I had a cool idea a few weeks ago after seeing some great mammoth tooth pen blanks. What if I put something cool in my casting resin blanks that would make them unique? I've already made great pen blanks and pens out of pine cones, acorn caps, colored pencils, and sweet gum pods so why not take it up a notch?
I set out to find some shark teeth and after a bit of time on eBay, sourced 30 dark black shark teeth from creatures ranging in age from 5 million to 25 million years old.
Using a tube-in Sierra pen kit mold, I filled the bottom with teeth, put in a green painted pen tube, and then filled the sides and top with more teeth.
Next, I filled the mold with Alumilite casting resin and set the mold to cure in my pressure pot at 50psi and left it overnight. The result was a really funky looking blank that I was hesitant to turn.
First, shark teeth (or any sort of bone, antler, horn, or fossil/stone) are very hard compared to wood and resin blanks. Luckily I use a carbide tip on my lathe tool and I thought it should be able to handle the shark teeth fine. And it did.
The process was light touches and slow going, as I didn't want to catch on a hard piece of tooth and then dig into a piece of adjacent resin; that's exactly how I usually get blank blow-outs. So I took my time and ended up doing a lot of sanding towards the end as I got closer and closer to the tube.
Since this was going on a Sierra clone, a Gatsby pen kit, I thought I'd leave the pen blank in the typical torpedo shape, where it is a little thicker in the center but tapers down to the bushings near the nib and cap area.
The results, after a lot of sanding, micromesh, and multiple CA finishing layers, was outstanding. You can see the finished pen here: Shark Tooth Pen
I've upped my game with another 6 tube set of shark teeth, this time sourced from someone else and using light brown/white Moroccan shark teeth instead of the black teeth like before.
Also this time, I didn't wait as long for the casting resin to set up before mixing the blue and white together with the teeth. This left this second batch a little more mixed and the colors not quite as separated. I'm honestly not sure which effect I like better.
In any case, if you would like to turn your own shark tooth blank, I have my extras available here: Shark Tooth Pen Blanks
PS, after I wrapped up my project, I have since found others that have done shark teeth blanks, too. And I've even seen some shark vertebrae blanks. So I guess my teeth idea wasn't as original as I thought. But in any case, it was a fun discovery project for me, even if not 100% original.