Pen #5 - OR - Midnight Pen (cil)

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 12-20-2018 10:27 AM 659 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First, because we all have nothing more important to do, let’s look at something entirely different.
At the carwash I use, are these sculptures. They sometimes catch my fancy, as was the case this morning, while I waited to get in.

Cute, innit?

Guess what I did when I came out to the Dungeon in the middle of the night. I made this Bolt Action pen. Actually, it’s a pencil. And it doesn’t work right, because, as I mentioned in another post, the tube was sticking out about 3/64” from the barrel blank. Meaning the bolt won’t heave to. One can still write with it. It just doesn’t lock in. So, let that be a lesson to you: The length of the barell and the length of the tube have to be the same length. It is, evidently, important.
And, no. I didn’t make it to Rockler to buy the proper bushings for this Thing.

How’d you imagine your way around it?

Oh, about like this:

Something like that. It seems that those little chrome doohickies can act as bushings. And, with the use of a caliper, one can get close enough.

Here’s what Micro Mesh does:

Here’s what the Yorkshire Grit adds:

Here’s what the Hampshire Sheen brings the table, after a couple coats:

And, after a few n=more coats of HS, you get what you get in the Gallery photos.

I still have to get to Rockler. Or Woodcraft. Or, any of a number of online dealers. For, dear, Beloved Buddies, I am out of pen kits.

Thank you. And, I apologize.

-- Mark

11 comments so far

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2417 days

#1 posted 12-20-2018 10:37 AM

Mark,you are mate for pens now

-- bambi

View Ivan's profile


15943 posts in 3635 days

#2 posted 12-20-2018 10:56 AM

Nice work…Is this a weapon or pen…LOL!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View leafherder's profile


1957 posts in 2719 days

#3 posted 12-20-2018 11:44 AM

I had heard that pen (pencil) turning required a certain level of precision – now I know exactly what that means. I always wondered how that would sit with an artistic personality. Now I know it leads to creative solutions like using doohickies as bushings.

Another beauty, lessons learned, looks like you’re hooked Buddy.

Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas.

-- Leafherder

View lew's profile


13114 posts in 4522 days

#4 posted 12-20-2018 01:58 PM

Beautiful! Thanks for showing the differences in the finish.

My original pen mandrel came with those small spacers. I’ve used them as bushings for slimline pen kits.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24771 posts in 3873 days

#5 posted 12-20-2018 02:25 PM

Very nice pen, Mark. do you shop at Penn State for your kits??They have the most I have ever seen.

I had a class on pen making yesterday and I’m looking for my pen arbor today!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View pottz's profile


9816 posts in 1751 days

#6 posted 12-20-2018 02:47 PM

those rifle pens sell really well,guys love em.i gotta get some of that YS & HS mark i really like the look of that finish.

-- 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 doubleDD's profile


9457 posts in 2810 days

#7 posted 12-20-2018 03:47 PM

Nice work. I always thought of making one of these for the shop. It would be so cool.

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

View luv2learn's profile


3065 posts in 3070 days

#8 posted 12-20-2018 05:44 PM

Hi Mark your pen (sil) is amazing. I have been turning pens this Christmas season also. One of the most useful time saving turning tools is the skew (which intimidated me) but YouTube to the rescue I am beginning to figure it out. It has saved me a lot of sanding on my pens because when used right it produces a fine finish cut.

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

View robscastle's profile


7190 posts in 2971 days

#9 posted 12-20-2018 08:18 PM

Looks nice Mark,
this is my fix for yor suggestion,
How’d you imagine your way around it?

That’s a bit of humour for you in case you thought otherwise

Fix No 2 Stay out of the workshop when your sleepwalking!

Nice shot of the Cherub!

-- Regards Rob

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2826 posts in 1830 days

#10 posted 12-20-2018 09:50 PM

Lew: Now he tells me.
Lee: Skews are pretty amazing, huh?
Rob: I have boatloads of those. Never before had one I made. I’l do the next one right, and it’ actually work.

-- Mark

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2826 posts in 1830 days

#11 posted 12-20-2018 09:54 PM

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