Sunday, February 3, 2013

A New Rollerball

Woodcraft came out with a new higher end rollerball kit a few weeks ago. I was successfully able to get the last five in my store. This is their 'Metro' kit.  I am very happy with it. Although it is pricier, the external pieces are all metal. The only plastic component is threaded insert on the cap.  Aligning the grain between the  cap and the body can be difficult, but done right really adds to the appearance.  They right nice (as you would expect a rollerball) and the concave feel of the pen nip fits into the grip of your hand quite nicely.  The bonus of this kit is that the cap will screw on the the back side of the body so that it isn't loose on the desk as you write.  This also adds some weight to the pen when writing which is another bonus for me.

The concave nib makes this pen comfortable in my hand

Black & White Metro Rollerball Pen

Here you can see that the cap attaches to the opposite end of the body.  A definite plus in my book for this style.

The flowing grain of the Black & White Ebony is quite mesmerizing.

Black & White Ebony

The first pen is a Black & White Ebony.  I still really like this wood. The contrasting colors and flowing grain is so much fun to look at. I had a bit of trouble with this one because the blanks I bought are on the small side. It made turning these a bit tricky as there just wasn't a lot of wiggle room. I blew up one blank coring it out for the tubes.  But the second try was successful and it is beautiful. This particular pen has a standard Carnuba Wax finish

Black and white ebony (Diospyros embryopteris) is an exotic wood with color that will vary, usually uniformly black with light-colored bands, pale to medium brown zones, or with marked contrast between almost white and black wood. The wood has a fine texture with mostly straight grain. A rare find. The wood is exceptionally dense and strong. It comes from Southeast Asia and Laos.


This next pen is made from Tamboti. Tamboti wood, or African Sandalwood, is a beautiful wood harvested in southern Africa. Due to demand and deforestation, Tamboti wood is not available in high quantities. The Tamboti tree's heart wood is a dark brown color, dissected by darker longitudinal streaks that create striking markings on the wood. Tamboti is regarded by some as the most beautiful African hardwood.
Tamboti Metro Rollerball Pen

Tamboti Metro Rollerball Pen

I have only made a few pens from Tamboti in the past. I had this blank sitting in the drawer.  After my experience chunking out the Black & White Ebony, I wanted to make sure that my starting blank was wider than the ebony. This was just staring me in the face.  The medium brown grain of this pen is relatively straight with a mild contrast.  It is not as flamboyant as the Black & White Ebony. It has more of a 'I have been in the End Zone before' kind of elegance to it. This pen does have the more durable CA glue finish.


At the request of someone at work, I made a pen from Purpleheart.  Since I had a bag of Purpleheart blanks in the drawer, I would give it a try.This pen has very straight grains and is a soft pink-purple in color. This pen does have the more durable CA glue finish.

Purpleheart Metro Rollerball Pen

Purpleheart Metro Rollerball Pen
Purpleheart is a tropical hardwood that comes from Central American and Northern South America where the tall and large trees grow abundantly, sometimes reaching a diameter of five feet.  Depending on where you are in the world, this wood could also be called amaranth, violetwood, tananeo or saka.  This wood may darken with age. If so, it will go toward the purple spectrum.


Bubinga Metro Rollerball Pen

Bubinga Metro Rollerball Pen with black leatherette case

Bubinga Metro Rollerball Pen
I just like saying 'Bubinga'. It is fun to say. Side by side, it looks a bit like the Purpleheart with its soft pink color.It is a few shades lighter. The grain has more 'rays' to it than the Purpleheart. Both provide a nice contrast to the gold finish of the pen.. Bubinga does darken with age toward the red spectrum. This pen has the Carnuba wax finish.

Bubinga wood can be an amazingly wavy-figured exotic wood, sought by guitar makers and small box builders alike... often referred to as African Rosewood, although technically NOT from the rosewood family. The Bubinga tree can grow to heights of up to 100' and 3' in diameter and grows mostly in parts of West Africa, Cameroon and surrounding nations.

The Black & Ebony is $65. The Bubinga, Tamboti and Purpleheart are $60. If interested, please use the contact information found in the about me or contact section of the blog.

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