My friend Ed saw my Penn State Industries catalog sitting on my desk and started leafing through it at work one day. He was surprised by the large variety of pen kits that they offered. He ordered a few kits and a lot of different pen blanks, and asked if he could come over and learn to make them.
Since the main body of the pen requires a tube to be epoxied into it, I prepared a few ahead of time. When Ed arrived, We cut and drilled some of his blanks, then mixed up epoxy to glue the tubes in.
While the new ones were drying, I set some of the dry ones up on the lathe for Ed to start cutting.
He started with the walnut, roughing and scraping the shape into the blanks.
Next, he moved onto sanding and finishing.
After completing the pair of walnut blanks, we loaded up the maple ones.
We finished and polished the wood blanks with a dab of Shellawax on a paper towel.
With those four blanks complete, the epoxy had cured enough to give the next batch a try.
These two were Zebra wood, and an acrylic piece.
The acrylic was a lot harder to cut than the Zebra wood. Ed had to go a lot slower.
The wood blanks get sanded down to 600 grit, then friction polished with the shellawax, but the acrylic gets sanded down to 12,000 grit. We had to get a special set of micro mesh sanding pads just for acrylic. It polished up nicely though with no additional finish required.
After making half a dozen pen bodies, we mixed and matched different styles of pens until Ed found his favorites.
We pressed the components together, one set at a time, with a pair of clamps.
Ed could only stay a few hours, but he did make three that he liked. The rest will have to wait for another day.
He did determine that he needed to buy more pen kits though…