I am.....correction...WAS....in the middle of making my most expensive pen yet. It, maybe someday, will be an Emperor. Kit is $55.00. The material I was using is a form of alternate ivory that, at one time, I had aspirations of selling. Long story short, that didn't come about. This material is known as white paper micarta, or a/k/a white paper phenolic micarta. It is widely used for knife handles and pistol grips. It is a very different product than what Craft Supplies, and others, sell for pen blanks.
This stuff is very hard to turn. And, I do mean HARD. For half a blank, I had to sharpen my Henry Taylor HSS skew three times. Plus, it gets very hot, as does the tool. I paused frequently to let it cool. But, perhaps not enough. While nearing the end of turning the second half (I don't use a mandrel and only do one half at a time) it suddenly blasted in half on me. I don't know why, excess heat maybe. Dunno fer sure. However, as can be seen in the picture, the interior of the broken half doesn't have much glue on it. I use 5 min. epoxy. Maybe the fit was so close it all got squeegeed out. Again, dunno. Maybe thin CA would be better. This piece of alternate ivory cost about $10.00 but I'm grateful my $55.00 kit is still intact. Not sure what I'll put on it now as I was really looking forward to this ivory, it really is a beautiful material and looks far more like genuine ivory than the CS stuff. I have a blank of white bowling ball material I got from the circulating box, may use that. Or may use some alternate jade. Oh, did I mention I am not a happy camper at the moment? Plus, I'm not in a mood to go out and kill another one of those alternate elephants right now.