Alder and Ifil Slimline Ballpoint Pens

These two pens were custom ordered for my client to be used as gifts on a trip to Japan.

The pens are made from Alder (top), and Ifil (bottom). Alder is technically a hardwood, but is actually very soft and surprisingly difficult to turn in small scale. When turning bowls, it’s a lot of fun because it’s very straight grained and easy to turn, but when turning pens, it likes to split on the brass barrels when it gets thin, making it a pain to deal with. Still worth the trouble as the pen is an elegant piece.

Ifil on the other hand is almost schizophrenic, the dark wood you see is hard as rock, and the lighter beige is almost rotten soft. I have to turn the blank down close to it’s final dimension, then soak it in cyanoacrylate (CA) glue to stabilize the punky beige part so it’ll turn more like the harder dark sections. In the end it makes for a beautiful pen, and the two-tone look is very striking. My brother gave me the Ifil which is a South East Asian wood as far as I know. I have not been able to find more information about this wood. The Alder (alnus rubr) is from a fallen tree on a friend’s property in Sultan, here in Washington State.

Mechanisms: Both are Cross style mechanisms, made from Slimline pen kits.

The Alder pen was finished with mineral oil, bee’s & carnauba wax. The Ifil pen was finished with a mixture of turpentine, shellac, bee’s & carnauba waxes and mineral oil.

Price: US$35 per pen.
Item Ref No: ASP0020, ISP0019
Status: Sold but similar pens may be available. Click here to inquire.

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