By Chris, Mar 2 2017 05:02PM

I'm trying hard to offer some of my pens and flyboxes with an upgraded wood option. Last week, I got some Thuya burl pen blanks and they are gorgeous! Thuya burl come from the root of the tree and exists primarily in Morocco, as well as Malta and southern Spain. It smells like cedar and is fun to turn. I also have an outstanding abalone blank on order that I will pair up with a rhodium/gold fountain pen.

By Chris, Feb 19 2017 04:10PM

I'm doing a fly fishing themed outdoor show in June and think trout pens might be a big hit. I'm making rainbow, brook, and brown trout versions. I'm using 8 coats of polyurethane to ensure the durability of the bird's eye maple pen blank. The pens will be made in antique gold, silver, and copper. I can't wait to beging assembling them!

By Chris, Jan 17 2017 04:18PM

After two very frustrating weeks of playing with various finishes, I finally settled on Danish oil followed by a good rub out with carnuba wax. It will take a week or so of "seasoning" to get the humidity up to 70% inside. I've aquired three other humidors over the years and none of them fit tight enough to maintain the correct humidity during our dry winters. Hopefully, handfitting the cedar lining will pay off! I learned a lot with this project that will make the next one even better.

By Chris, Jan 8 2017 06:40PM

Things are progressing nicely. I cut the box apart on the table saw. Despite being as careful as possible, the cuts weren't absolutely square so I had to do a lot of scraping and sanding so the lid sits flat. I've routed out the corners where the hinges will be installed. This required a precise set up of the router table to ensure the proper length and depth of cut. It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. I've cut all of the Spanish cedar pieces for the lining. Careful hand planing and sanding will ensure a precise fit to maintain the required 70% humidity inside. I've also begun the long process of many hand rubbed coats of tung oil finish to the exterior. The final steps will be installing the cedar lining and a final rub out and polish of the finish.

By Chris, Dec 23 2016 06:16PM

While doing some wood shopping at Johnson's Workbench in Charlotte, MI, I came across some really nice spalted maple boards at a reasonable price. I ripped them in two and planed them down to 3/16" for the tops and bottoms. One inch cherry was ripped for the frames. Once they were all glued up, I rounded over the edges and cut the box in two on the bandsaw. After final sanding and finishing with a coat of sanding sealer and three coats of satin polyurethane, the barrel hinges, rare earth magnets, and foam inserts will be installed.

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