Now that you know how to make a basic pen, it’s time to discuss how we can add a little extra bling. Personally I like the elegance of a simple design in a pen, but there are many options if you would like to try something different.
side note: these examples are merely to show techniques. they aren’t made to look beautiful and aren’t finished to a high degee. Some pictures will have some dust or paper particles in them.
Like I mentioned in the overview, there are many tools for pen turners. Some are optional, but useful, others are needed. let’s start with the basic tools first. Obviously I’ll assume you are using a lathe as this is a tutorial series for beginning pen turners. Any lathe will do and if you aren’t sure what to get I suggest starting with a mini (second hand) lathe. once you know what type of projects you enjoy making, you can upgrade it. this is true for several other tools and equipment as well. you’ll see in the pictures that I’ve started with a cheap set of turning tools and upgraded the ones I used most often. The same goes for the safety equipment, you can start with a full face mask and a throw away dust mask. But do start with a full face shield! Safety glasses are not enough!
In the first part of this series I’ll show you all the steps involved into making a basic slimline pen. I’m using this as the kits are the easiest to find and make. The parts you have to make are identical so this keeps it nice and simple. Some other pens have different tube sizes or lengths or might require a different radius between the start of the tube and end.
Please inform yourself on how your power tools work or seek out instruction on the basics of wood turning. Accidents do happen and you are responsible for your own safety.
A slimline pen kit (and many others) consist of the following parts: