I’m addicted to making wood turned pens. This is the first set of wood turned pens I’ve made on my woodturning lathe. I used the Rockler Starter Pen Kit and they came out fantastic.
The pen kit came with everything I needed. However, I also got a mandrel saver because I heard it’s worth it to put stress on the pen mandrel, and I certainly think it did the trick. Nevertheless, this pen starter kit is perfect for beginners.
Turning pens is fun, and quite easy. I’ve turned a few pots, bowls, and things of that nature. But getting the first pens under my belt was fun.
Rockler Pen Kit – Turning Wood Pens
- Cut the pen blank into two pieces, both just longer than the brass tube inserts.
- Use the drill bit that came with the kit to drill holes in the blanks for the tubes.
- Scuff up the tubes with some sand paper and apply a liberal amount of CA to one tube, slide it into the wood blank. Tuck the tube in using the cap of the glue bottle – it should sit just below the surface on both ends of the blank.
- Repeat with the second tube and blank.
- Allow the blanks to cure for at least a few hours.
- Us the Barrel Cleaner/Pen Mill Cutter Head to mill the ends of each blank down to the brass barrel.
- Set up your lathe with the pen mandrel, slide the bushings and blanks on – Bushing/Blank/Bushing/Blank/Bushing and tighten down the nut and slide your tailstock up for support (or use a mandrel saver without the nut).
- Turn your lathe to high speed – 3400 rpms is my lathe speed for this.
- Turn the blanks down to your desired size and design, making sure the ends of each blank meets the bushing, as this is the diameter of the pen parts.
- Sand your pen barrels and apply the CA as a finish, or use a different finish if you prefer.
- Assemble your pens.
By: Andrew Eaton
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