Sunday, February 22, 2015

Bubinga Pen

We recently got a lathe, which is the tool used to turn spindles, bowls, or, in this case, pens. Basically, you put a square block of wood on the lathe, spin it on its long axis rapidly, and poke at it with a chisel until it becomes round. This pen is made out of an exotic hardwood called bubinga. More after the jump...

Bubinga is a dense, oily, hardwood with a tight grain pattern and a finishes to a rich brown luster with hints of red character. When unfinished, the material has a dull brown color, but with the application of some linseed oil and a cyanoacrylate. (CA) glue topcoat the depth of the color comes out and the appearance brightens up considerably. I use the CA glue topcoat in place of things that your might think of a traditional topcoats like varnish or lacquer because this finish needs to hold up to the oil and dirt on fingertips.

The pen itself is a twist style of pen and takes standardized replaceable ink cartridges. Nothing too crazy here.

I can turn a pen out of pretty much anything (assuming its softer than steel, if it's harder than steel then it would really screw up the chisel). Exotic materials are pretty common in pens, partly because they look cool, and partly because the amount of the wood is fairly limited, so it can't jack up the cost too terribly much. As always, if you want one, you just let me know.

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