Simple small diy pen lathe?

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Forum topic by Split posted 09-01-2013 11:30 PM 2302 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Split's profile


33 posts in 982 days

09-01-2013 11:30 PM

Is there way to make a small lathe to turn some pens I don’t want to spend too much. I was wondering if anyone has used a router to make one or a rotary tool? I have seen a little bit of information about turning a pen on a drill press but nothing in detail if anyone can direct me towards any more info I would appreciate it.


8 replies so far

View alexdom_89's profile


98 posts in 1539 days

#1 posted 09-01-2013 11:41 PM

Harbor freight mini wood lathe is probably your cheapest route I’ve had mine for about 2 years now and it works everytime I hit the switch!! I belive I paired arount 90 bucks

View mtenterprises's profile


913 posts in 1936 days

#2 posted 09-02-2013 12:57 PM

As I said on another post today why not build your own? It’s not hard especially since you only want to make some pens.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View badcrayon's profile


35 posts in 1064 days

#3 posted 09-02-2013 01:00 PM

If you have a drill press you can make a jig to turn pens on the vertical.

-- Bad Crayon Studio

View Kenbu's profile


26 posts in 1124 days

#4 posted 09-02-2013 01:01 PM

Craigslist may be another alternative for you. I see small lathes for sale all the time for under $100.


View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

6595 posts in 1623 days

#5 posted 09-06-2013 01:44 AM

The lathe is the cheap part; you’ll spend a lot more on tools and accessories.


View Loren's profile


7989 posts in 2891 days

#6 posted 09-06-2013 01:49 AM

View crank49's profile


3946 posts in 2214 days

#7 posted 09-06-2013 04:22 AM

Good catch Loren.
Did you ever use this setup yourself?
Looks like it would work for pens.

Grizzly makes a little starter lathe/disk sander that you mount a drill in for the power head.
Sells for about $55 I think.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5800 posts in 2828 days

#8 posted 09-06-2013 05:59 PM

Why not get yourself a little used lathe if possible for around $100 or thereabouts you will need a pen mandril and a few gouges ,chisels etc and some sandpaper and finish like wax or better friction polish then kits ,wood you will probably have .Now once you make all this initial layout apart from sundries and penblank kits you will be ok for years it’s a good hobby advertise and try to find someone who is giving up pen turning due to lack of enthusiasm time etc you will then get a complete package deal.I wish you were nearer me I would offer you lots of practical help. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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