Makers of Fine Wands Since 2007
Caring for Your Wooden Pen
Wood is a living thing. It responds to its surroundings, especially moisture or dryness, and heat or cold. Wood expands in hot or humid conditions, and contracts in cold or dry conditions. We handcraft our pens throughout the year, in the American Midwest. We maintain a fairly even temperature and humidity in our workshops throughout the year, however if your conditions vary significantly from ours, the wood in your pen may react to those changes. Because wood is such a reactive material, it should be protected from extremes in temperature and humidity. This will prevent cracking due to differences in the way the wood and metal components of your pen react to extremes. The single most effective step in taking care of your pen is to bring it inside when you get to the office or home. Do not leave your pen in the car, especially in summer or winter. Wooden pens, like fine furniture, need to be nurished regularly to prevent excessive drying. The best treatment for your wooden pen is oil. Often, the oil from your hands will be enough to nourish the wood and impart a rich patina over the years. However, you may want to add to your pen's protection by oiling it with a non-spoiling oil, such as boiled linseed oil, teak oil, or walnut oil. Linseed oil tends to yellow over time. With many woods, this is either invisible or adds a warmth to the wood. Teak oil maintains the wood's natural color better than linseed oil. Walnut oil is best reserved for dark woods. If you use Teak oil, be sure it is not "pure" teak oil, since pure teak oil does not cure. Similarly, you want the product sold as boiled linseed oil, not pure linseed oil. Any furniture oil is also fine to use. Other oils will also be fine to use on your pen, as long as they do not turn rancid. This leaves out most cooking oils. Wandcrafters does not recommend using cooking oils on your pen. If you need to clean your wooden pen, mild soap and water such as a drop of diswashing liquid in a cup of water will be fine. You can also clean your pen with a mild oil or grease remover or, in extreme cases, with mineral spirits. If you must scrub off caked-on dirt, use a green or white scrubbing pad of the kind sold to clean Teflon coated cookware. Scrub "with the grain", usually back and forth from nib to cap. Do not scrub the metal hardware of your pen - it will scratch. Be sure to oil the pen afterwards to add back in the moisture that cleaning removes. Oil will not hurt the metal components, but wipe off the pen after ten minutes, so that the oil does not become tacky. Wood is photo-reactive. In most cases, exposure to sunlight over time darkens the wood. Sometimes this makes the original figure or grain in the wood harder to detect, but more often, the deepening color adds beauty and depth to the pen. This reaction is normal and cannot be prevented. A few woods lighten rather than darken with sun exposure. You will be interested to see the changes in your pen due to both sun exposure and exposure to the oils in your hand. The patina on your pen's metal parts will likely wear over time. If your pen is made with 24k gold plated parts, that wear will turn the parts to a bright silver color. If your pen is made with titanium, black titanium, nickle, or rhodium, it may never show signs of wear. Your pen will most likely use either a Cross or Parker refill. Cross refills screw into the pen mechanism, whereas Parker refills simply drop in. Quality refills write smoothly and consistently, and will make your pen a joy to use. You may find that you prefer the feel of a Parker refill over a Cross refill, or visa versa. You can try out the feel of those brands at any office supply store. Your preference will affect your selection of pen, as the two refills are not interchangeable. Your pen is a fine work of art, and should be treated as such. With proper care, it will give you many years of writing pleasure. Use it well!