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Thread: Ebony and .....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    6,000

    Ebony and .....

    ...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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    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.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Wapakoneta, OH
    Posts
    611
    Man, you're good! Very nice.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,749
    Very, very nice!
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    S E Washington State
    Posts
    3,777
    Oh, ya, collect all the ebony you can, no matter the size. even if you just use it as accents for your pens it is worth it. The stuff is like buying gold! Good for you. I have an old up right piano. I better check the keys. Not sure they are ivory and ebony, but if they are I am going to quit trying to get my wife to get rid of it. It will just start disappearing,,,, one key at a time....
    "We the People ......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Douglass View Post
    Oh, ya, collect all the ebony you can, no matter the size. even if you just use it as accents for your pens it is worth it. The stuff is like buying gold! Good for you. I have an old up right piano. I better check the keys. Not sure they are ivory and ebony, but if they are I am going to quit trying to get my wife to get rid of it. It will just start disappearing,,,, one key at a time....
    It's been nice knowing you, Paul!

    Here's an example of what her son does with the ivory. Ain't no way I'm in that league!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    S E Washington State
    Posts
    3,777
    Your son is a real artist! That is nice, I love scrimshaw work.
    "We the People ......"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,702
    The bottle stopper is a neat touch. Nice job on the pens to!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,355
    Great work Bill, I haven't done anything in ebony in years as it's hard to come by and as Paul said pricey .... last time I turned some was about 2002 or 2003 while I was still in Houston... it was the middle of the summer - hot and sweaty in my shop and between the turning and the sanding dust when I finished I looked like I was in black face... I made a couple of beautiful pens and a set of 3 darts...

    Cudos on the pens and the bottle stopper.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Reno, Nv
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    3,632
    Pens are cool...but the stopper steals the show for me! Very well done sir!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Spitting distance north of Detroit Michigan
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    3,798
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

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