Turned Pens and Pencils

My daughter, Marilyn, has developed a strong interest in turning wood pens and pencils over the last several years and is now looking to market her wares on her Etsy account, PenssByScribble.  Currently she has both pens and pencils made of domestic and exotic woods, many with nice figure and spalted grain.  She has included free domestic shipping on all of her products. All pens and pencils are priced at $26.

The pens use a standard Cross style refill that is easily replaceable.  The mechanism works by twisting the pen to extend the writing tip. The pencils use .7mm lead refills. Various hardware finishes are used including chrome, satin gold, and gold plated.   The wood is finished with CA glue, which provides a very hard durable coating that stands up well to the extensive handling these pens get. Wood species vary a good bit, and are both domestic and exotic varieties, as can be seen by the last photo in this post.  (It’s a good way to use up some of my offcuts, such as beech, figured maple, and persimmon.)

These pens and pencils make wonderful gift ideas for nearly anyone at a reasonable cost, especially with the free shipping.

Marilyn will also take custom orders for specific wood and hardware options. She also will make matched pen/pencil sets. To contact her, or place an order, visit her Etsy store here.

Apple wood pens

Paduk pencils

Spalted beech pencil
Persimmon pen
Pens in process, showing the variety of woods used.

Spill Planes in stock now

We have recently finished a large batch of spill planes that are now available in our store.    These planes are made of some unique woods including tiger maple, spalted beech, and spalted maple.  Many of the spalted planes are heavily figured with color variants and black lines.  Also we have plain quarter sawn beech for a more traditional look.  Prices vary from $135 for the plain beech, $145 for the tiger maple and spalted planes, and $155 for highly figured spalted planes.  These planes are a great gift idea for woodworkers and tool collectors alike.

These planes were designed with the sole purpose to create tightly curled shavings that were used as a means to transfer a flame from the hearth fire to a candle or similar need in pre-industrial days.  Matches had not been invented yet, and since the hearth almost always had a fire burning, spills were a practical means of this necessary task.  Today, the spill plane may not be a necessity, but it is a delightful tool to use, and spills can be used for starting fires, working better than wadded newspaper.  Spills also make a nice accent on a shelf or mantle when placed in a vase or cup. When made of various softwoods like pine and red cedar, they are a colorful, aromatic decoration.  Read more about our spill plane here.

Clockwise from lower left:  Spalted beech, beech, Highly spalted maple, Highly spalted beech, tiger maple, and spalted maple.
Bundled spills

Rabbet Planes in Stock

We again have rabbet planes stocked and available for immediate delivery.  These are the first planes to be completed using our own air dried quarter sawn beech lumber, and also the first planes produced here in our new location in Sterling Illinois.  We have planes with and without a boxed corner for increased wear resistance. Sizes range from from 5/8″ to 7/8″ wide.  More information about our rabbet planes can be found here.  Purchase in our store here.

5/8″, 3/4″, and 7/8″ boxed rabbet planes


We have now added the Acer-Ferrous Toolworks Sector to our product line.  This tool was a collaboration between Acer-Ferrous Toolworks and Red Rose Reproductions and has been under development for many months.  Read on to learn how this ancient tool design can be an asset in your shop.

The sector is a proportioning tool that, in conjunction with a pair of dividers, can be used to figure various mathematical calculations. It was in use dating from the 16th century into the 19th century when it was largely replaced by the slide rule. This modern rendition is meant for the woodworker looking to simplify many mathematical problems. It consists of two rulers joined by a hinge.   The rulers have scales engraved on them along with small holes at each numerical point to capture the tips of the dividers. Here is a brief description of each scale and its uses.

  • “L” scale, line of lines.  This scale is used to divide a specific length into equal divisions and to scale up or down proportions. It also has the golden ratio proportion and can be used to figure the radius, diameter, or circumference of a circle given any one.
  • “P” scale, Line of Polygons.  Any polygon from 4 to 12 sides can quickly be created from the known radius of the circle.
  • “C” scale, Line of Chords. Used to set the sector precisely to any angle from 6 degrees to 90 degrees.
  • “T” scale, Line of Tangents.  used to determine the sight line and resultant angles of compound angles.  This is useful in chair construction where the legs have rake and splay. 

These sectors are made of black anodized aluminum scales with brass hinges.  The markings are laser engraved on and are bright and easy to read.  Overall length is about 13 inches.  Each comes with a spanner wrench to adjust the hinge stiffness as needed.  There is a 26 page instruction booklet included with each sector. 

Price is $195 plus shipping.  They can be purchased here.

In the future, we hope to add some video media here to show these tools in use.  They are really quite easy and intuitive to learn to use, and eliminate many chances for error since no calculations need to be done longhand.

Sector in use with a pair of dividers. (Dividers not included.)
Each sector is boxed and includes a spanner wrench for hinge adjusting.
Instruction booklet.

Drawer Bottom Planes Back in Stock

The drawer bottom plane is again available for immediate delivery.  This is a dedicated plane used to cut the groove in drawer parts to accept the drawer bottom.  More information about this plane can be found here.  Price is $295, and can be purchased here.

Cooper Plane

The cooper plane is a small hand plane meant to work concave surfaces, such as the inside of coopered vessels. This plane was designed with input from a cooper who wanted a plane to work the inside surfaces of wooden buckets, but will find applications in other areas also.  With a 3″ convex sole, it will smooth and contour curves down to 6″ in diameter.  At just 6 1/2″ in length and with its low profile design, it fits comfortably in one hand, and can work inside round vessels with ease.  The 3/16″ thick O-1 tool steel iron is held in place with a brass cap iron and screw, making for fast, easy blade adjustments.  Iron width is 1 3/8″.  The one piece body is made of quarter sawn European beech. The heel is contoured for user comfort.  It is sharp and ready to go out of the box.  Price is $195 plus shipping, and may be ordered here.

Rounded heel for user comfort
Sample of concave work piece

Brass lever cap
Concave sole
Compact size

The Drawer Bottom Plane

A common method of drawer construction is to plow grooves into the drawer sides and front to capture the drawer bottom, which is then slid in from the back. The drawer bottom plane is a dedicated fixed plow plane to do cut these grooves quickly and easily with minimal set up. It cuts a groove 1/4″ wide and 1/4″ deep, inset from the edge 1/4″. The fence and depth stop are fixed so cuts are consistent and repeatable. This plane employs a steel skate for long life, and this skate engages into a groove in the back of the iron to ensure it locates to the same setting when the iron is removed from the plane. It is adjusted the same as any other side escapement plane except for the fact the iron locates on the skate rather than the blind side of the mortise. The iron is O-1 tool steel and is bedded at 50 degrees, enabling heavy cuts to be taken if desired. Made of quarter sawn beech. Price is $295, and may be purchased here. Like all of our planes, it is sharp and ready to use right out of the box.

Drawer bottom plane with sample cut
Detail of steel skate and iron
Heel stamping
Sample groove

Hollow and Round Plans in stock now.

We now have full size engineered drawings for the most common hollow and round planes available for purchase. These are copies of hand drawn prints done using traditional drafting techniques. Each size includes all necessary dimensions for constructing your own planes. Sizes available are #4 (1/4″ radius), #6 (3/8″ radius), #8 (1/2″ radius), #10 (5/8″ radius), and #12 (3/4″ radius).

These are not instructions on how to construct these tools. For information on that, We recommend the DVD Making Traditional Side Escapement Planes, by Larry Williams, that is available from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. Or better yet, sign up for one of our classes on making hollow and rounds for a three day immersion into plane making.

Plans are to introduce tapered irons specifically for these hollow and rounds in the near future. At this time, price has not yet been determined for these irons. Meanwhile, irons can also be purchased from Lie-Nielsen. We also offer quarter sawn beech billets for these planes. Sizes needed for each size are listed below.

  • #4, 3/4″ billet
  • #6 3/4″ billet
  • #8 1″ billet
  • #10 1″ billet
  • #12 1 1/4″ billet

The photo below shows the layout of the #4 size before dimensions and notes where added. All sizes are of similar layout.  Each print is 11 1/2″ by 17″.

Price per print is $15. We are offering a special price of $65 for the full set of five prints. They may be purchased here.

#4 Hollow and Round print ready for dimensions and notes.
Drawings available for five sizes of hollow and rounds.

Spring 2019 Class Schedule

The spring hollow and round making class schedule has been set for the following dates.

  • April 3-5, 2019    CLASS IS FULL
  • May 23-25,2019  CLASS IS FULL

Classes are limited to three students and teach all aspects of side escapement plane making.  Click here for more details about these classes.

To enroll in any of these classes, purchase the down payment of your choice here.

A pair of #8 hollow and rounds

Upcoming class: An Introduction to Hollow & Rounds

With no fences of depth stops, hollow and rounds can seem a bit intimidating to use.  In reality, once the user understands the underlying principles of their use, moldings can be produced with confidence. This class is designed to show the user how to approach making moldings using a rabbet plane and a couple of sizes of hollow and rounds.   Understanding the basic concept and planning the series of cuts needed is the key.  Once understood, this concept can then be applied to any molding design, regardless of the complexity.  In this class we will first cover maintaining a proper cutting edge to ensure top performance of the planes. (This will NOT be a class on restoring old planes; that is a subject far beyond the scope presented here.)  We will then move into working a few basic molding profiles with a single element, and advance from there with more complex profiles using two or more arcs of specific sizes.   Emphasis will be on using #6 and #10 hollow and rounds, although student will have the opportunity to try other sizes.

Class size will be limited to 6 students, for more individual instruction time.  Tuition is $350, plus a material fee of $60, for a total of $410.  I will be providing planes for student use, but those with performing planes are encouraged to bring their own.   Some of the planes will then be available for purchase at the end of class.  Wood for making molding will also be provided, along with sticking boards for each student.

The dates for this class are April 27-28, 2019, from 9 am to 5 pm both days. It will be held at Olde Mill Cabinet Shopppe, located at 1660 Camp Betty Washington Road, York PA 17402.  A map is provided here.  This venue is larger than my own shop and will provide ample room and bench space for everyone.

Required tools include the following:

  • Plane hammer, with a brass and wooden head for adjusting the planes. I have Sterling Tool Works hammers available for sale.
  • Marking gauge.  A wheel type, such as Tite-Mark, is recommended.
  • Circle template.
  • Small square
  • Small bevel gauge.

To sign up, click here.  A down payment of $150 will be required at the time of sign up to hold your place in the class.  This will be applied toward the total class cost of $410.  This is nonrefundable if canceled less than three weeks before class.  Balance of $260 will be due on first day of class.