Poor man's pen. AKA BIC pen

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Blog entry by nayo posted 02-28-2014 04:10 AM 2519 reads 3 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So many people asked us for pens but when we give them the price, they dont like it at all. they dont know that we have to import all those parts and thats pricey(for us living here) then the S&H and then the duty which here is 15%.

so we decided to do BIC pens, we had done some before but the process of drilling the holes was a mess, i could not get the proper bit, then i got one but the centering of the blanks was a nightmare, some came off center and you noticed till turning them.

so with my dad we decided to do this:

They are 3/8×3/4 pieces that we pass through the saw, this gives us a 1/8 channel that its enough for the ink barrel but not for the tip, we fixed that at a later step.

we glue these two part and we obtain a 3/4×3/4 piece with a perfectly center hole in it.
we use some space designed bicycle tube to joint and press the two pieces together, it seems to work because so far i have not any single piece fail at the lathe.

one problem that we had was that the glue will sip into the hole and will make hard to insert the pen tube, dad then designed a USB glue cleaner cable that he put in the channel before gluing them and then once they were pressed he moves back and for the cable thus cleaning all the glue off it. perfect!

then back to the drill press, as the saw did not gave us the exact width for the pen tip, i used a 5/32 bit to just drill the tip of the blank so we dont have to force it, that way its easy to replace the ink.

then the fun part, to the lathe

for this order, they asked to put their name on them, i did this on the lathe so i can apply the sealer while still on it, as the wood burning pen does not work that well on sealed surfaces,

after applying the sealer, i cut the ends in the scrollsaw, put a skewer rod on the open top end, glue it and cut it, then a little of sanding and to give them some satin can finishing.

rinse and repeat.
if something its not clear, please let me know. if you all speak Spanish this will be easier!



6 comments so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3702 days

#1 posted 02-28-2014 04:28 AM

Outstanding work!

It follows my motto exactly….. see below.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 3185 days

#2 posted 02-28-2014 05:58 AM

Great job on the post and nice work on the process to provide them with pens!!!

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View MrsN's profile


988 posts in 4740 days

#3 posted 02-28-2014 02:26 PM

Very cool!!! I have wanted to do BIC pens with my students, this is an excellent tutorial on an interesting way to to them!
Thanks for the inspiration!

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4218 days

#4 posted 03-01-2014 02:14 AM

What a really great idea, thank you for sharing

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

View CFrye's profile


11352 posts in 3054 days

#5 posted 03-01-2014 08:26 AM

Great tutorial Nayo! One day I’ll get up to speed and learn how to turn. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5149 days

#6 posted 03-09-2014 06:35 PM

Nayo, Thanks for sharing this is a great way to do some inexpensive pens.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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