Slimline Pens for Christmas

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Project by jarler posted 12-16-2009 04:24 PM 1957 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Slimline Pens for Christmas
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I bought my lathe back in July. About two weeks ago, I decide to try the pen making starter kit that I purchased a month or so prior. This was the first time I had ever used a lathe. I watched about a dozen videos online before attempting it myself, so I wasn’t totally clueless. My first few pens turned out okay. The finish on those aren’t very good, but that was before I tried a CA finish.

Anyway, after I made two pens, I got the bright idea… hey, I could make pens for friends and family as Christmas presents! I went and purchased 40 slimline pen kits, a few slimline pencil kits and a plethora of other pen related items and a box of exotic blanks (1×1x12). The above picture contains 26 pens. Out of the 40 blanks I created, I blew out two pens on the drill press and three on the lathe and there is one pen I messed up in assembly (and ruined during the attempted disassembly). I still have some unturned blanks. Those are going to be pencil kits.

Since I had limited time to work on these, there’s nothing fancy in the design. They are straight (at least they are supposed to be) and they all have a boiled linseed oil and CA glue finish, which took a bit of time to perfect. I sanded the pens to 400 grit, applied 4 layers of BLO/CA, then micro meshed down to 12,000. These pens shine. I’m very happy with how they turned out. I can’t really tell you which wood is which. The blanks came from Rockler’s exotic blank box.

Pen turning truly is addicting. I just got my shipment of rollerballs and fountain pens in the mail last night. Look for pictures of those soon. :)

6 comments so far

View 8ball's profile


92 posts in 3097 days

#1 posted 12-16-2009 04:32 PM

Those look great. I will be giveing a few away for Christmas my self, the rest I have sold.

-- Rodney, Arlington Texas

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3573 days

#2 posted 12-16-2009 06:13 PM

A great bench of pens

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View 76winger's profile


151 posts in 3113 days

#3 posted 12-16-2009 07:28 PM

Very nice looking pens, you’re off to a great start!

CA finishing leaves a good hard finish, I like it particularly when I’m working with a softer wood.

For most of the harder woods though, I’ve been using a product called Shellawax for the past year and have been real happy with it. I understand is part shellac and part wax, thus the name. Wipe it on while the pen is spinning on the mandreal. Heat from friction dries it right away and it leaves a super shine. I’ll often put a double-coat on to increase the shine even more.

-- Dave, See some of my creations at:

View badger's profile


62 posts in 3341 days

#4 posted 12-21-2009 11:26 AM

The Baron rollerball is my absolute favorite pen kit. Give that one a try, you’ll enjoy it.

nice work on the pens, and good layout for the photo. ;)

Pens are lots of fun.

-- "I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe." -- Jango Fett

View Kevin's profile


61 posts in 3060 days

#5 posted 01-07-2010 12:17 AM

What is CA Finish?
They look great by the way!
How were they recieved? Hopefully those that got them as gifts understood that they were made by you as well as the time and effort put into them. Congratulations.

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3454 days

#6 posted 01-07-2010 12:37 AM

76Winger- I have used shellawax in the past and found that the finish didn’t hold up for long, maybe a couple weeks of moderate use.

CA is a glue Kevin, Cyano Acrylate (not sure if I spelled that right) but basically it is super glue.

-- San Diego, CA

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