Author Topic: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)  (Read 4241 times)

Offline AndyT

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2016, 07:33:16 AM »
Andy, I'm afraid a photo would be useless, since you really can't see anything.

I was just wondering what it's made of.  There are some woods which have unpleasant odours, but more to the point some are more susceptible to fungal infestations than others.  I think I'd want to sort this out ASAP - there'll probably be some sort of powder type fungicide available.

On the other hand, you wouldn't have this trouble with a classy plastic holder ... like mine!   ;D

Offline Scarlet Blue

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2016, 11:03:23 AM »
God, I'd buy that, Andy... but, I don't use obliques  :-[

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2016, 11:09:10 AM »
That is brilliant!

And can be made Sterile! (for those note taking sessions during surgery)
Check out my steel pen history blog
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Offline sybillevz

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2016, 12:12:19 PM »
Oh oooh, that is genius Andy !!

Offline Heebs

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2016, 12:59:59 PM »
Melanie is most likely correct :/ Sounds like liquid got into the slot and absorbed. However if it's a glued in flange that would be odd unless it was exposed to quite a bit of water.

Offline Mike A

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2016, 04:51:09 PM »
Andy:  that's a champion job lad... true Yorkshire economy :)

Offline YokePenCo

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2016, 09:28:43 PM »
My guess without seeing the pen is it is a wood with a fungus. Wood such as spalted maple has a fungus which kills the tree and will become "punky" smelling. The only way to kill the order is to completely encase the wood with a sealer. Typically this is achieved with stabilizing the pen.

I have a stabilizing setup and could help if you aren't able to get the smell out yourself. :)
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Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2016, 02:06:42 AM »
My guess without seeing the pen is it is a wood with a fungus. Wood such as spalted maple has a fungus which kills the tree and will become "punky" smelling. The only way to kill the order is to completely encase the wood with a sealer. Typically this is achieved with stabilizing the pen.

I have a stabilizing setup and could help if you aren't able to get the smell out yourself. :)
Thanks, Chris. I sent it to the craftsman who made it and he'll take a look (or a smell).
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Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2016, 08:30:35 AM »
As an up and coming pen maker, and avid woodworker, I am very interested in this issue.

When I drill the hole for my straight holders, I insert a brass tube with sufficient epoxy to completely seal any open wood. However, I have not done this with my obliques. I use a Zanerian style flange, so the slot is not sealed when the flange is installed. I wonder if it might be worth the effort to drizzle a small amount of CA in the slot, then recut it when its hard. Sort of a simple stabilizing technique.

It may only be an issue with certain woods. Some woods, including many from the tropical climes, are very rot resistant. While others can be affected very quickly. A few North American timbers such as maple, can sucumbe to this if left in damp contact. This spalting (rotting) effect can have some beautiful results, however once it has started, it must be dried and sealed, or it will quickly continue.

Woodworking is a hobby in which you never stop learning. I am looking forward to here the results of tis investigation.
Darrin McArthur
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Offline melanie jane

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2016, 09:15:31 AM »
Darrin, I make penholders as well, but at the moment I've stuck with gluing flanges, partly to avoid this problem.  I have recently been considering making pens with removable flanges and have been considering ways of waterproofing that hole....I'm wondering whether a couple of bursts of polyurethane varnish sprayed directly into the hole would do the trick?
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2016, 09:22:16 AM »
My guess without seeing the pen is it is a wood with a fungus. Wood such as spalted maple has a fungus which kills the tree and will become "punky" smelling. The only way to kill the order is to completely encase the wood with a sealer. Typically this is achieved with stabilizing the pen.

I have a stabilizing setup and could help if you aren't able to get the smell out yourself. :)
Would putting the wood in a warm oven, say 250-275 for a few hours kill the mold?

Offline darrin1200

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2016, 08:43:44 AM »
Would putting the wood in a warm oven, say 250-275 for a few hours kill the mold?

I am not an expert on mold, but from what I understand, is that tne mold will stop growing once it is cleaned and thourougly dried. However, unless it is sealed, it will start again once the cinditions return.

Darrin, I make penholders as well, but at the moment I've stuck with gluing flanges, partly to avoid this problem.  I have recently been considering making pens with removable flanges and have been considering ways of waterproofing that hole....I'm wondering whether a couple of bursts of polyurethane varnish sprayed directly into the hole would do the trick?

I don't think you would have a lot of success, spraying into the slot. But if you were to get a small can of wipe on polyurethane, you could put a light coat inside using a piece of paper as an applicator. My concern is damaging the finish, as I normally apply the finish before removing the holder from the lathe.

I have not tried a spray on finish, would you recommend a spray lacquer or a spray poly.
Darrin McArthur
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Offline melanie jane

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Re: Help: My penholder stinks (literally)
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2016, 08:57:09 AM »

I don't think you would have a lot of success, spraying into the slot. But if you were to get a small can of wipe on polyurethane, you could put a light coat inside using a piece of paper as an applicator. My concern is damaging the finish, as I normally apply the finish before removing the holder from the lathe.

I have not tried a spray on finish, would you recommend a spray lacquer or a spray poly.

If you finish whilst still on the lathe, then no, spray varnish/lacquer isn't the way to go.  But a coat of polyurethane varnish applied with a very fine brush may be an option.  I think the order in which to do things is one of the main issues I have faced in trying to streamline my process. 
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