Segmented Pen

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Blog entry by Kerux posted 01-16-2008 12:28 AM 10425 reads 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My version of Ron McIntire’s segmented pen. This just happens to be the way I do it… that best fits how I think through the process. I’m sure there are many other variables in getting the same end.

First of all I make a checkerboard blank. The one in this Tutorial is Paduak and Maple. (It works best with contrasting colors).

figure 1

The next step is to cut the sections in equal sizes. I made a ‘zero tolerance’ jig for my miter saw that helps me cut all the sections.

figure 2

figure 3

In order for this work without a little pieces of wood flying out, bring your miter saw down and leave it down until the blade stops turning. Then you can retrieve your section easily.

For this pen I use an 11-degree cut on a sacrificial stop block then turned it over to cut the piece. Slide in the blank and cut. For the next cut, just flip over so that the angle of the fits in to the sacrificial stop block.

figure 4

The next step is to cut some dark wood strips for the spacers. Just make sure you cut them long enough to cover the angle length on the sections you just cut from the checker board blank. This is what you end up with:

figure 5

The one thing I do is to make sure to sand off any chips and splinters off the sections.

Now we are ready for some assembly. I use CA glue to put all the pieces together. Make sure you alternate the light/dark to create a new checker board effect.

figure 7

After the blank is glued up to the size you need for your blank. I sand all the sides down to ‘square it up a bit’. Then drill the hole for the barrel. When finished you should end up with a blank looking like this:

figure 8

figure 9

From this point treat the blank as you would any other pen blank. Here you can see the blank has been put on the mandrel/lathe and has started the turning process.

figure 10

After sanding and putting on a cyanacrylic (CA) finish and buffing… Here is the final result, using American Roller Ball Screw Cap Pen.

figure 11


7 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4257 days

#1 posted 01-16-2008 12:40 AM

Nice description!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View relic's profile


343 posts in 4205 days

#2 posted 01-16-2008 12:45 AM

Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

-- Andy Stark

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4143 days

#3 posted 01-16-2008 01:36 AM

Great step-by-step of the process. Thanks for the posting.

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 4056 days

#4 posted 01-16-2008 02:42 AM

Great instruction and a beautiful end product. You mention using a CA finish. I am not familar with that. I just use CA to glue the tubes into the blank. Can you point me to something more about that?

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4346 days

#5 posted 01-16-2008 03:50 AM

this is really great!!! thanks for the extra effort on the tutorial!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Kerux's profile


812 posts in 4152 days

#6 posted 01-17-2008 08:14 AM


I’ll see what I can find written up for you. I know I have a little thing written down… can’t currently find it.

It’s not hard to do… just a little practice.


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4091 days

#7 posted 03-30-2008 01:47 PM

Nice post. I have always wondered how these were made.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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