View RSS Feed

GrnEyedDvl's Desk

Wooden Pens Part 1

Rate this Entry
One of the things I like to do that I haven't really talked about much on TWC is work with wood. I have a small woodshop at my house (upgrading that this summer and will post pics of the progress) and I have made all kinds of stuff. Things like shelves and small pieces of furniture and once even a custom deck for someone's boat. But what I really like to do is make small things that do not take a lot of time, and then give them away. I have a couple of brain teaser/puzzle designs I created, and a few years ago I got into making things on the lathe. I have done candlesticks and even magic wands like in Harry Potter, but what I really like to make on the lathe is pens.

These are pretty simple once you get the hang of it, and they make great gifts. I buy the hardware kits online, mostly from Penn State Industries and then turn the wood to fit the kit. The kits range in price from $2 all the way up to $40-50 per kit, plus the wood. You can use just about any scrap of wood you want but I generally find myself using pieces of wood that have unique grain patterns. You can find highly figured pieces of wood such as comes from a burl fairly cheap. I think I got this piece of burled maple for about $5 so the total cost of the pen I am about to show you was $7-8 plus the 15 minutes it took to make.

Here is the blank made from burled maple, cut approximately in half. The longer piece is the end you grip when you write. This was just before I put them in the drill press to drill out the center hole where the pieces of the pen fit.

And here are the two pieces with the centers drilled out, brass tubes installed where the hardware fits, and the ends squared off.

Here it is on the lathe mostly turned down to the final size. You can see its still a bit rough around the edges.

Here it is with one coat of wax on it, still on the lathe. I cant remember exactly what finish I used on this one but I think its a high gloss wax.

And here is the final product with chrome hardware. A pen like nobody else has that uses standard Cross refills.


  1. pacifism's Avatar
    Both this pen and the one you gave to Simetrical look very nice.

    How are these pens in terms of actual writing? I’m not sure if I've used Cross refills yet. But in terms of actual smoothness and writing quality, do they compare to Energel Liquid Gel Ink, Pilot V7 Rolling Ball, or Pilot G-2 0.5/0.7mm pens?
  2. GrnEyedDvl's Avatar
    These arent fountain pens or gels, they are roller balls (you can get gel kits and others though) and I personally cannot stand gel pens so you are probably asking the wrong person. Probably the best thing to do is read reviews on Cross pens which use the same internals. Parker is another company that has made their internals open to kits and I like those as well. In fact the kit for that retractable Parker I just linked to is here made by Vertex.
  3. Aikanár's Avatar
    That instantly raises the question with me whether you crafted the gladii yourself?