Pen and Letter Opener - Some of my first turning projects

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Project by itsme_timd posted 02-08-2008 10:10 PM 1574 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Pen and Letter Opener - Some of my first turning projects
Pen and Letter Opener - Some of my first turning projects No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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My lathe came in recently and after a few minutes of setup I was rolling. Sorry, that was a lame pun.

Anyhow, I’ve made a few pens and a letter opener – not too bad, they shine nicely. But I’m having an issue with my pens. They are the slimline twist pens and when you write with them the pens twist closed – anybody know what causes this or how to fix it? I imagine operator error is the likely culprit.

On my letter opener I didn’t have the mandrel or bushings sized properly so it wobbled on the lathe, I didn’t notice it until I took it off – the turning was off center and it’s noticeable in the letter opener.

But, I enjoyed myself and I’m learning more every day…

Pics aren’t that great – I took them with my phone. I’ll get some better pics (and projects hopefully) up soon.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3847 days

#1 posted 02-08-2008 10:39 PM

These are nice pens. Getting a new tool is just like Christmas time and being 10 again. I don’t blame you for wanting to start turning something.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3899 days

#2 posted 02-08-2008 10:59 PM

Everyone starts somewhere. These look just fine for early efforts. Keep practicing.

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3879 days

#3 posted 02-08-2008 11:29 PM

My wife is getting her mini-lathe tomorrow morning so she can
start pen turnings. I see nothing wrong with these at all.

-- Still learning everything

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3876 days

#4 posted 02-09-2008 12:12 AM

Good start Itsme. Things can only get better now you know where the problem is.

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

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3960 days

#5 posted 02-09-2008 04:27 AM

Tim, they look good for the first ones. I hope to be gettingone of those in the not too distant future and start down that long path to pens as well.

Can’t wait to see more projects.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 3909 days

#6 posted 02-09-2008 09:37 AM

Looks good and keep up the nice work.

The problem is in the transmission. Cheaper pen kits usually have loose transmissions (even if you didn’t buy a cheaper kit, sometimes you get a bad transmission. I know I read somewhere on what to do to ‘stiffen’ up a lose transmission… but for the life of me I can’t think of what it is. If I remember or come across it… I’ll let you know.


View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3838 days

#7 posted 02-10-2008 11:09 PM

Nice work.

-- Jiri

View conbillb's profile


39 posts in 3613 days

#8 posted 11-02-2008 05:27 PM

I’M where you WERE! Am just setting up a lathe and ordering pen kits and stuff. I hope they turn out half as good as your pens! Saw your olivewood and smokewood bush. Very cool!

-- Bill, S.E. Iowa

View itsme_timd's profile


690 posts in 3856 days

#9 posted 11-03-2008 04:33 PM

Thanks Bill, this pen making stuff is quite a journey – you’ll surely enjoy it!

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

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