Sunday, December 20, 2009

Making Pens

After mentioning making pens on Facebook I got several inquiries about what that was about. So I took some photos of finished pens and soon plan to take some video of the process. It is a fun and easy craft that uses wood to make something useful. Of all the hobbies I have had over the years this one is the first that facilitates giving the product to others. I have given several to friends and planned to make a lot for Christmas presents. I was a little stymied by the heat system not getting done as soon as I expected. The room where the lathe is located is now heated and is a pleasure to work in. Yes, I do this in the house!

This kind of got started when I saw kits to make mechanical pencils at Highland Hardware in Atlanta a year ago. Jack likes mechanical pencils and I thought that this would be a good gift for him. I bought the kit and purple heart wood and thought that I could somehow adapt my metal turning lathe for this purpose. So after some research I found a class in pen making at a Woodcraft store in Roanoke. Like Highland Hardware, this is a good place to leave your credit card at home. Many toys for grown ups and those that should be.

The class resulted in my first pen (they wouldn't allow me to make a pencil) and I was hooked. I did not post a photo of that first one, but it came out pretty good. My first project once I got a lathe and the other hundred little things needed was Jack's pencil. It works, but next year I'll have a better one done. Take a look at my latest pens at my picassa website.

The teacher pen in one picture is unique in that it has red ink on one end and blue on the other. It is going to a teacher friend and I better send extra red ink refills!

Anyway, each one comes out better than the last. I have begun making some custom parts on my metal lathe (not in the house) so I am combining the skills into a useful product.

Lesson learned: Giving is better than receiving and making stuff shiney takes a lot of effort. Also, taking pictures of pens is not easy!

1 comment:

jack said...

They all look great!