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Avoid the burn, trim slowly

When trimming the ends of a blank with the barrel adhered inside, use minimal pressure and raise and lower the barrel trimmer frequently to prevent the trimmer from burning the end of the blank and darkening or discoloring the wood. Hard, resinous woods, like those of the rosewood family, tend to burn easily if you trim too quickly. Trim for a second or less and back the trimmer out of the hole to check the depth of cut. Don’t drill too deeply and cut into the brass. To avoid injury never hand hold the blanks when trimming and keep the speed below 500 rpm. If you’re having a difficult time viewing the brass barrel in the hole, a magnifying glass works wonders.

Check out some of the tools and supplies in the article with the links below...
Pen Blank Trimming & Cutting
Stabilized Wood Pen Blanks
Hardwood Pen Blanks
Pen Blank Drilling Center Vise