Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Georgia (USA)
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.