Wood & Other Materials

Wood & Other Materials

This list of woods is some that I use or have used while making my wooden pens and other wooden crafts, I have tried to describe some of them and their properties and include a link to a better technical description and all so to an actual wooden pen.

 This is just my opinion on what I have learned while using these woods over the past fifteen years. The list is work in progress so please be patient with me.


Ash Olive, there seems to be a difference of opinion on what this is depending on where you read but it is figured and just as easy to work with as normal Ash. This Pen is a great example with lots of character.

Beech Spalted is sought after by woodworkers for the figured wood. Sometimes there are black lines and this is the most desirable. The wood can cause problems if not caught at the right time as the fungi eat the wood and make it too weak and punky. This Pen is a good example showing lots of Unique character.

Bubinga is a dense reddish African hardwood (not as red as Paduak) that has tight grain perfect for boxes, turning and pens or accent pieces in any of these.

Buckeye Burl, I haven't linked to a technical description as I can't find one that does it justice. To be usable this wood is impregnated with resin in a vacuum chamber and has one or two dyes added for effect. I have made a stunning Pen with it.

Burl, Burr, Bur is a growth on the side of the tree caused either by insects, disease or fungus. The burr is one of nature's Beauty's s they can produce stunning figure and grain though they will also be the most difficult to work with because of the conflicting grain directions. I have some stunning examples such a the Buckeye above or this Thuya Burr Fountain Pen.

Cherry The Wood is easy to work with and turns a golden colour as it ages. Used a lot in furniture, I tend to use it in conjunction with other woods for Pen turning as there is not much figure to show on something as small as a Pen.

Coolabah Australian woods are hard and this one is no exception although this one is not as dusty as some. The wood has beautiful colours and figure it is also expensive and not available in large quantities. The Wooden Fountain Pen is Stunning.

Cocobolo is a hard, dense oily wood from the rosewood family. Sharp tools are a must then there is no problem working with it. This particular Pen has some unusual colours.

Curly Maple Not a species but a description of the grain of the wood. Figured and a beautiful wood. I have made a few Ballpoint Pens with this Wood.

Elm an open pored hardwood that is darker than oak but not as dark as walnut, the pores will need filling if used for fine furniture. The Elm was once apart of the English countryside but now long gone, I think what we use now comes from America. This is a beautiful Pen Gift Set made with Elm.

Holly is hard to come by and find that has been conditioned well. Because it is so slow growing it is difficult to get in quantity. Dense and white this is used for turning or inlay banding with the American federal period a good example.

Iroko is a coarse grained wood suitable for external use. The Wood Pen is a golden brown colour.

Kingwood Originally called Princes Wood it was used in the 17th century by the French Kings for furniture. It makes a beautiful Pen with nice figure.

Kingwood Mexican As above I think. The Pen


Lignum Vitae 


Lime a soft pale white/cream wood used by woodcarvers. Who would have thought it would make such a beautiful Pen.

Mahogany African is a close relation to Cuban mahogany and one of the three true mahoganies. The mahogany is not hard nor dense and is easy to work with sharp tools and takes a nice finish as on this Slimline Pen.

Masur Birch not a species, this wood is beautiful and one of my all time favourites with the grain, the eyes of the pin holes and chatoyance there is lots going on with this wood. This Wooden Fountain Pen is stunning. 

Oak has been used throughout England for hundreds of years both on land and sea. Lots of the wall panelling in the grand old English houses was Oak, parts of the English Battleships that Lord Nelson commanded where English Oak. Lots of furniture both inside and out has been made with it over the years and still used today. This was also one of the woods favoured by the old craftsmen, although hard it is easy to work with and makes a good Pen.

Oak Tiger

Padauk a beautiful wood a dark red in colour, used by cabinet makers for furniture accents and liked by woodturners it is easy to work with but the open pores can make it hard work for pen turning. This particular pen is nice.

Pau Rosa part of the rosewood family it is colourful and takes a nice finish. It is expensive and hard to get in any quantity. The Fountain Pen made with it is eye catching and Unique.

Pink Ivory a beautiful wood a delicate Salmon Pink in colour. This wood is a fantastic combination with the diamond pattern on this Unique Pen.

Purpleheart a hard wood and hard on the cutting edge of tools this wood can be difficult to work. There are many trees in the species group with not all able to hold the deep purple colour, yes the wood is a natural purple. I like this wood and have made lots of different style pens with it, I will link to a favourite but maybe you should try searching for "purple" to see what  is current.

Thuya Burr is one of my favourite woods for pen turning with so much figure and character, the colours and figure on this particular Fountain Pen are stunning. The wood is hard and can be difficult to work.


Walnut American Black is a dark coloured hardwood with a nice figure, it is also easy to work with and finishes well. Here is an American Black Walnut Pen.