Pen blank sizes? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-16-2009, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Pen blank sizes?

I've got some spalted sycamore and hackberry "scraps" I've been wondering what to to with. So I thought maybe pen blanks but I'm not a pen turner so I know nothing about that side of things.

I've looked online and figure 3/4" x 5 1/2" or 6" is standard is that correct?

Also, is there any interest in domestics woods for pen turning? After checking ebay it seems only exotics are wanted.

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-16-2009, 08:24 AM
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I'll turn anything with an interesting grain pattern.

If I don't like a specific wood, I just won't turn that one again.

I guess I just like to make sawdust........

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post #3 of 7 Old 12-16-2009, 08:35 AM
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Your most typical pen blank size is 3/4 square, a "jumbo" blank is 7/8 to 1 inch. I use 5/8 as well but those work the best for the thinner pens, unless you are good at drilling in the center.

Exotics and figured woods are usually the most desirable because of the unique color and patterns, but anything can be used, depends on personal preference. If it is plain Jane stuff you may only get 15-25 cents a blank on ebay, but anything spalted usually has some interest.

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post #4 of 7 Old 12-16-2009, 01:00 PM
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I have even used 1/2" corian material.

Most blanks are at least 5" in length but 5 1/2" preferred. Girth depends on the type of pen. Anything from 1/2" up to 1" square works depending on style of the pen.


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post #5 of 7 Old 12-16-2009, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-25-2009, 08:45 AM
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Pen size

I turn anything I get my hands on and if the grain looks good or different, it works.......... I have a blog that I am trying to get started for turners and to share ideas. Please visit at
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-26-2009, 10:34 AM
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With the domestic woods you could glue up different woods to make turning blanks. Contrasting woods cut on an angle look nice.

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