Making and Caring for Pens

Making Wooden Pens

1. The small log is milled on a large bandsaw. The pen stock is 21 mm x 21 mm square and cut to length.

2. A centre mark is made on the end grain.

3. A 7 mm pilot hole is first drilled through the centre of the pen stock. Then, if required, the hole is enlarged to final size.

4. A brass tube is glued into the hole using either “Gorilla Glue” or CA Glue.

5. The ends of the timber pieces are “squared” with the tube, using a rotary miller on a vertical drill press.

6. The wooden pieces are placed onto a mandrel using specially machined bushes. This is attached onto a lathe.

7. The wooden part (pen stock) is turned using firstly a large skew chisel and then a smaller one to finish.

8. The wood is sanded, starting with 120 grit and working through to 1000 grit (120, 240, 360, 600, 1,000)

9. Several wax coats are added to protect the wood.

10. Several coats of friction polish or CA Glue are then applied to achieve the sheen.

11. The pen is then assembled using a special vice.

Making Resin Pens

A similar process to making wooden pens, except the resin pens are finished with progressive sanding to 12,000 grit and finished with a sealer.

Polymer Clay Pens

Polymer clay is blended and mixed to form patterns and then places carefully onto the barrels. The polymer clay is baked in an oven for approx. 45 minutes. The barrels are places on a lathe and trimmed to size sith a skew chisel and then sanded. The finish is either a polymer clay “varnish” or CA Glue. Further sanding produces a lovely pen. (Polymer clay is stable when baked and does not need a finish other then to provide a shiny look”

Care of Pens:

Avoid leaving your pen in either extreme hot or cold temperatures as this can cause splitting of the timber. Please also try to avoid dropping your pen onto hard surfaces as this will often result in damage to your pen.

Use a soft cloth to buff up the wax as needed. Don’t use any cleaning agents not intended for use on wood. Never use any cleaning or finishing product that contains abrasives or cleaning agents in the formula. Car waxes have fine abrasives in the formula to clean the surface and should not be used. Floor care and furniture care products are appropriate for use on our wood products. Paste wax is easy to apply and buffs to a high gloss shine. The plating may be cleaned with a damp soft cloth. Do not use any abrasives on the plating as it may cause the plating to be removed.