One of a Kind Pen blanks #1: Part 1.

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by BobWemm posted 03-13-2014 07:32 AM 2808 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of One of a Kind Pen blanks series no next part

Hi People,
I have been asked to do this but I have never done anything like it before so I hope that you will bare with me.

I have been playing with pens for just on 13 months now, but that was never the intention when I got my lathe. I was a BOWL man and a few other items, but somehow this pen making has become a big part of my hobby.

Being a person who is never happy to just do the same thing I am always looking for ways to improve/improvise.
I have heaps of wooden pen blanks that I have purchased and cut myself. As you do.

I’ve also seen all those wonderful Acrylic/Resin blanks on various sites and purchased a heap of them too.

After following some posts about CASTING, I decided that I would have a go at some myself, you know, just to see how they worked.

I did already have a 1kg tin of Crystal clear Polyester Resin, that I got for another reason. All I needed was a mould of some sort, some colouring and something to create a bit of interest. There are so many things that can be cast in Resin but I decided to go simple first. Less chance of failure that way. LOL

My first several attempts were not very good, I did manage to get 1 usable blank but that was not without some minor flaws. Pretty disheartening, because I like to get things right the first time. So, after a few days I decided to try again.

So, to get started it is most important to have all your ingredients set out in easy reach. These are;-

Mould. (I use PVC pipe, two wooden plugs and two hose clamps.) The side of the pipe is cut off leaving an opening all the way along the tube.
Mixing cup, measuring cup and stirring stick.
Colour powder, if required
Objects to be cast into the blank.

Probably the most important thing is to know exactly how much hardener is required for the amount of resin that you are going to use. Once the powder and other objects are added to the resin there will be more, so the calculation is done first.

Step 1. Make sure the mould is ready to use. ( Set up in position etc, nice and level)

Step 2. Measure out the resin, gently stir in the colouring powder, being careful not to create bubbles in the mixture. Bubbles can be a real problem.

Step 3. Add the other cast ingredients, (Glitter) and stir in. Again being gentle to prevent bubbles.

Step 4. Add the hardener and stir again.

Step 5. Depending on what type of resin you are using, it will be necessary to keep stirring it until it just begins to thicken. Otherwise the Glitter??? will settle before the resin sets and you will have a mass of colour in the bottom of the blank. If you are too slow the resin will set in the cup.

Step 6. At the first sign of setting, pour the mixture into the mould, and leave to set. The time will depend on the type of resin.

Step 7. When the resin is hard, remove the hose clamps and gently prize the PVC away from the blank. When it is free simply push the solid blank out of the mould.

Some resins can be used quite quickly (Alumilite) while others require a few days to cure completely. The resin I use takes a couple of days in the sun to be ready to turn.

Obviously different moulds can be used, especially if you want to make more than one blank at a time. If using a mould for multiple blanks then Step 5. can be achieved in the mould itself.

I’m sorry there are no Photos, for some reason I am unable to post them.

I hope this is some help to you all.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

9 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


10361 posts in 3125 days

#1 posted 03-13-2014 11:56 AM

Good luck with your quest to cast your own pens. The procedure sounds hard and simple at the same time. I always had a thought of casting a large blank like for a vase. Will be waiting to hear what happens next.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30615 posts in 3420 days

#2 posted 03-13-2014 05:07 PM

It will be interesting to see what you come up with. Your imagination is very vivid.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View robscastle's profile


7878 posts in 3286 days

#3 posted 03-13-2014 08:03 PM

Nice work there Mr Wemm !
A good well presented blog, simple detailed step by step description and just enough info to whet the appetite.

Photos, in blogs all you need to do is click on the image icon Button “img” in the tool bar and follow the prompts, slightly different start to the “Projects” process but then its just the same to add photos.

You can edit the information after posting simply by logging in and then use the “edit”

I find I have to edit my posts regularly, for some reason a electronic proof read prior to posting doesn’t always pick up “typos” or sentence composition until I re read it after posting (Grrrr) and then have to go and edit to correct stuff.

-- Regards Rob

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 3690 days

#4 posted 03-13-2014 08:23 PM

I thought that it was a good Blog, and description as to what is going on, Heck, even a dummie like me can understand it I do like the idea of using PVC for the mold. I never have much luck casting, maybe will try it again Gets expensive for me, wasting all of that resin and hardner. The pens that you made from this experiment came out beautiful.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8043 posts in 4434 days

#5 posted 03-13-2014 08:47 PM

Nicely done, Your Blog is easy to follow Bob! One question, does the resin stick to the PVC mold or does it release easily?

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View NormG's profile


6507 posts in 4085 days

#6 posted 03-14-2014 12:07 AM

Great idea, it would be nice to be really totally made my the craftsman

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View BobWemm's profile


2969 posts in 3008 days

#7 posted 03-14-2014 12:48 AM

Tony, The more you use the mould the more the stickier it gets, but still releases quite well. You would get at least 20 uses before there is a noticeable change.
Thanks for the offer to post the photos, I did as robscastle said, nut nothing happened.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8043 posts in 4434 days

#8 posted 03-14-2014 01:14 AM

Thanks for explaining that Bob.

These Photos are from Bob Wemm He was having trouble posting them so I thought I would help him.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Lowie's profile


10 posts in 1980 days

#9 posted 12-23-2015 08:35 AM

Hey Bob did you have trouble getting material in aus I live in NSW and I would like to make my own blanks but having trouuble get material. and do you have any tips on how you get the different designs like the marble looking ones

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics