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A Pen Without a Lathe

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Project by James Wright posted 11-26-2016 07:17 PM 929 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted a pen for myself as I am a woodworker I thought it would be wise to make a wooden pen. Unfortunately, this led me to the new problem of not owning a lathe. But I have made a point of never allowing a lack of tools to stop me from making something. I am going to make a pen without a lathe.

I started by ripping down some White Oak to three-quarter inch by 3 quarter inch pen blanks. after some experimentation to find the correct drill bit for the end kit shaft to fit into, I was able to bore the holes through the pen blanks.

I wanted to shift to be a hexagon so I found a nut with the appropriate size and used it as a pattern to trace on one end of the pen blank. This gave me a point to which I can plane it down without going over that line. I found that if I put the nut on a bolt and then put the bolt in the hole it would Center it giving me equal distances from the sides of the hexagon to the center of the pen blank.

Next, I put the pen blank into the vice and started planning it down to the lines that I marked with the none. This took about 16 minutes per blank but went fairly quickly as it was an enjoyable task.

After shaping them I needed to round the end slightly so that they would join the pen pieces smoothly. I did this with a file counting how many strokes I made on each side so that there would be an equal amount of rounding on each side.

The finish on the pen is wipe on poly. I lightly sanded in between each coat with 400 grit sandpaper, and then finished off with a light coat of poly.

To press the pen together I used my bench vise.You have to be careful to make sure everything is perfectly lined up before pressing it, but with a little care, it works very well.

In the end, I am extremely happy with how this came out. A lot of joy to make, and a great pen I will enjoy for years to come. If you want to see more here is a link to the video showing the whole process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2j32NmfTmM

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright





10 comments so far

View bearkatwood's profile

bearkatwood

1194 posts in 471 days


#1 posted 11-26-2016 07:30 PM

Nice job James. Surplus can hinder innovation. Having all the tools needed to create is nice, but sometimes inspiration comes from having to solve the problem without them.
Great job brother.

-- Brian Noel

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

228 posts in 323 days


#2 posted 11-26-2016 08:09 PM



Nice job James. Surplus can hinder innovation. Having all the tools needed to create is nice, but sometimes inspiration comes from having to solve the problem without them.
Great job brother.

- bearkatwood


Verry true. plus I can not make a 6 sided pen on a lathe. this really feels good in the hand.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9095 posts in 2327 days


#3 posted 11-26-2016 08:17 PM

Incredible work – even without lathe (I have same problem).

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

228 posts in 323 days


#4 posted 11-26-2016 08:23 PM



Incredible work – even without lathe (I have same problem).

- majuvla


Thanks.got to think outside the Lathe!. LOL

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

18 posts in 42 days


#5 posted 11-27-2016 12:42 AM

Nice work. I think I prefer the look of a six-sided pen, too.

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

228 posts in 323 days


#6 posted 11-27-2016 03:07 AM



Nice work. I think I prefer the look of a six-sided pen, too.

- Dave Polaschek


thanks! I was surprised with how comfortable it was. it is defiantly not like other pens.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile

WistysWoodWorkingWonders

12664 posts in 2616 days


#7 posted 11-27-2016 05:41 AM

very creative work, well done!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View Woody1969's profile

Woody1969

9 posts in 1140 days


#8 posted 11-27-2016 06:20 AM

Nice work and creative thinking :)

-- John, UK, https://www.whitlockwoodendesigns.com/

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

228 posts in 323 days


#9 posted 11-27-2016 12:59 PM



very creative work, well done!

- WistysWoodWorkingWonders

thanks! this was a fun one to think through.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

228 posts in 323 days


#10 posted 11-27-2016 01:00 PM



Nice work and creative thinking :)

- Woody1969


thanks. nesesity is the mother of invention.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

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