My new little hobby

  • Advertise with us
Project by DynaBlue posted 06-03-2010 08:23 AM 1730 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Going back to work after retirement has, well, free time away and my big project (a 702 repro bookcase) is turning into a seven-plus month project. In my spare time I’ve tried to learn pen turning so I thought I’d display a couple that I’ve turned recently (and happened to think about photographing). I’ve seen some fairly fancy turned pens that I thought looked great but would be difficult to write with so I try to keep to a fairly vanilla shape with some small, gentle curves. Yeah, that’s the reason…it has nothing to do with the fact that I’d never really used a lathe until I started making pens two months ago ;)

No if I could just make a true lightbox and a camera tripod…

The first two pictures are a gold Cigar pen with amboyna burl and the next one is a chrome flat top, also in amboyna burl. Both are twist pen kits.

Next is a pen made of a piece of curly ash I cut out of my workbench stock when I made the 21st century bench. I put too many coats of CA on the pen and it chipped away when I tried to remove the pen from the bushings. I now know that a cheap parting tool is very valuable for removing CA overflow at the pen/bushing jointline. Now it’s my knockabout daily work pen but is also a testament to the durabilty of a CA finish because I truly don’t afford it any special treatment (other than the usual care one should take with a favorite personal item).

I just had to try some snakewood and that’ll be the fourth picture. I’m sorta testing the durabilty of the snakewood as it’s so prone to checking. I coated all sides of the pen with thin CA during the process in an attempt to seal the wood fully. A month later and so far no cracking.

The last pen (a screwcap Flattop rollerball) was actually my third pen ever attempted and I experimented a bit too much all at one time. Playing with dye, CA and worst of all, a parting tool.. all for the first time. Oh well, it was mostly a success and if the parting tool hadn’t chipped the edge of the superglue so badly it wouldn’t have been a horrible effort. Subsequent efforts to prevent the pen from bleeding dye onto my shirts has resulted in some ugly CA buildup on the metal parts but it was a valuable learning experience.


-- Mistake? No, that's just an unexpected design opportunity....

6 comments so far

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 2956 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 08:35 AM

Gorgeous pen. I love the wood!

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3091 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 10:15 AM

Great pens. Now you are hooked by the pen guy. LOL

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3603 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 06:28 PM

Super pen

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View tucsoncyclist's profile


96 posts in 3117 days

#4 posted 06-04-2010 05:30 AM

Before you finish the pen, pull it off the mandrel and apply a little wax to the area between the bushing and wood. Reassemble and finish. This will help prevent the CA from gluing the blank to the bushing.

They look good.

-- Marc - Tucson, AZ

View yarydoc's profile


417 posts in 3171 days

#5 posted 06-04-2010 05:38 AM

Nice work.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

View Kieth's profile


39 posts in 3163 days

#6 posted 06-07-2010 02:20 AM

Nice job… wont be long before you move on to bowls and such. i couldnt stop with the pens.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics