Pen #4

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 12-18-2018 06:32 PM 963 views 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

#4 is from the same blank as #3, which, I think, is Ziricote.
Now, a little on the journey:
I’m dead in the water, again, with regard to not being able to make the next one.

#5 The kit and the blank with tube glued in. (It is a pencil.)

With all the bushings I currently possess.

Guess what? None of these bushings fit the tube. That’s right. I have to buy bushings for this, before I can go on. Another trip to Rockler (when I happen to be near there); another cash outlay; another chance to spend even more money in that diabolical toy store.
The irritating thing is that this pen kit and #4 are meant to be a complimentary pen/pencil set. Yet, the same bushings don’t work on both.

Now, I seem to be doing something, here, that I haven’t seen anyone do before, with regard to penmaking. That is, I seem to be setting up warning signs for those considering entering the filed of penmaking. I don’t know that I would have dissuaded, had I seen such signs before I began, but, it might have been nice to know. So far, I’ve spent around $400, making my first four pens. Of course, I realize that, going forward, bushings, etc., will accumulate, and things will balance out, as long as I can get people to buy the pieces. When I showed #4 to VOD (Very Old Dad), he, finally catching onto the program, said, “Hey! That’s real nice. You could sell those!” I just grunted and said, “You think?”

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

17 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile


3065 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 12-18-2018 06:47 PM

Love it!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Andre's profile


3556 posts in 2576 days

#2 posted 12-18-2018 06:49 PM

You really don’t have to use the bushings! That being said I’m not anywhere near that point :) I bought the streamline Kit and they have different bushings for the flat or the round top? My stick pen kits should be here today so stepping back to a simpler style.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View lew's profile


13114 posts in 4525 days

#3 posted 12-18-2018 06:58 PM

Recall my post about every time I go to make a pen. You always need either a set of bushings or a different sized drill bit. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you. Release a neat new pen style and it will require a new set of stuff. To make matters worse, the last set I purchased had one bushing, out of a set of 4, be slightly oversized for the tube. When I removed the bushing, it pulled the tube from the finished blank. Horrible words were directed towards the manufacture of the bushings. I usually use Starbond thick CA but was out and went with something from the Borg. So I guess some of this was my fault.

I did manage to salvage the pen-

It is a “cigar” pen made extra fat at the business end. My Mom has a difficult time holding those skinny, slippery plastic ones.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7538 posts in 1482 days

#4 posted 12-18-2018 07:02 PM

another classic style pen you have made there Mark making pens is a rich mans game that I think I will try and get out of my head GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View peteg's profile


4436 posts in 3593 days

#5 posted 12-18-2018 07:49 PM

” I,m gonna sit right down n write myself a letter” .......

Real nice job there Mark, great gift for the season for a special friend

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View leafherder's profile


1957 posts in 2722 days

#6 posted 12-18-2018 08:57 PM

Hi Mark,

That is some beautiful wood on this pen. Those shell casing pens seem to be very popular at the craft shows here in the Mid-West (they even had some at the local Renaissance Fair even though that type of fire arm wasn’t available in that historical era), but I have never seen that rifle-shaped clip – a nice touch.

I had no idea pen turning was so complicated – all those bushings – I’ll stick with canes.

Happpy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Festive Yule, Joyful Solstice, and Happy New Year!

-- Leafherder

View jeff's profile


1229 posts in 4235 days

#7 posted 12-19-2018 12:27 AM

Really nice looking pen…I think here you can search and find a reference chart on pen kits/what bushing go with pen kits ect…Some pen turners do not use bushings but calipers instead-I think going that route would take some practice..

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24783 posts in 3875 days

#8 posted 12-19-2018 03:05 AM

That’s a beauty, Mark!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bushmaster's profile


3939 posts in 3052 days

#9 posted 12-19-2018 03:24 AM

Very nice. Talent plus.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3612 days

#10 posted 12-19-2018 05:13 AM

Mark, another winner on your creative learning journey and you got your mojo workin. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2826 posts in 1833 days

#11 posted 12-19-2018 07:34 AM

Lew, could it be that your thick CA was still sloppy when you got done? I mean, I’ve discovered the thick stuff (your Gorilla and Loktite thick) just refuse to set up, for a very long time. I’m using the Stick Fast Medium (2.5oz. $9), andon the blank in the photo above, I didn’t slide it in fast enough, and wound up with about 3/64” of brass sticking out of the end. If I get this pen done, it’ll probably have a point that won’t retract all the way. As for bushings: They seem entirely necessary, to me. They fill the space between the mandrel shaft and the ID of the tube, and give one access to the end of the barrel, as well as providing a gauge for the thickness of the barrel where the parts plug in. Also in the photo of the #5 blank, with the bushings, the four on the right are for the cigar pens #1 and #2 – four different diameters. The two on the left are for the two single-barrel pens – both, identical. I said that to say this: In the kit for #4, the instructions, in the “Turning Instructions,” it says,clearly, “Assemble the blank on the mandrel with the bushings placed at either side of the blank.” What it doesn’t say is, (Bushings not included.) Do pen kits – the ordinary ones, in the little bags – ever come with bushings? Pens #1 and #2 were from a “starter set,” which included the four aforementioned bushings, along with spare tubes(?), and some little chrome things whose ID is the OD of the mandrel shaft, that I think are spacers. They can’t be bushings of some kind, I guess, because they’ve no shoulder to keep them at the end of the blank and provide the aforementioned gauge. Speaking of the “accessory buying conspiracy:” I refuse to buy a special “Tube Insertion Tool.” My fingers are working okay. And, when they cease to do so, I have plenty of wood around here that can be whittled into something like that. Anywhoooooooo. Too many words.

Pete has a headset, and uses it when I say, ”...headsets up…” Thanks, Pete. And, you’re welcome. Music is huge in my wretched life. I actually heard that song on the XM 40s station, today. The Boswell Sisters. It’s a shame that they only play the Bosies about one time every six months or so. That was today’s offering. They play Fat’s Waller’s version more often, which I also like, very much.


Andre and Jeff: See the note to Lew. I can’t see how one can forego bushings.

Lee, Tony, Jim, Brian, Thomas: Thanks.

-- Mark

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2646 days

#12 posted 12-19-2018 10:32 AM

Love the grain on that pen, Mark. The pen making bug has completely consumed me over the last few weeks, too.

Also, the kids at school are showing me mistakes that I never thought could happen, so I’m also learning a whole lot of troubleshooting

Good luck with #5

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View pottz's profile


9847 posts in 1754 days

#13 posted 12-19-2018 02:43 PM

nice job again buddy,youve definitely got the pen makers far as bushings yeah your gonna accumulate a nice collection as time goes by.also as far as foregoing them i dont see how you could do that.if you want to make quality pens buy quality tools and do it right.and the tube insertion tool,just get one,it makes the whole process easier.its the little things that will make the whole process more enjoyable.keep em comin bud.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View hoss12992's profile


4171 posts in 2663 days

#14 posted 12-19-2018 04:37 PM

Looks great. Congrats on a job well done

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View lew's profile


13114 posts in 4525 days

#15 posted 12-19-2018 05:07 PM

”I can’t see how one can forego bushings.”

Mark, I haven’t tried this but here is a thread about how to make pens without the bushings-

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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