Pen Turning Addiction

April 22, 2010 by
Filed under: Articles 

I’m going to blame this on my father-in-law, Roger. He told me that he just got a lathe and all the components to start turning pens. Later that week, the family and I headed down to visit the in-laws. I decided to stop at Woodcraft and pick up a pen kit so I could turn myself a pen while we were down there.  After looking at all the different supplies, I decided to wait.

When we got there, Roger showed me a couple of slimline pens that he made. I thought they were pretty cool and really wanted to turn one for myself. After lunch we decided to head back to Woodcraft, Roger needed to pick up a couple of things and I wanted to check out the pen supplies a little more. While at Woodcraft, I decided to get the supplies so I could turns some pens at my house. I spent about $150 and got everything I needed to get started, I already had the lathe and tools.

I turned the first pen a couple of days later, it was a sierra style pen. I made it out of Padulk. Well, I actually made it 3 times. After I assembled it with the hardware I knew that I didn’t turn it down far enough, it just looked to fat on the hardware. So I took it back apart and put it back on the lathe to turn it down some more. This time, it was just right, but I wasn’t happy with the finish. Mel Bryan (a fellow guild member) showed me how he finished his pens with CA. So my first pen came back apart for the second time so I could apply a CA finish and I was finally happy, it had a nice shine.

I turned my first pen January 25, 2010. It is now the middle of April and my pen count is at 115. A couple of things that I like about turning pens, is that it doesn’t take a long time to finish a pen. I can put my girls to bed, head to the garage and turn a couple of pens before I call it a night. They also make beautiful gifts. I’ve have made three fountain pens, but I really like the look and feel for the Sierra style pens. I’ve turned wood, acrylics, corncob and deer antlers. I think my favorite thing to turn is the deer antler, it’s exciting for me to see what colors you get when you turn the antler down.


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