Manzanita Burl Slimline Ballpoint Pen

Manzanita is of the Genus arctostaphylos and means “little apple” in Spanish. My brother gave me a box full of small off-cuts from his bow making efforts a while back and in it was a small piece of Manzanita Burl. I made a couple of pens out of it, one for him, and another for my brother-in-law when he admired the first one. I thought I was out of it, but found another smaller piece, just enough for one pen. This pen was purchased for a Father’s day gift and my client had it laser engraved with his dad’s initials.
The wood is nice to turn but because of the burl, the grain of the wood is going in all different directions. This makes for a pretty pen, but a headache for me. A normal pen takes about an hour to make while one of these is closer to three due to the time spent using cyanoacrylate (CA) glue to keep the pieces in one piece. It’s not uncommon to have to soak the pen in CA glue several times to stabilize the wood. You also spend extra time sharpening your tools because the twisted grain demands very sharp tools.

Mechanism: The mechanism is Cross style and refills are readily available in most office supply stores.

Finish: The pen was sanded up to 400 grit, and then up to 0000 steel wool. I applied a coat of mineral oil followed by bee’s, carnauba and paraffin wax to put a nice usable finish on it.

Engraving: Laser engraved with initials in Amaze Bold 14 pt. font.

Item Ref No:
Status: Sold but a similar pen may be available. Click here to inquire.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Ola on June 5, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Hi! I have recently moved into an area full of manzanita trees. They fascinate me! I have found your website when looking for some help on manzanita carving – when to carve, what tools are best to use, how to polish and preserve. I want to learn, not because I see a sale value in such sculptures, but because the wood of manzanita trees is so fascinating and magnetic. Is there any way you may give me some advice?



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