Gallery: wood & paper


Antique bandsaw refurbishing.

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Taking Care of Your Pen

Why wood pens?

Wood pens have a warm feel to them which sets them apart from metal or acrylic pens. But one tradeoff is that the finish (and even the wood) can eventually become dull or worn like the neck of an old violin.

Things to avoid

Do not use abrasives or chemicals to clean your pen. Avoid high temperature extremes which can damage wood. For example, do not leave your wood pen out in your car. Wood absorbs moisture and can swell and contract so it might be a good idea not to leave your pen out in the rain either.

How to brighten up your wood pen

Most wood pens are finished with a friction polish of wax and shellac similar to French Polish. The system I've been using lately, impregnates the wood with the finish so I've had no problem restoring a nice shine with the simple method below.

Apply a good quality furniture paste wax (not liquid) and follow the instructions on the can or jar. I allow the paste to harden a bit longer than the instructions say. Using a lint free soft cloth or even a soft Kleenex, gently buff the surface until you can no longer feel that tacky resistance. As you're doing this, keep folding your cloth so you're exposing a fresh clean side to the pen and not reapplying the tacky wax. When the cloth slides freely, you can begin exerting more pressure and after a time, you'll see a nice deep shine. That's all there is to it. Enjoy your wood pen.

Recommended waxes:

I use a local Canadian product: Clapham's "museum quality" wax. 1-800-667-2939.

Woodturners also recommend Briwax.

Renaissance wax is also highly recommended.

* Planning a trip into outer space? Take along this "virtually indestructible" pen.

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