Poor man's pen. AKA BIC pen

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Blog entry by nayo posted 173 days ago 944 reads 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So many people asked us for pens but when we give them the price, they dont like it at all. they dont know that we have to import all those parts and thats pricey(for us living here) then the S&H and then the duty which here is 15%.

so we decided to do BIC pens, we had done some before but the process of drilling the holes was a mess, i could not get the proper bit, then i got one but the centering of the blanks was a nightmare, some came off center and you noticed till turning them.

so with my dad we decided to do this:

They are 3/8×3/4 pieces that we pass through the saw, this gives us a 1/8 channel that its enough for the ink barrel but not for the tip, we fixed that at a later step.

we glue these two part and we obtain a 3/4×3/4 piece with a perfectly center hole in it.
we use some space designed bicycle tube to joint and press the two pieces together, it seems to work because so far i have not any single piece fail at the lathe.

one problem that we had was that the glue will sip into the hole and will make hard to insert the pen tube, dad then designed a USB glue cleaner cable that he put in the channel before gluing them and then once they were pressed he moves back and for the cable thus cleaning all the glue off it. perfect!

then back to the drill press, as the saw did not gave us the exact width for the pen tip, i used a 5/32 bit to just drill the tip of the blank so we dont have to force it, that way its easy to replace the ink.

then the fun part, to the lathe

for this order, they asked to put their name on them, i did this on the lathe so i can apply the sealer while still on it, as the wood burning pen does not work that well on sealed surfaces,

after applying the sealer, i cut the ends in the scrollsaw, put a skewer rod on the open top end, glue it and cut it, then a little of sanding and to give them some satin can finishing.

rinse and repeat.
if something its not clear, please let me know. if you all speak Spanish this will be easier!



6 comments so far

View Dallas's profile


2861 posts in 1111 days

#1 posted 173 days ago

Outstanding work!

It follows my motto exactly….. see below.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Thewoodman2000's profile


526 posts in 594 days

#2 posted 172 days ago

Great job on the post and nice work on the process to provide them with pens!!!

-- (the only thing in there she says is...... saw dust) - James

View MrsN's profile


939 posts in 2149 days

#3 posted 172 days ago

Very cool!!! I have wanted to do BIC pens with my students, this is an excellent tutorial on an interesting way to to them!
Thanks for the inspiration!

-- ----- ----- --

View NormG's profile


4088 posts in 1627 days

#4 posted 172 days ago

What a really great idea, thank you for sharing

-- Norman

View CFrye's profile


2789 posts in 463 days

#5 posted 171 days ago

Great tutorial Nayo! One day I’ll get up to speed and learn how to turn. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View clieb91's profile


3263 posts in 2558 days

#6 posted 163 days ago

Nayo, Thanks for sharing this is a great way to do some inexpensive pens.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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