe 50 or so in the last 2 builds.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
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    typical pen blank is a about 5/8 to 3/4 square by at 5" long.
    -Ned

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Cornwall, England
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    Apart from pens they could be used for bobbins, miniatures of various things and also fo making inlays. Dowelled up they can look good in box lids etc. Oh yes, sounds as if they would be OK for finials as well.

    Pete

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    S E Washington State
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    Even if thay are smaller, they make good wood for making accents, i.e., centerbands, nibs, finials. I'd be a taker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Larger pens like full-sized Gents and some others need 7/8" or 1". Most are 5 to 5 1/2" long. Don't waste that wood, especially if it is figured.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    I wont toss the narrower strips, Ill save them for now on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Reno, Nv
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    Allen, you are always free to donate to my college fund, or my wifes' or either of my kids for that matter
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  8. #8
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    Sep 2007
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    Plainwell, Michigan
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    OK, what woods are good for you pen turners? What woods are not good for turning?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    S E Washington State
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    I guess any wood, but highly figured woods make the prettiest pens. Pine, cottonwood, popular or other light colored straight grain woods are not very pretty in pens unless they are spalted. There are those that will disagree with me, I guess.

    I've made pens out of 1/2" stock, but that is the slimlinw type pens. The bigger pend require the bigger stock as Frank stated.
    Last edited by Paul Douglass; 02-17-2009 at 03:43 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,020
    Allen, I don't think it's been mentioned yet, but for pens, it's best if the grain runs the length of the blank. In other words, scraps from rip cuts are more useful than scraps from crosscuts.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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