How to make a Pen

I am not sure how to start this post, but as you already know Mandy has said that I have been trying new hobbies, one being pen making.

I started by buying acrylic blanks from my local Axminster store, wood was not a problem as I have plenty of exotic wood for knife handles. I decided after watching the pen makers in America making their own blanks that I would have a go. I bought some resin and used some embossing powder for colouring (In the US they use pearl-ex pigment powder), a plastic tub for a mould and made my pen blank.


The results wasn’t too bad for a first attempt.

I then drilled the blanks and epoxy the 7mm brass tube into them. Next they were placed on the Lathe for turning using a pen mandrel to hold them in place

After a bit of turning i checked the blank to see how it looked. I decided to add a couple of beads as I didn’t want to get too thin. I used bushes to help as a guide to the diameter of the ends and then calipered them to the correct size of the pen nib and top. You can buy the correct bushes for the pen kit you are making but I find that would be expensive. Better to buy a good pair of calipers and just use the bushes as a guide.

Once I was happy with the shape, the next thing was to sand and polish the blank. I start at 120 grit to get rid of any scratches,  then 240, 320, 600 and then I clean the blank ready for the micro mesh and blemish cream. I get a bowl of water and soak the micro mesh in the water to keep them cool I go through every grit from 1500 to 12000 for a mirror finish.

Then the assembly begins, the kit I chose was the standard twist pen kit, they are cheap and easy to play around with the style.

Another thing I tried was to take 4 pieces of Corian epoxy them together and then cut them into sections. Turn each section a quarter turn and then epoxy them back together again.

they were then drilled and the brass tubes epoxy into the blanks, you can use CA (Super Glue) if you prefer but I find I get a better join with epoxy, 2 packs for a quid in the pound shop goes a long way.

Turned on the lathe and then sanded and burnished it came out very well. A lot of the US pen makers use HUT plastic polish for their acrylic pen finish but I haven’t tried it yet.

Happy turning…


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