Archive for the ‘Alder’ Category

Alder Slimline Ballpoint Pens

These two pens are made from Alder (Alnus rubr) harvested from a friend’s swamp he was trying to reclaim. I probably pulled close to three cords of it out of the mud and blackberries on his back forty. Although it’s technically a hardwood, Alder is very soft and surprisingly difficult to turn at the pen scale. However, it’s pleasant wood to work with, it smells nice and you can use the sawdust to smoke meat on your grill.


Mechanism: Cross style, and refills are readily available in most office supply stores.

Finish: The pens were sanded up to 400 grit, then burnished with 0000 steel wool to bring up a smooth surface. It was then finished with mineral oil, bee’s & carnauba wax and a final polish with paraffin wax.

Price: US$35 per pen
Item Ref No: ASP0023 (right) and ASP0024
Status: Gifted but similar pens may be available. Click here to inquire.

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Alder Potpourri Holder

This potpourri holder is now sitting on my mother-in-law’s chest of drawers in Singapore. She alternates its original purpose with coin change storage. The pewter cover is one of four I found at a local word-working store. I didn’t pay much attention to pewter until I met my Malaysian wife who hails from the home state of Royal Selangor Pewter, the world’s largest pewter maker. She is an avid collector. The holder is turned out of Alder (Alnus rubr) which is nice to turn on larger scale items. I like turning alder with knots in the wood, I think it adds character. Since humans are so good at finding faces in obscure places, I frequently find them in my work. I’ve always thought this particular piece looked like one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and my sister has a very similar piece that looks like the Koolaid Pitcher character.


Finish: The bowl was sanded up to 400 grit, then burnished with 0000 steel wool to bring up a smooth surface. It was then finished with mineral oil, bee’s & carnauba wax and a final polish with paraffin wax.


Dimenstions: 4-inch diameter at its center, 4-inches high.


Price: US$38
Status: Available for custom order. Click here to inquire.

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.


Finish:
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.