Juniper pen and pencil set with box

Every month, the Santa Fe Reporter has a drawing with a prize or prizes given to Friends of the Santa Fe Reporter (those who donate to help keep the paper running). I donate regularly, and often enter the drawings, but haven’t been a winner so far. But I decided it would be nice to give something, so I emailed Julie Ann Grimm and asked if she’d be interested in a pen and pencil set for a future giveaway at the Reporter. She thought that would be a great idea, and we tentatively settled on next January for when they’ll be given away.

The pen and pencil were made with a piece of juniper near the boundary between the reddish heartwood and the creamy sapwood. I think it makes for a fairly striking looking pen.  I oriented the boundary on the two similarly, so they really look like a set.

The box is also made from juniper that shows both heartwood and sapwood, but the top of the box is made from some of the Indian “cherry” pallet wood I got, which seems to work well with the juniper.

The bits of wood which hold the pen and pencil within the box are removable, so the box can be reused if the recipient wishes.

The pen and pencil are finished with a homemade friction finish of shellac and tung oil. The box is finished with tung oil, shellac, and varnish oil.

I’m planning to do another pen as well, with a matching box, but that will be a separate post.

May you have the day you deserve!


Those pens and pencil sets in the display boxes are a generous donation for a worthy cause.  Beautifully built and finished.

daveg, SW Washington & AZ

beautiful sets dave. love the richness of juniper. 

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Nicely done! I’m sure it’ll be highly appreciated. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Nice work,Dave

Cheers, Jim ........................ Variety is the spice of life...............Learn something new every day

Awesome set and a great way to support your local business!
Nice box for some good looking writing instruments.  


a real nice giveaway gift Dave you are very kind GR8 JOB  😍😎👍


Thanks, guys. Hopefully it’ll bring in some more donations to keep local journalism healthy.

May you have the day you deserve!

very nice.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - and

Kudos on staying connected with this local newspaper and a nicely done giveaway. How's juniper to work with?
From someone in the print world I applaud your efforts to support local journalism and keeping print alive. Great work Dave.
Tom, thanks. I figure it’s pretty important, and I have three journalism orgs in NM I’m supporting already. I’ll probably be adding a few more in the next year.

Juniper (at least the Rocky Mountain Juniper I’ve got) is somewhat brittle. I end up spending some time fixing up cracks in almost any that I work with, and the sawdust is an irritant and sets off my allergies. Once I finish up the batch I’ve got on hand, I probably won’t go out of my way to harvest and mill any more of it. Eastern Red Cedar is related closely enough that they’ll hybridize, so if you’ve worked with that, you’ll have a pretty good idea.

May you have the day you deserve!


Well thought out and great execution.

I like the donation idea.


Very appropriate prizes Dave, I applaud your civic mindedness and ability to make cool stuff!
Nice pens and gorgeous case! Great job, Dave!

No name noobie here

Really nice work Dave, somebody is going to have a great accessory to their desk in January. 
Thanks, guys! One of these days I might sell a pen. I guess. Meanwhile, I’ll keep giving them away.

May you have the day you deserve!

Very generous donation Dave, it looks like you did a wonderful job on the entire set.

.................. John D....................

Good colored wood to use for these. Good job.

Now I now: "You are the real Santa".  Nice box and pens!