Making a better pen – failure 1

A brass cylinder with a wooden handle attached.  The wood has split.I nabbed a bit of apple wood from a friend. It’s soft, but that means it works easily, and I don’t have real wood-working tools, so I’m in favour of ease. I cut it to length, skimmed it down with my pocket knife to take the bark off, and drilled into the top to put the handle in, which I did with hot glue. (In case of failure. As it turned out, I was prescient.) I then carved it down further so it was almost the right size to hold, then I sanded it. I did that with a soft pre-bought sanding block, so the handle could sink in a bit. First of all I taped some rough paper over it, and clamped up the block. Then I put the metal into my drill, and went ‘vrooom’. I used the 120-ish grit to tear off most of the surface, then switched to the less brutal surface, and smoothed it. However, after I thought I was finished, I noticed my knife had left a splinter inside an otherwise innocuous dent, so I put it back in, pressed too hard, and shattered the shaft at the bottom. Pants.

I have acces to more apple wood, and I can use that. If it fails again, I’ll have to use something much harder. A friend offered me some rose wood and some lilac, and I could try either of those.

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