Bullet pen

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Project by Sawdust2 posted 05-17-2009 10:53 PM 2421 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bullet pen
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If you haven’t read my review on the Carba-Tec variable speed mini-lathe make that your next stop (assuming that you like lathes and like my reviews)

I have a good friend who is a hunter. When I got my new lathe I thought I’d make him a gift. Because he is also a hunter I thought of the bullet pen (from Penn State and Woodturningz) and that I would use antler in stead of wood for the piece. Another woodturning friend (Thanks. Jerry) brought over half a rack and I cut it up (down) to size.

The kit takes an 8mm bit and the bushings fit on a 7mm mandrel. I drilled the piece and clued it with 2 part epoxy which I let dry overnight.

I learned from prior tries (see my review on the mini-lathe) that if the workpiece was too out of shape there would be a problem turning it. So I put it on the mandrel and sanded it somewhat uniformly on my Rigid belt sander.

I’d been told that antler smelled when it was cut. Great opportunity to use the dust collector on my new mini-lathe.

Of course, there was some chatter as the piece was rounded and little flakes of antler flew all over the place. Then, as it got close to round there were ribbons of antler sutff being sucked right into the dc. For a while there I had countless feet of antler stuff ribboning right off the lathe in one continuous piece. (I’d seen Nick Cook do that with a tagua nut, once. Never thought I would have that happen.)

Antler polished up as shiny as I’ve ever gotten a piece of wood to shine. Used micromesh from 1500 grit right up to 12000 grit. I did not put any wax or other sealer on it.

The kit went together without too many surprises. I had evidently put one tube in too far as the click mechanism did not work but it was relatively easy to take the pen apart. A little more attention to detail in putting it back together showed where the problem was and the completed pen worked just write.

This one was gold plated (after all, he is a good friend). I’ve one that is chrome plated that I will make for another friend, a former Marine.

Ya’ll know that antler is not very straight. Jerry had thought that if some was soaked in water it could then be straightened in a vise. Well, 24 hours was not enough. But I put some in water for about 72 hours and it was then soft(?) enough that when put in a metal vise it straightened out. It’s there now and if it does not stay straight or falls apart I will post that information to this thread.

I would not call the bullet pen a beginners pen, like the Slimline, but with care it just takes a little longer to put together. The antler gave off an odor when I was sanding it but I did not notice anything as I was turning it.


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

2 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5029 days

#1 posted 05-17-2009 11:10 PM

I get a bang out of this, cool.


View BarryW's profile


1016 posts in 5359 days

#2 posted 05-18-2009 05:22 AM

very cool…excellent pen…like the bullet casing body, etc…very nice.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

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