Simple small diy pen lathe?

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Forum topic by Split posted 228 days ago 862 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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30 posts in 239 days

228 days ago

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


97 posts in 796 days

#1 posted 228 days ago

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


784 posts in 1193 days

#2 posted 228 days ago

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


32 posts in 321 days

#3 posted 228 days ago

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

-- Bad Crayon Studio

View Kenbu's profile


14 posts in 381 days

#4 posted 228 days ago

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.

3382 posts in 880 days

#5 posted 224 days ago

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

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Loren's profile


6746 posts in 2148 days

#6 posted 224 days ago

View crank49's profile


3244 posts in 1471 days

#7 posted 224 days ago

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 :-{| Diapers and politicians both need to be changed often; and for the same reason.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5012 posts in 2085 days

#8 posted 223 days ago

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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