Green Pen Blanks - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-08-2010, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Green Pen Blanks

Can you turn green pen blanks, and put them together just like any other pen?
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-08-2010, 08:23 AM
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I would not advise it. I would let them dry.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-08-2010, 08:47 AM
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I would agree with Darin. I don't turn many pens but pen blanks need to be dry. You are gluing them to a piece of brass that will not change shape. As the green wood dries it will shrink. That's a problem.
You can dry them in the microwave. Get a cheap set of scales weigh the blank. Put it in the microwave and zap it for 30 seconds. Let it sit until cool. Then do this again. You want the wood quite warm but not hot enough that you can't handle it to remove it from the oven. You will find that you can increase the time up to a minute or more as the wood gets dryer. I judge this by how hot it feels in my hand. Too long it gets too hot. When the blank stops losing weight it's dry. This will take 15 to 20 cycles so plan to spend the day doing this. I just plop in the oven whenever I'm in the house and then maybe during lunch or dinner I'll do 4 or 5 cycles.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-08-2010, 10:48 PM
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Like the 2 professionals stated above me... Pen blanks need to be dry or you will more then likely crack over time.

I had a batch of bloodwood blanks that I got when I firstb started out and every pem I made from them cracked.... And after much reasearch I realized that they weren't dry.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-09-2010, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thaks for the help. I might give the microwave thing a try.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-12-2010, 10:34 PM
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Pen blanks need to dry before turning or they will crack after a short time(2 days to 2-3 weeks).If you cut green pen blanks and want to turn them find you an old microwave(but not the wifes)she will not like it at all. Cut the blanks about 1 inch longer and 1/4" or so thicker and put it in the microwave for about 1 min on high. Take it out and let it cool for about 30min. Do this for about 6-8 cycles.You will notice your blank will be much lighter and dry after this.I bought a moisture meter and check mine after a couple of cycles.Mine usually starts out at about 34-38% moisture and after my drying process it's usually less than 7%.Just make sure you take it out of the microwave after each cycle and place it on a rack of some kind where it can get air all the way around it. once it's dry you can reshape it on a tablesaw and it's ready to turn.The only blank I've had crack on me during the drying process is Oak.,and then they were only very small hair line cracks that were filled easily.
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