Difference between revisions of "Pen turning"

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(Created page with "== Overview == Pen turning is a popular hobby. Typically, one uses a small lathe to turn pens (fountain, rollerball, or click or twist ballpoint) out of exotic hardwood, or,...")
 
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== Trimming, Drilling, and Squaring the Blank ==
 
== Trimming, Drilling, and Squaring the Blank ==
  
Most pens are made in two pieces, in which case the kit comes with two tubes. The pen blank needs to be cut to length, slightly larger than the length of the tube. Marks should be placed on the blank before cutting so orientation can be established later, which is an important consideration in making sure the grain matches.
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Most pens are made in two pieces, in which case the kit comes with two tubes. The pen blank needs to be cut to length, slightly larger than the length of each tube, respectively. Marks should be placed on the blank before cutting so orientation can be established later, which is an important consideration in making sure the grain matches. A mark should be placed at the center of each pen blank on one of the small ends. The opposite end can then be clamped in a 4-jaw chuck on the lathe. A 1 MT Jacobs chuck can be inserted in the tailstock of the lathe, and one of the following brad point drills can be used inserted in the Jacob's chuck. The Jacob's chuck is currently hanging on a wall rack. Drills are stored inside a blue "Pen Turning" bin. The brad point bits are designed not to "wander" and are substantially more expensive than traditional drill bits. As such, care must be taken so they remain in the blue Pen Turning toolbox under the lathe. The following sizes are available at present:
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* 7 mm
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* 8 mm
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* 3/8 inch
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* 10 mm

Revision as of 00:17, 9 November 2019

Overview

Pen turning is a popular hobby. Typically, one uses a small lathe to turn pens (fountain, rollerball, or click or twist ballpoint) out of exotic hardwood, or, in some cases, acrylic. In addition to pens, other items of similar construction can be turned, such as mechanical pencils, seam rippers, crochet hooks, and keychains. Manufacturers supply kit parts containing the hardware. In most cases, these are constructed by gluing a metal tube into the wood and turning this on a mandrel. PS:One has a small Wen lathe that can do this well, and a collection of tools specific to pen turning.

Acquiring Materials

Kits for pen turning can be acquired from many suppliers:

The "standard" for pen turning is a 7mm mandrel. One will need to purchase bushings specific to the type of pen, which adapt it so that the pen blank can fit on the 7mm mandrel and also provide a reference for the size one will need to turn the pen blank so it is flush with the metal pen hardware. Bushings can be damaged by turning, sanding, and finishing. As such, these are considered user-supplied consumables. One should watch the diameter of the bushing and try not to damage them when turning.

Kits frequently are classified by tube size. We currently have hardware to make pens with the following tube sizes:

  • 7 mm
  • 8 mm
  • 3/8 inch
  • 10 mm

Larger sizes are common for some larger fountain pens, and other less common sizes exist as well. Over time, we anticipate PS:One's tooling inventory for pen turning to grow.

Pen blanks typically come in sizes of around 3/4" x 3/4" x 5-6" which is suitable for most small pens. Larger fountain pens may need 1" x 1" blanks. Exotic hardwoods are popular, as are various engineered acrylics with color patterns.

Trimming, Drilling, and Squaring the Blank

Most pens are made in two pieces, in which case the kit comes with two tubes. The pen blank needs to be cut to length, slightly larger than the length of each tube, respectively. Marks should be placed on the blank before cutting so orientation can be established later, which is an important consideration in making sure the grain matches. A mark should be placed at the center of each pen blank on one of the small ends. The opposite end can then be clamped in a 4-jaw chuck on the lathe. A 1 MT Jacobs chuck can be inserted in the tailstock of the lathe, and one of the following brad point drills can be used inserted in the Jacob's chuck. The Jacob's chuck is currently hanging on a wall rack. Drills are stored inside a blue "Pen Turning" bin. The brad point bits are designed not to "wander" and are substantially more expensive than traditional drill bits. As such, care must be taken so they remain in the blue Pen Turning toolbox under the lathe. The following sizes are available at present:

  • 7 mm
  • 8 mm
  • 3/8 inch
  • 10 mm