So, for you woodworking types who would like to try to create something a little different, here’s how you can create your own wooden pen. First, here is what you need:
The first and most obvious is a lathe. Then you need a Mandrel. Between the centers of your lathe, there is a metal bar. When you are turning the pen, it’s this metal bar that keeps it in place. Next come the bushings, the purpose of this is to help your get the pen size down to what is appropriate. Then there is the drill bit, which has to be the appropriate size for the pen kit, and then you need a drill press. If you want, you can use a hand drill as long as it has a jig that is steady.
If you are going make your own blanks, you will need to utilize a table or perhaps a band saw.
A disc sander, and clamps or a bench vice will be needed if you find you need to square the blanks. This is what you will use to press the various parts together
For parts and supplies, you will need a pen kit plus wood blanks, superglue, and sandpaper, and now for the 10 steps. First take the blank, (whatever material), and it is usually 3/4″ x 3/4″ and should be 5″ in length. If you want, order them or get precut from a catalog or make them yourself with a band saw.
Step 2 is where you must now make the blank into two separate pieces for top and bottom Always cut the blank larger than specified, and mark it to match the grain pattern in assembly.
Step 3 is very important because one the blanks have been cut then you have to square the ends – VERY IMPORTANT! The ends must be perfectly square so holes don’t appear when it meets the fittings – use a disc sander or miter gauge.
Step 4, the blanks now have to be drilled by marking the center with an X. Once firmly secured on the drill press and making sure it is perfectly perpendicular, drill slowly and remove chips as you go.
Step 5 you now have to attach the brass tubes into the blanks and you do this by gluing them. Make sure to read the instructions. If the blank is stuck, tap the blank with a light hammer or even a block of wood.
Step 6 – After the glue is set, you will need to put the blanks onto the mandrill. One thing you don’t want to do is make the nut on the mandrel excessively tight.
Once you’ve secured the Mandrel on the lathe, position the tool lathe up near the blank without touching, and give it a turn manually to check. Now, set lathe to the highest speed. First use 3/4″ gouge getting within 1/16″ from the bushings, you can use your skew chisel or even sandpaper to finish , but don’t touch the bushings.
Step 7, you sand to a fine finish.
Step 8 you finish the blank with PPP wax while turning on lathe, and then,
Step 9, you assemble the pen using the instructions. Then, the final step is to stand back and admire a job well done!