My first pen

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Project by Tennessee posted 01-15-2016 11:30 PM 1183 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK, those of you who follow me know that I am known for my guitars, bandsaw jewelry boxes, and other odd items. So why the pens?

Well, my gallery, and other places I sell are always looking for new and different items, so I decided to dip my toe into pens – and unfortunately got hooked. Very interesting, and once you leave the wooden realm, things get really out of bounds.

I had a great December on a variety of fronts, which let me have some extra monies to spend on just about everything I needed to make not only pens like this one, but cast acrylic pens, weird wooden pens, etc… You folks who know the drill understand. What a door I opened! Luckily I already had the lathes to do this kind of work.

Anyway, this pen is my very first one, and like my very first guitar, it will hang in my sunroom. In this case, in a shadow box. My wife is adamant about the “first” of things that I build, and I guess that is a strong recommendation for me to just shut my mouth and keep making things, whether it be pens, guitars, or glass river coffee tables. She supports my efforts and is the first and foremost cheerleader in my parade, small as it may be.

This pen is a Cigar Style, featuring Kingwood. Finished to 600 grit, and coated with three coats of Tru-Oil. For those who make pens, probably a ho-hum…but for me, I am realizing that pens are a little bit more difficult than people make them out to be – delicate and strong in presentation at the same time. You don’t realize the parameters you are working with until you actually build one. I plan on way more than wood, acrylic, casted, all kinds of things. But for now, here is my first effort in a pen. Simple Kingwood in a Cigar Pen.

Thanks for lookin’, and if you want to copy, well, feel free as usual.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

11 comments so far

View triviasteve's profile


202 posts in 1937 days

#1 posted 01-15-2016 11:49 PM

welcome to the club. they’re addicting. With time, you’ll learn a lot of great techniques, and ways to make them sparkle and shine. It’s great to take a piece of scrap wood and turn it (pun intended) into something beautiful.

Look at some videos on finishing with CA. When I started, I was finishing them like you did. Now that I learned how to do it with CA, they’re a lot more appealing and durable.

Great job! Have fun making them!

-- You know I'm on the level 'cause my bubble's in the middle.

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2751 days

#2 posted 01-16-2016 01:22 AM

I have looked into CA, amazing that super glue would turn out to be an outstanding finish. (In small quantities, so to speak). I plan on doing a couple pens with it in the very near future. I will admit that the Tru-Oil was nice, but took a long time to dry compared to CA. We’ll see about durability in the next few pens.

I find that the pens are so much smaller on the lathe than what you look at on YouTube and other places. Tolerances that are much more demanding than you might think.

And I must say, with the pen kits, mandrels, bushings, molds for pouring acrylic, pressure pot, and all the other stuff, it got somewhat expensive quickly to be putting out a competitive pen where I display my goods. But I think I am there, and now I only have to produce pens that are a cut above.
Easier said than done!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View DocSavage45's profile


8733 posts in 3079 days

#3 posted 01-16-2016 04:33 AM


Looking good! And you’ll get better and better.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jeff's profile


1132 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 01-16-2016 07:42 AM

Very nice pen.My favorite finishes are Pens Plus by Doctors Woodshop and CA.CA will last longer but sometimes I like the look of a natural wood finish like Pens Plus gives.Welcome to a very addicting hobby :)

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2751 days

#5 posted 01-16-2016 12:03 PM

Thanks, Doc,
And Thanks for the tip on Pens Plus by Doctors Woodshop, Jeff. There is so much to learn, so many suppliers!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View hoss12992's profile


4106 posts in 2130 days

#6 posted 01-16-2016 02:56 PM

Congrats and welcome to the club. Pens are a lot of fun and their are a ton of options. Turning antlers are a blast too and look great. Here are a couple of links that will help you out

Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Gary's profile


1340 posts in 4561 days

#7 posted 01-17-2016 03:48 AM

Nice pen Paul.
The pen pictured isn’t a Cigar. It looks like the European kit.
Still well done.

-- Gary, Florida

View NormG's profile


6378 posts in 3241 days

#8 posted 01-17-2016 04:37 AM

Congratulations, you have done a wonderful job on your first pen. Now while you have the change, put the tools down and run. Otherwise, they become an addiction and you will make them and/or think about making them above all else

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2751 days

#9 posted 01-18-2016 01:51 AM

Oops, Gary – You are right. European…
Well, I’m a rookie. I’ll get it eventually!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Colin's profile


174 posts in 1601 days

#10 posted 01-18-2016 08:24 AM

DON’T DO IT! – RUN AWAY QUICKLY! – Oops too late, you made a pen. There’s no going back now! LOL
Love those curves -welcome to the club.

-- Live Forever...............or Die Trying

View Tennessee's profile


2893 posts in 2751 days

#11 posted 02-06-2016 01:40 AM

Look at my latest project, the Nebula Pen….

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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