The wooden handles in the images are from Arizona Juniper and cottonwood that was upcycled.
NOTE: Not for under 18. The edges of the can are very sharp and there are very few safe ways to cut the can as shown in step 2. Please be careful. Safety First.
I have made 2 instructables abou cola pens
1) how to select material (this instructable)
2) how to assemble the cola pen - see Cola Pen Construction From Arizona Wood And SF Cans at Techshop
Submitted by SFlettering for the Instructables Sponsorship Program
Step 1: Preparing the Wood for Making Handles
TIP: When holding the small piece of wood in place use a helper stick and KEEP your hands away from any surface an ax will strike.
Step 2: Splitting the Wood
When you are selecting materials pay special attention to the strength of the writing end and to the feel of the area you will be holding. When selecting these materials for the wooden handle I removed the bark, split thick pieces of wood, and cut several longer branches as shown in the images.
Step 3: Cola Can Nib Construction
1) cut off the top
2) cut off the bottom
3) cut down the seam
4) cut strips the width of your desired broad knib cola pen
You now have prepared the "cola" part for the cola pen construction. Within this process you can use many different materials to form the writing knib. In this example of the cola pen we are using a readily available and very durable material (the cola can). When bending the can to make the nib allow the pen to bend in the natural direction of how it was manufactured for durability or bend the other direction (as done in the images) to get a sharper more precise writing tip.
Safety TIP: The can is very sharp and can easily cut a person
Step 4: Sanding the Wood: Making It Smooth and Ready to Hold
TIP: attempt to incorporate knots of wood or thicker areas of the wood specifically in the portion that you will hold in your palm.
Step 5: Rough Sanded Wood
Step 6: Edge Smoothing With Obsidian: Obsidian Smoothing Not Required for Final Construction
This image shows how you can smooth the wooden handle with a sharp "chip" of obsidian. The Arizona obsidian in this image will be able to smooth only a portion of the handle before chipping or requiring using a different edge to keep it sharp enough and strong enough to create the super smooth areas. Here I am showing how smooth the obsidian makes the wood as a demonstration (fyi: the demo area will actually be under tape after the nib is joined to the handle.
TIP: Obsidian is easily found in certain places throughout Arizona. If you are not in a location where you can collect obsidian consider purchasing your obsidian from an Arizona source to support Arizona Rock Hunting Activities.