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Here’s a 20-minute video of the entire pen-making process — everything from selecting the wood to preparing the blanks, through to turning the pen on the lathe, finishing it to a shine, and assembling it. Virtually none of the process has been left out of this video, so it should give you a good idea of what’s involved in the process.

There’s a scene index after the video on this page.

Handmade pen featured in video

Handmade pen featured in video

In the video I’m working on three different pens, but I’ve edited out the work I did on the other two pens. Here’s a picture of the pen featured in the video. I traded with a friend for some custom artwork. 🙂

  • 00:03 Setup and preparing the blanks
  • 00:57 Power on!
  • 01:05 Drilling the blanks
  • 02:35 Sanding and inserting brass tubes
  • 03:36 Trimming the blanks
  • 04:42 Mounting the blanks onto the lathe
  • 05:15 Rough turning
  • 07:25 Detail turning
  • 08:28 Sanding and finish coat #1
  • 10:41 Sanding and finish coat #2
  • 11:56 Sanding and finish coat #3
  • 13:24 Final sanding and coarse polish
  • 15:30 Final polish
  • 16:24 Removing the work from the lathe
  • 16:57 Getting ready to assemble
  • 17:30 Assembly

Here are a few pens that I made for Christmas gifts this year. (I can post them now because everyone’s received them!) Click the image for a larger view.

From left to right, there are two pens turned from holly, then one each from red oak, bloodwood, canarywood, zebrawood, and padauk. The red oak pen was turned from part of a rafter that was cut out of my brother-in-law’s former home in order to make room for an addition. The hardware is either gold, gun metal, or chrome. I have a few more made from rapala lacewood, marblewood, and yew, and I’ll try to post those later.

Turned Wooden Pens

Turned Wooden Pens

I picked up several of these scoop kits at Rockler a couple weeks ago to use as Christmas gifts. I used bubinga and sugar maple, and finished it with tung oil. This handle feels the best so far — both forehand and backhand — so I think this one might stay with me! 🙂