First Inlay pens

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Project by epp_dog posted 05-25-2009 01:42 AM 2104 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These were my first attempts at inlay pens (moonscape and herringbone). The kits were from Kallenshaan woods. They went together nicely and the finished product is wonderful. I will probably make several more of Ken’s kits. The best advice with these is to take your time and sharpen the skew often.

-- David, Florida

11 comments so far

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 3857 days

#1 posted 05-25-2009 02:13 AM

Very nice pens, I love those inlay kits and have wanted to try one but don’t want to mess one up! :-)

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3456 days

#2 posted 05-25-2009 02:30 AM

Beautifull! Never saw inlay this small before.

Great job.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4353 days

#3 posted 05-25-2009 02:31 AM

i was at a loss for words… oh, it’s a kit. never seen those – very cool. Nicely done.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View epp_dog's profile


58 posts in 3439 days

#4 posted 05-25-2009 02:38 AM

I know the kits seem a bit expensive but Ken cuts them with a laser so everything really fits tightly. The only problem I had was with the Saturn Rings. They were too large for the “planet” so as I was sanding them they snapped. I glued them back together but there the seam is still visible. I will try to take more pictures when I start working on the American flag kit I also bought. Just gluing together the moonscape took me several nights.

A good friend helped me get the courage to turn these. She said “what is the worst that can happen?” Well, the worst is that I destroy a $50 pen blank (moonscape – herringbone is from his “economy” line). It would hurt but the pen is for myself anyway. If I destroyed it it would have been an expensive pen blank but a fairly cheap learning experience. And I would still have fun along the way. Luckily this one turned out OK. I may give it away just so I can make another one. :D

-- David, Florida

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3739 days

#5 posted 05-25-2009 03:12 AM

good for youepp-dog turning can be a cruel misterss she pulls at your heart strings and can rip you to pieces, but only on those really expensive pieces. very nice pens, great job. does ken have a web address?

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Andy's profile


1694 posts in 3934 days

#6 posted 05-25-2009 04:28 AM

Very nicely done!

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3360 days

#7 posted 05-25-2009 10:51 AM

Looks great! Must be difficult. I’m just wondering how it’s done. Never seen this before.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View epp_dog's profile


58 posts in 3439 days

#8 posted 05-25-2009 12:33 PM

I am not affiliated with any of these suppliers, just a very happy customer. For those of you that have not run across his products, his website is Woodcraft is also carrying his puzzle and American flag kits for some pen sizes. Arizona Silhoutte is also carrying some.

There are several videos available for turning these kits on the web. In the end I chose to follow the instructions from the kit fairly close – Woodcraft has their detailed instructions online. The process is simple but slow. Set each individual piece in place and use thin CA to hold the piece in place (thin CA will quickly run around a cylinder and wick under your finger – DAMHIK). The stars use a different method with yellow wood glue.

If the inlay piece falls below the opening of the tube, you will have to sand it flush – sandpaper around a dowel works well. Then glue the tube in. I replaced the brass tube with a nickel one for the moonscape as the “earth” piece was a transparent blue/green acrylic.

A pen mill is not recommended but it worked well for the first 2 as they didn’t have lots of little pieces glued right up to the edge so I will build a jig for flushing the flag on the sander and CERTAINLY for the puzzle pieces.

My first step in turning was to sand the outside flush with 100 grit sandpaper. Some of the wood didn’t go in all the way and when I epoxyed the tube in place that got epoxy all over the outside of the tube. I would only use epoxy for gluing in the tube as there will be slight gaps inside the tube. Then with a SHARP skew slowly work the blank down.

Here is what a kit looks like (from the woodcraft website).

If you are a pen turner, you should really consider one of these inlay kits IMO.

-- David, Florida

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4273 days

#9 posted 05-25-2009 01:34 PM

Nice looking pens, to say the least.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3877 days

#10 posted 05-29-2009 05:46 AM

Excellent work David.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#11 posted 05-29-2009 06:20 AM

David this is unbelievable cool .great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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