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Thread: Corn Cob Letter Opener

  1. #1

    Corn Cob Letter Opener

    I submit to you, a corn cob letter opener:


    It wasn't all that difficult to turn, but I did learn a big lesson, you can't turn them wet! This cob has been drying about a year now, it worked great. To turn it you first cut it to blank size, then drill out the "pith". I glue in the tubes with CA glue, seems to work the best for corn cobs.

    The stuff turns REALLY easy, but normally it comes out fuzzy. So once I get it within about a 1/16th of final dimensions, I will use some CA glue to firm it up. I cut off the CA glue and then use the BLO/CA finish, to fill in the gaps and give a nice shine.

    Here is a close up of just the cob:


    Thanks for looking, I enjoy your comments!
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hey Jeff, that's pretty sweet....Or was it just regular field corn?! Looks really cool, regardless. I may have to try that one of these days. Hmmmm....I still have a lathe, don't I?
    Cheers,
    John K. Miliunas

    Cannot find REALITY.SYS. Universe halted.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Very KEWEL, Jeff.

    I never would of thunk about that in a gajillion years. I have never seen anything like that. Is it because I don't get out much anymore? Wonder if that would have a market as a novelty around here or Iowa?
    Creeker Visits. They're the best.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John Miliunas
    Hey Jeff, that's pretty sweet....Or was it just regular field corn?! Looks really cool, regardless. I may have to try that one of these days. Hmmmm....I still have a lathe, don't I?
    Hey John,

    Yep just regular old field corn. I am not up on my corn types, but there are two different colored cobs, one that is white and one that is more red. The white looks great dyed, the red looks like the above.

    Thanks for the comments, if you ever do get that lathe fired up, let me know, I will bring over a couple of cobs for it!
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Laustrup
    Very KEWEL, Jeff.

    I never would of thunk about that in a gajillion years. I have never seen anything like that. Is it because I don't get out much anymore? Wonder if that would have a market as a novelty around here or Iowa?
    Karl,

    I would think that it would have a market, I may just have to look into that. I can not take credit for the idea, it seems like a pen has been made out of EVERYTHING possible these days. However, I have not seen too many made this way.

    Jeff
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Outstanding, Jeff!! Everytime I see one of these corncob things, I'm just amazed at how interesting they turn out.
    “Never raise your hands to your children, it leaves your groin unprotected.” - Red Buttons

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  7. #7
    Jim, Thanks! Yeah, I really like it too... almost so much that I don't want to give it away! As you look at it more and more you see more and more natural details.

    Anyway, they have to have Corn in PA, you should try one... just make sure you let it dry first
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  8. #8
    Looks good Jeff. I bought a bag of corn cobs from the feed store but they're still sitting on the floor next to the lathe. My chicken does like the corn that fell off! One day I'll get brave and give it a try. Again, the letter opener came out really nice!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by David Fried
    Looks good Jeff. I bought a bag of corn cobs from the feed store but they're still sitting on the floor next to the lathe. My chicken does like the corn that fell off! One day I'll get brave and give it a try. Again, the letter opener came out really nice!
    David, good luck! Just don't give up! I blew up about 5 of them before I got a process that works for me. The key seems to be not turning down too far, without using CA as a hardener. The CA bulk buy will be a more common affair for me if I keep turning these
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  10. #10
    I turn quite a few corn cob pens.. mostly Cigar and Perfect Fit convertables... one of the big things to getting a real nice pen is to look at the pith area.. you want that to be just a tiny bit bigger than the tubes... if it is too big you will lose the nice figure of the kernals..
    I have some cobs being professionally stabilized and can't wait to see what comes from them.... YEAH, I know sounds like a dumb idea, but I was getting some other stuff done at the same time, so why not... LOL
    Here in Western Maryland, I can't keep them in stock at my craft booth... they sell as fast as I make them... Here is one of mine
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tom Mullane; 03-04-2005 at 2:46 PM.
    Tom Mullane
    Hagerstown, MD
    If you work with your hands you are a laborer
    If you work with your hands and head you are a craftsmwn
    If you work with your hands, head and heart you are an artist

  11. #11
    Jeff


    Good lookin' stuff! I've turned a couple of corn cob pens, with some tips from Tom. I know what you mean about soft. They were easy to turn. Thanks for sharing pics.
    Keel McDonald ><>

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mullane
    I have some cobs being professionally stabilized and can't wait to see what comes from them.... YEAH, I know sounds like a dumb idea, but I was getting some other stuff done at the same time, so why not... LOL
    Hey Tom,

    Let me know how they turn out! I would be interested in trying some of the home stabalization methods if you get good results.

    Thanks!

    Jeff
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Jeff- Nice work! Like the others, I have always been fascinated by anything turned from natural products (other than wood).

    Here locally, I saw a pen turned from tobacco leaves laminated/stacked in 1" x 1" square blanks. Very wild!

    Seems just about anything can be turned into a pen if you've got the imagination to get it into a form that will take the tubes.

    I saw where you said the cobs were drying for a year... I'd like to try this but don't know if I could wait a year!

    Again, nice work
    Mark


    "Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie" until you can find a rock."
    Will Rogers

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hulette

    Seems just about anything can be turned into a pen if you've got the imagination to get it into a form that will take the tubes.

    I saw where you said the cobs were drying for a year... I'd like to try this but don't know if I could wait a year!

    Again, nice work
    Mark,

    For sure! I have seen pens made from blue jeans and from snake skin! There are a lot of people, with a lot of imagination!

    About the drying time.... Shh.... if you find a farm around... they probably have some that have been laying around for a year, or more! The older the better. I actually did dry the one for this one for a year, but the others I have done were collected from an old building on my uncle's farm.
    Jeff Sudmeier

    "It's not the quality of the tool being used, it's the skills of the craftsman using the tool that really matter. Unfortunately, I don't have high quality in either"

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Sudmeier
    Mark,
    ... but the others I have done were collected from an old building on my uncle's farm.
    Next to the still?

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