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Diagonal
Pen Blanks
Make you grains stand out!
3/02

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I started out with a 1-1/2"x2" by 6" long piece of zebra wood. I split this in half and glued the edges together to make a nice book matched grain pattern. 

Click here for Zebrawood Characteristics

My work piece is now 4' x 6" about 11/16" thick. I jointed  both edges to clean up joint and laid out a diagonal line. Now cut down the middle of this line on your bandsaw. 
Now your going to glue the two jointed edges together.
This last glue up is a little tricky. Because of the diagonal shape the pieces want to slide. I got past this problem by using the clamp with the yellow pads to prevent the sliding issue. I placed 2 clamps straddling the glue line to keep the pieces flush, and 3 clamps to actually squeeze the pieces together. It was a balancing act getting all those clamps in there! But the end result is worth it because...
...and you wind up with a piece like this! It's now about 11/16" thick, perfect for a pen blank. I set up a fence on my bandsaw at 5/8" and rip the blank into 4 blocks. That's enough for 4 pens or 2 pen/pencil sets. 

The next day after the glue dries, remove the your work piece from the clamps and clean off any glue that has squeezed out. Then set up your bandsaw to rip the blanks into strips. You want about 1/2" to 5/8" of stock to work with on the lathe. I think it's much too dangerous to attempt this cut on a table saw! 
I was able to get four blanks out of this piece. 
Square off one side then cut the blanks 1/32" longer than your brass tubes that you will be gluing in place. Mare the grain orientation as discribed before and have some fun with these!
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