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Engraved rollerball and fountain pens

A former colleague of mine spotted my pens and wanted 30 chairman style pens to give to clients and personnel. Most of these pens were chrome plated roller balls, but I also made a few gold plated ones. I’m not a big fan of fountain pens as my handwriting looks a lot like chicken scratches but I have to admit these kits look amazing.
I used olive wood for most of the pens and wengé and some hardwood for the personal pens. These last ones were not only engraved with the company logo, but also with a name. As an extra twist the engraving was filled with metal powder in a color matching the pen kit.

As always with these types of projects the volume presents some challenges. I learned a few new things making these.

A good drill press is essential

Drilling 60 pre-cut blanks takes a while and you need a good tool to do it. Since these need to be drilled in end grain and the bits are pretty big, they will heat up (as will the drill motor!). Pre drilling with a smaller bit helps a lot in this department. I ended up drilling a shallow hole with the correct bit, changing to a smaller bit to drill through and finally making another pass with the correct bit. This way you ensure the final hole is exactly where you want it.

Extra’s needed

Another side effect of the large number of blanks to drill is mr Murphy. Things will go wrong, some blanks cracked beyond repair or slipped during drilling. Others fell apart during turning (due to a bad glue up). So preparing extra blanks and even having a pen kit or 2 extra is a must. 

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