In this project, I reclaimed the wood from our old Christmas tree and made a pen from the wood!
for this project you'll need the following:
Some wood from a Christmas tree (or any tree)
A handsaw to cut wood
A wood lathe and lathe tools
A pen mandrel for the lathe
Sandpaper (from 100-400)
A small digital scale
A pen hardware kit
A drill press and the according drill bit for your pen hardware.
a shop vice OR pen vice
And a positive mental attitude!
Step 1: Find a Christmas Tree! (you Should Ask Before Using Someone Else's Tree)
The first step is to find a Christmas tree. Your best bet is to wait until after Christmas and use your own.
Step 2: Cut a Piece of Wood Off the Trunk of the Tree
Bring the tree outside and grab yourself a saw and start cutting. I cut about 8-10 inch piece of the trunk in case I screwed up and needed more wood. Always better to have it and not need it, than to need it, and not have it!
Step 3: Cut the Wood!
I used a bandsaw for this step, but you can use any saw that works best for you. I cut the wood through the center of the grain so I would be able to see the grow rings of the tree once the pen was finished. during this step, cut the wood into 4 inch long blocks
Step 4: Weight the Wood on a Digital Scale.
Now I weighed the wood on a small digital scale. At this point, we need to see how much water is retained in the wood. Write down how much the wood block weighs, for me it was 55.2 grams.
Step 5: Place the Wood in the Microwave
Place the wood in the microwave and for me, I put in for 2 minutes on defrost for 6 cycles. Different microwaves will differ in time and power. When in doubt, put it in less time and repeat this step. (always keep your eye on the wood when its being microwaved, there is always a chance of it smoking/catching fire!)
Step 6: Reweigh the Wood on the Scale
When I was done after 6 cycles in the microwave, the water in the wood evaporated leaving the wood to weight 34.3 grams. This was dry enough to move on to the next step.
Step 7: Drilling the Holes.
Time to drill the holes in the wood! I used a drill bit that is the proper size for the pen hardware. Just double check the drill bit and pen hardware are compatible. (if you have any questions, google is your friend)
Step 8: Gluing the Pen Hardware Into the Wood
I then took a some superglue and applied a liberal amount to the tube and inserted it into the hole in each piece of the wood blank. You can use 100 grit sandpaper to scuff the tubing before you apply glue to make the tube adhere better to the wood.
CA glue activator is optional. its not necessary, but it will harden the glue faster.
Step 9: Using the Countersink Drill Bit Attachment
If you purchased a proper pen drill bit set, it comes with a countersink attachment for a drill press. Drill down until you just touch the brass tubing.
Step 10: Turning the Wood on the Lathe
Using a pen mandrel attachment for the lathe, slide the pieces of wood on it, and start shaping them with your choice of lathe tool. For me, I used a round and square carbide lathe tool.
Step 11: Sanding the Wood
Once you have settled on a shape for your pen, next, work your way through 100-400 grit sandpaper to smooth out the wood.
Step 12: Applying Boiled Linseed Oil and CA Glue to the Wood
Once you're done sanding and happy on how smooth it is, next is to grab some boiled linseed oil and that CA glue you were using in previous steps. turn the lathe on the slowest setting, and alter layering the linseed oil and ca glue. The more layers, the shinier the pen will look. For this pen, I repeated alternating layering both the linseed oil and glue for 5 layers each. ohhh shiny!
Step 13: Assembling the Pen!!
Now its time for assembly!
Now the PROPER way to do this, is to use an actual pen-vice. If you're like me and don't have one, using a regular shop vice is the next best thing. You don't wont to crack the wood at this point so make sure everything is lined up and go slow!
Step 14: And You're Done!
Behold and hold! You now have a sweet pen made out of your old Christmas tree! Great job!
This makes for a great stocking stuffer or memento for the following Christmas!
If you liked this project and want to see more like it, don't forget to subscribe to my channel www.youtube.com/grazmakes
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