Sunday, 8 June 2014

Purpleheart and Jade!

Seems like every time I want to post, I feel like writing, "a long time back, I got ago order for…".  Sadly, almost all the pens I am making now are orders placed over a year ago.  Ah well…

I any case, I got this order way back for a Bamboo style pen - but interestingly, one made of purpleheart wood.  Further, the request was added to finish the ends with green inlays, rather than just plain recessed ends like most of my Bamboo style pens.  I have to admit that I wasn't sure how this was going to look.  Still, that's what custom ordering is all about - doing the unusual.  And in this case, I think the fellow who ordered had it figured out - the green end-jewels worked perfectly with the purpleheart wood.

One of the coolest things about working with purpleheart is that when you first cut it or turn it, it is pretty much just a plain light brown wood, with maybe the most subtle of purplish hues to it.  But as it sits, it reacts with the air to turn to a rich, dark purple.  I read that it eventually turns to a dark brown with exposure to UV light, but I suspect that takes a while (I have a purple heart bowl that I made several years ago that is still purple).

The threading in this pen is made using black acrylic inserts which I turned and fitted into the cap and barrel pieces, and then drilled out/turned and threaded.   The cap and barrel are turned from one continuous piece of purpleheart, and when I finished the pen, I carefully refinished the edge of the cap until the grain lined up when closed.  The finish is a hard, glossy coat of cyanoacrylate.

The end-jewels are made from Arizona Jade Tru-Stone, a material made from ground stone in a resin matrix.

Finally, the pen is fitted with a nice, wet broad nib to suit it well for its intended purpose as a signature pen.

Thanks for looking!



  1. Ohhh, nice! That's beautiful. You are such an amazing craftsman. I can't wait to get the wooden cigar pen - I'm so happy I got my order in time.