Kit-less Pens

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Project by Peter Oxley posted 12-19-2008 06:29 PM 4414 views 3 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just about the time Scottb decided to Chic his Bic for his 30 projects in 30 days challenge…
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... I took a class at Woodcraft to do the same thing with a Bic Stic.

The first couple of pens didn’t turn out so great. I was worried that the hole would be off-center and I would expose it if I made the pens too slender. As a result my pens were huge … like white-board marker huge! But with some practice I started getting some pens that were a size and shape that was suitable for human hands! I’ve made about 15 of these now, and most will be stocking stuffers. Most of the pens I’ve made have been soft maple, but the middle photo also includes pens made of hickory, birch, and purpleheart. The finish I’ve been using is shellac and wax.

I’m drilling my blanks on the drill press instead of on the lathe. I set up my table at 90° to the spindle, clamp a fence to the table, and feed the pen blank up into the drill bit. By doing this I’ve found that I can drill the entire hole with a long bit, instead of starting with a short bit and then switching. I’ve also found that by feeding the blank this way I can really feel the moment the bit loads up, so I can stop and clear the bit before it wanders too much.

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11 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4413 days

#1 posted 12-19-2008 06:59 PM

Peter and the pens!! Has a ring to it, don’t ya think? Good stuff.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4325 days

#2 posted 12-19-2008 08:39 PM

Very cool Peter. Now I am going to have to try it, too.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4765 days

#3 posted 12-19-2008 09:31 PM

How many pens can Peter the pen maker make if Peter can only use Purpleheart and Pine. Purtty pens Peter!

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4538 days

#4 posted 12-19-2008 11:47 PM

Oh, pullease! That’s paltry praise for Peter’s pulchritudenous pens.


I was up on Arizona Silhouette yesterday and he has a mandrel for closed end pens. Probably too big a bore for a Bic but a great mandrel.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4325 days

#5 posted 12-20-2008 02:41 AM

People, please! Prior to posting, please prepare and provide proper pronunciation if planning to post preposterous prose like “pulchritudenous” as proxy for plain positive parlance.

And … uh … thanks for the comments!

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View Broda's profile


313 posts in 3969 days

#6 posted 12-20-2008 05:49 AM


how are they made?

-- BRODY. NSW AUSTRALIA -arguments with turnings are rarely productive-

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4611 days

#7 posted 12-20-2008 09:39 PM

p-p-p-p-p-lovely :) lol

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4325 days

#8 posted 12-21-2008 12:15 AM

Brody – If you go to Scottb’s project and look through the comments, there is a link to instructions on another site. I was thinking it would be nice to have the info here, as well … might do a blog.

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View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4851 days

#9 posted 12-21-2008 01:01 AM

Perfectly, and proudly presented.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Tony's profile


993 posts in 4481 days

#10 posted 12-21-2008 09:03 PM

Nice interpretation of Scott’s pens

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View Roger's profile


21007 posts in 3254 days

#11 posted 01-23-2012 02:20 AM

very very kool, and really affordable this way. wow!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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