Wood-turned Pens Part 2

After learning how to turn pens from blocks of wood at a local show, my friend invested in the tools to make them at his house and has invited me to join him several times. Each night, we try different techniques, finishes, shapes, etc in order to explore our new hobby as fully as we can.

For my next pen, I stayed with a classic shaped slim-line pen with a very slight bulge in the center of each section. The blank was not labeled as to the species of wood, but we believe it might be purple heart. It was very dense, and made a sawdust that seemed almost like plastic shavings. The resulting pen may not show much creativity, but is a nice, conservative pen with a touch of flair to differentiate it from a straight tube. We used a CA glue finish, so there’s a slight shine to it but not quite glossy. I also made a perfectly straight pen out of a rich, brown colored wood, but didn’t get a picture of it. That one I gave to my accountant after our appointment with him for the yearly taxes.

After those, I decided to get a bit fancier with my design. I was trying for something that would have indents where your front fingers grab the pen, and for where it rests behind your thumb. Essentially the reverse of the previous pen. For extra flair, I used the edge of a square-shaped tool and created four sets of ridges on the sloped sections before finishing the pen. We used a new bottle of friction polish my friend bought, which gave it a beautiful shine. Everyone thought it was a beautiful pen, but I was disappointed when I tried to write with it. The bulge at the tip ended up being right where my fingers try to grab, which forces me to hold it further back than is comfortable. It would make a great image in a magazine advertisement, but I don’t plan to use it for writing when there are other pens available. If it were a pencil, I think it might have been more comfortable to use, as I tend to hold pencils further back.