...not quite Ivory.
After posting a few turned items on Facebook several weeks ago, an acquaintance in Texas asked if I could turn a pen for her using ebony keys from an old keyboard. I asked her to measure one for me; the dimensions are 3/8" x 1/2" x 3.25". The cross-section being a little more than a slimline, I gave her that option, which is what she wanted anyway. She also wanted plain chrome - she prefers the silvery look.
So, this is what I ended up with after some nervous moments getting pieces drilled for the tubes.
It takes two keys to make one pen because of the length. One blank had a small crack after drilling, so I had to use another one; I didn't want to try gluing the split, although I might use that blank for myself. I made her two pens which took five keys.
Then, I had a thought about using the shavings from turning the ebony for a bottle stopper. I took about a 3oz cup of shavings and added them to about 2.5oz of resin, stirred the mix and let it sit a while so the shavings would absorb the resin. In the meantime, I took another 2.5oz of resin and added pearl white powder dye to it. After adding the catalyst, I stirred each blend until it seemed ready for the mold. Below is what I came up with along with both pens.
These will go in the mail to her tomorrow. She asked if I wanted the remainder of the keys. Who am I to refuse?
By the way, the ivory keys went to her son; he does scrimshaw, then adds it to other items. She got the keyboard from an upright piano made circa 1850, so the keys are real ivory and ebony. I'm not real familiar with ebony; the keys she went me are very dark with some faint brownish streaks in the grain.