A while back we blogged about A new woodworking community call Show your Wood.  The site now has a woodworkers forum where you can have your say about anything wood related.  There’s even an area for trading wood and selling your tools.  If you’re into woodworking of any sort, it’s worth checking out.


This is a great 5 star video showing you how to turn a honey dipper.


click the pictures for more information


Wall Street II Pen Kit
Wall Street II Pen Kit at Woodcraft.com

The sleek, smooth and refined lines of this pen, and the distinct feel in your hand, are sure to make it winner. Utilizing the same single tube construction as the original Wall Street Pen, this new generation features the easiest assembly of any pen kit we offer.



  • Nib/nib holder, center ring and the top finial/clip are both pre-assembled
  • Simply turn the body, press in the top finial/clip assembly, screw the ink refill mechanism on the nib assembly, push the two halves together and the pen is finished
  • Available in either standard 24K gold or long wearing Woodcraft 24K gold/titanium finish
  • Requires a pen mandrel, 5/8″ x 5/8″ x 3-1/8″ blank, 27/64″ drill bit and bushing set


Artist’s Pencil Kit

Woodworker's/Artist's Pencil Kit at Woodcraft.com


This unique pencil kit is equally at home in the shop or an artist’s sketch kit. The single tube kit is extremely easy to turn and produces an attractive, different, and very functional pencil. The extra thick (5.66mm, about 7/32″ D x 3-1/8″L) HB round lead resists breaking and is held firmly in place by a four jaw collet at the bottom of the pencil mechanism. Just push on the spring loaded top of the pencil and the collet opens so you can advance or retract the lead to the desired length.


  • The top, when unscrewed from the pencil, features an internal sharpener to renew the point.
  • When combined with the 4B soft lead, any artist would love to add this pencil to their sketch kit.
  • Requires a 5/8″ x 5/8″ x 3-1/2″ blank, pen mandrel, 15/32″ bit and artist’s pencil bushings that are listed below and on left under You Might Also Like.
  • Standard gold finish.


European Style Pen Kit

European Style Pen Kit at Woodcraft.com


Overcome the difficulties of making a traditional European style pen by using the same single twist mechanism and 7mm boring process as our regular pen kits.        



  • Standard or Woodcraft Gold finish has a gold plated or black button cap
  • Each satin finish has a matching cap that eliminates the difficulties involved in turning a wooden “button” cap
  • Uses 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 5″ blank and requires a 7mm brad point drill bit, mandrel and European style pen bushing


Click Ballpoint Pen and Pencil Kit

Click Ball Point Pen and Pencil at Woodcraft.com

The time tested push-button ballpoint pen is probably in more pockets than any other style pen. Now you can turn your own beautiful wooden ballpoint pens and matching pencils to replace those ugly plastic ones. Easily turned with straight sides, or can be profiled to create custom looks. Standard Gold finish. Both kits require a 5/8″ x 5/8″ x 4″ blank, Letter “O” pen maker’s bit, mandrel, and Click Pen Bushings.



Classic American Style Screw Cap Fountain and Rollerball Pens

Classic American Style Screw Cap Fountain and Rollerball Pens at Woodcraft.

At last, classic American style pens with a cap that screws on and off! No more fussing with the delicate adjustments necessary for the perfect fit on “snap” style fountain and rollerball pen kits. These kits use threaded, press fit components, so your cap “screws on” to protect the pen mechanism when not in use. With the exception of the screw cap, these pens are identical to our regular classic American style pens. Now these classically styled pens can be made even more eye-catching with the addition of spider web filigrees.


  • Naturally beautiful spider web pattern compliments the lines of the classic American style screw cap pens and makes them even more distinctive
  • Requires a 5/8″ x 5/8″ x 5″ blank, pen mandrel, 3/8″ pen maker’s or brad point bit and American Fountain/Rollerball bushings


Assortment of Western Big Leaf Maple Burl, Spalted and Curly Maple

Assortment of Western Big Leaf Maple Burl, Spalted and Curly Maple


Pen Blanks are available at Vedder Mountain Hardwoods for as little as $19.99 for a set of 20 assorted Maple Burl, Curly Maple and Spalted Maple.



Click here for more Pen Turning Supplies


Jay Mapson of Richmond, British Columbia

Pierced Turning

Pierced Turning


Jay Mapson is an avid woodturner who became interested in the craft only 5 years ago

Since Joining the Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild, Jay’s woodturning has evolved and grown in multiple ways. He has formed friendships with fellow members and frequently meets with them outside of club functions. Recently, he has begun to assist with the club’s woodturning classes – only 3 years after being a student himself.

Lidded Turned Box

Lidded Turned Box


Jay frequently travels internationally, bringing back inspiration in the form of new friends and thousands of pictures. He has incorporated designs and ideas into his turnings from such diverse places as New Zealand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.    



Natural Edge Bowl

Natural Edge Bowl


Jay has recently begun participating in local craft fairs and received rave reviews and invitations to other craft fairs as well as references for some gallery exposure coming in 2009.




Bottle stoppers are a fun and inexpensive project for the wood lathe and are a great way to use up those fancy scraps of wood you’ve been saving.  Precut bottle stopper blanks can also be purchased for very little money and are a great way to get a variety of different turning woods.  


BOTTLE STOPPERS - Various Exotic Woods

BOTTLE STOPPERS - Various Exotic Woods



For this project you can use any type of hardwood, but in my opinion, figured wood, burls and highly detailed woods look the best.  Vedder Mountain Hardwoods has a good supply of figured and spalted maple as well as maple and birch burl available.   

Each stopper consists of three parts. A turning blank which is normally 1 1/2″x1 1/2″x2 1/2″, a 3/8″ piece of hardwood dowel and a stoppers cork with a 3/8″ hole in the center for attaching it to the turned top.  

The tools and equipment needed for turning bottle stoppers are minimal. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • A wood Lathe
  • Tools – a gouge, skew and parting tool
  • A chuck if you have one (otherwise you can turn the bottle stoppers between centers)
  • 3/8″ drill bit
  • Wood turning blanks
  • 3/8″ Hardwood dowel cut to 2 1/2″ 
  • Bottle stopper corks (can be purchased at most wood turning stores)
  • Thick CA glue or epoxy
  • sandpaper in a variety of grits
  • Friction Polish to finish your bottle stopper or Tung Oil works as well  


One you have all your materials, you can begin by cutting your blank to just a hair longer than the size of your finished bottle stopper. Next you can mark the center of your blank on each end.  Then you’ll need to drill a 3/8″hole in one end 3/4″deep.  Insert some glue into the hole and tap the dowel into the blank with a hammer or mallet.  Don’t worry about the dowel being to long… once the bottle stopper is finished, you’ll trim it to the right length to apply the cork.

Insert the dowel end of the blank into the chuck leaving 3/4″ of the dowel exposed (the 3/4″ is the part of the dowel that will be glued into the cork and you want to avoid damaging it in the chuck). Then bring the tailstock up and tighten it into place.

You can also turn these bottle stoppers between centers.  Tap the spur center into the marked end of turning blank using a mallet and insert it into the headstock.  Then bring the tailstock up and center it on the tip of the dowel and tighten it into place.  

Next you start turning just as you would with any other project. Be sure and keep your tools good and sharp while turning your bottle stopper and take your time … if you have a tool catch it may ruin your blank by snapping the dowel.  

After you’ve finishing turning your piece, you can start your sanding.  I recommend sanding up to 800 grit for a nice glossy finish.  Now you’re ready to apply your finish.  I like Crystal Caot frition polish as it’s easy to apply on the lathe and dries very quickly.  Another great finish is tung oil, but you’ll need to apply several coats to get a really glossy finish.  

You can now remove your bottle stopper from the lathe.  Measure the length of your cork to the dowel and make a mark. Trim off the extra dowel.  Once you’ve done this apply a small amount of glue to the wide end of the cork base and inside the hole in the cork.  Quickly slide the cork over the dowel until it’s snug against the bottom of the bottle stopper. When the glue has completely dried you can clean up the end of the dowel by touching it gently on a belt sander until it’s nice and even with the cork.

Bottle stoppers make wonderful unique gifts for Christmas or any occasion. They’re also a best seller at craft fairs if you want to turn for some extra money.

Happy Turning 🙂

Spalted maple has to be one of the most beautiful woods available for both wood turners and luthiers.  It’s unique characteristics make each piece a treasure.    


Spalted Maple Guitar Top Bookmatched Set

Spalted Maple Guitar Top Bookmatched Set


What is spalted maple?

Spalted maple is created when the wood is infected by a variety of fungi.  Each unique fungus creates a different effect in the wood during the natural process of decay. If the wood is caught and processed at the right time, before it gets soft and punky, it can create a stunning mosaic of light and dark areas most often bordered by dark lines (inklines).  This provides a striking visual contrast.

Is spalted maple foodsafe?

After researching this topic in great length… this is what I found.  If the wood is kiln dried, the fungi will go dormant or die.  As long as you apply a durable foodsafe finish to your turning, the wood should be foodsafe. However, after having said that, I could not find any research with a solid conclusion either way.  I also could not find any reported illnesses from using spalted wood in this manner. The only cautions I could find regarding the use of spalted wood were workshop related. The dust from the spalted maple and the warm damp climate of your lungs make for an ideal breeding ground for the fungi to come back to life.  When you’re cutting any kind of spalted wood, please protect your lungs and use a respirator mask for your own health.

Here’s a list of some foodsafe finishes you may want to try:

Pure Tung Oil.  Tung oil comes from the nut of the china wood tree. Requires many coats and provides good water-resistance. 

Walnut Oil.  This oil is pressed from the nuts of the walnut tree and is sold as a salad oil in health food stores or grocery stores.  It’s easy to apply but requires frequent reapplication.

Mineral Oil.  This oil is available for sale as a laxative in drug stores and as a wood finish in hardware stores. It’s simple to apply but requires frequent reapplication and is not very water resistant.

Beeswax. This wax can be mixed with an oil like lavender to create a pleasant smelling finish. This smells great but is not very water resistant.

Carnauba Wax. This wax is from the Brazilian palm tree. It’s a harder wax than beeswax and a little more water resistant.

Shellac.  Harvested in India, shellac is a secretion from the lac bug. The most waterresistant variety is super blond shellac in flake form and can be found in most hardware stores and woodworking catalogs.

Raw Linseed Oil. This oil is pressed from flax seeds. It has a very long curing time and low water resistance. Linseed oil also requires frequent reapplication.


Spalted Maple Bookmatched Set

Spalted Maple Bookmatched Set


Quality spalted maple can be very expensive and is getting harder and harder to find.  Vedder Mountain Hardwoods has a good supply of both turning blocks in spalted curly maple and spalted maple guitar tops available. You can purchase direct through their website or from their eBay store.

This is part 3 of turning an Icicle Christmas Ornament. It covers turning the head of the ornament.