Archive for the ‘Ifil’ Category

Ifil Slimline Ballpoint Pen

Ifil wood makes some of the prettiest pens I’ve made. This particular piece was harvested about 23 years ago on the island of Guam by my brother. He brought me a a long thin chunk of it some time ago on a trip up here, and I’ve made several pens from it. There is a sharp distinction between the sap wood and heart wood, and a huge difference in density of the two. The sap wood is the lighter color, and has about the same density as balsa wood, and the darker heart wood is very hard. The sap wood has also spalted, which is caused by a fungus that makes the dark lines in it. This makes it difficult to turn on the lathe because the knife cuts into the wood at different rates. The solution to this is to use very sharp tools, and soaking the workpiece in cyanoacrylate (CA) glue. Doing so effectively plasticizes the wood, making it much easier to turn.

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, 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.

Another view of the pen showing the heart wood side and the line between it and the sap wood.


Price: US$35
Item Ref No: 9-Ifil-SBP
Status: Available. Click here to inquire about purchasing.
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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.

Ifil Slimline and Cigar Ballpoint Pens

I made these two pens for my brother and his wife. He has supported and encouraged my efforts getting Unique Treen up off the ground, plus he gave me the Ifil that they’re made from. Making pens from Ifil is always an interesting challenge because it’s so finicky. A normal pen takes around an hour to make, an Ifil pen takes more like two or three depending on how grumpy it’s going to be. The cigar style pen (top) takes even longer because they’re more complicated to make. The results though, are striking, don’t you think?
Mechanism: The mechanism in the slimline pen takes a Cross style insert, and a Parker style insert for the cigar pen.  Refills are readily available for both in most office supply stores.

 

Finish: The pen 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 hard candle wax.

Price: US$58 for Cigar Pen, US$35 for Slimline
Item Ref Nos: ICP0006, ISP0005
Status: Gifted but similar pens may be available. Click here to inquire.