Sunday, February 15, 2009

The mechanics of pen making

When I first started turning two years ago, I had no real interest in pen turning, and maybe even looked down at it as not "real" artistic turning. Fast forward to January, I was demonstarting for my local wood turner association, Chesapeake Woodturners, at the Timonium Wood Show. After my shift on the lathe, I went over to one of the local woodcraft supply store's booth where they provided opportunities for people to turn a pen free. So, I gave it try, and now I am hooked! The wood types, forms, and styles are endless.

One of local turners, Mike Merak, who turns pens professionally (see his site, The Wooden Quill) gave me some good advice as well a few pen kits for styles he no longer uses. Last weekend, I acquired the necessary specialized equipment for pen making and I was off and turning!

Below are the basic raw materials. The hard part of pen making is the preparation and assembly of the wooden blanks. Drilling the tube holes was most frustrating as I have a make shift drill press, which proved inadequate for the precision need for drilling pen blanks. Once again, our neighbor Tom Define and his full wood shop saved the day.

Blank being turned on the lathe.

And the final product!!


  1. Louis, that is soooo beautiful! You are so talented!

    We miss you guys


  2. Very nice! Must be fun to turn these right out of your shop.