LumberJocks

Tiny, Tiny Woodwork - My First Pen

  • Advertise with us
Project by Garth Kay-Hards posted 11-16-2019 07:18 PM 233 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, after a long time of sorting out my little Chinese 7×14 metal lathe I have made myself a pen turning mandrel for free out of junk. Yes, I could have bought a mandrel on eBay for about $30 but the challenge was to make it myself.
It has all come together very nicely and I am very happy with my 1st pen (a Streamline pen).
The wood used in this 1st attempt is Nyatoh. The lathe has been great for drilling accuracy and the chisel tool rest I made from scrap has worked well for this purpose too.
I’ve made 4 such pens so far and working with CA glue for finishing has been interesting. I never thought of using superglue as a coating before but it works great
If anyone is interested in see how I made the mandrel you can look at my Instructable link here (and other projects of mine)
https://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-Pen-Turning-Mandrel-Kit-From-Scrap/

-- GarthKH





8 comments so far

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

2265 posts in 2265 days


#1 posted 11-16-2019 09:41 PM

Very nice first pen. Most first pens, including mine, have a wasp shape. In reality pens are not really that shape, because it is not really comfortable to use or aesthetically pleasing to look at. You did not do that. Off to a great start. Well done. It is a great hobby, but it can consume you….. I don’t make pens anymore, I went through the 12 step program,,,, :). Now I am a scroll sawyer, looking for a group to join and start the 12 step program….

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3667 days


#2 posted 11-17-2019 01:17 PM

Nice pen. Garth. with that metal lathe you can make a lot of your needed tooling!.

cheers, Jim

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

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3052 posts in 1383 days


#3 posted 11-17-2019 03:06 PM


.... I have made myself a pen turning mandrel for free out of junk. Yes, I could have bought a mandrel on eBay for about $30 but the challenge was to make it myself.
- Garth Kay-Hards

Neat little pen G K-H...

I’m gonna be a big time hemorrhoids (PIItA)... You saved $30 and probably spent $60+ hours in development, labour and materials to turn a $2 pen.

If you want a challenge, try making a $60+ Imperial pen out of some exotic wood and sell it at a reasonable profit to some RF (Rich Fxxxxx) lawyer/solicitor!

I don’t want to be a jerk, but at times the proprietary items will expand your pen making horizons and let you make more fantastic pen creations.

PS. I profoundly apologise for my obtuseness and by no means mean offense, however, at times, money saving ideas get me questioning the effort employed.
I for one waste many resources ($$$) into jigs and gadgets, however, I do not dare to attempt to sell them as money saving ideas!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Garth Kay-Hards's profile

Garth Kay-Hards

13 posts in 2975 days


#4 posted 11-17-2019 06:56 PM


..... I don t make pens anymore, I went through the 12 step program,,,, :). Now I am a scroll sawyer, looking for a group to join and start the 12 step program….

- PaulDoug

Yes I am a bit like that too – become a Jack of all trades etc .. . I have tried many hobbies: too many … but the journey is fun. At my age I believe it keeps the brain going and helps you stay young :-)

-- GarthKH

View Garth Kay-Hards's profile

Garth Kay-Hards

13 posts in 2975 days


#5 posted 11-17-2019 07:01 PM



Nice pen. Garth. with that metal lathe you can make a lot of your needed tooling!.
- Jim Jakosh

Oh yes. I am doing repair/improvements to this Chinese lathe as well as making tools etc that I need. It’s already proven useful fixing broken bits and pieces. I am am also building up a decent horizontal milling arrangement so I can do slotting and cut gears etc. Lots of fun.

-- GarthKH

View Garth Kay-Hards's profile

Garth Kay-Hards

13 posts in 2975 days


#6 posted 11-17-2019 07:32 PM

PS. I profoundly apologise for my obtuseness and by no means mean offense, however, at times, money saving ideas get me questioning the effort employed.
I for one waste many resources ($$$) into jigs and gadgets, however, I do not dare to attempt to sell them as money saving ideas!

- LittleBlackDuck

You have missed the point as this isn’t about making any money from the project. It’s a hobby. I love making and trying to figure out ways of “doing it my way”. The lathe parts I’m making are part of the fun. The little pens will make lovely gifts for Christmas etc and maybe a few people will ask me to make a pen for them (then they’ll probably have to pay for it) . The more fancy pens will be in the pipeline when I have perfected these simple ones.
No, I’m not offended, but I’m always amazed at how often people’s DIY’s are challenged on various DIY forums by “a waste of time and money”.
I was a radio HAM for many years and a number of us had great fun making and discussing the electronic equipment. Others just bought the kit and used it – at great expense I might add. Both are still hobbies but the spirit of HAM radio was birthed out of making and sharing ideas and knowledge. And it the same here.

-- GarthKH

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

3052 posts in 1383 days


#7 posted 11-17-2019 11:07 PM


You have missed the point as this isn t about making any money from the project. It s a hobby…..
- Garth Kay-Hards

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa G H-K.

I appreciate your (and other LJers) inventiveness. Like you, this is a hobby and hopefully my meagre self-funded pension will see me out unless our government stuffs up even more and force me on the soup queue, thereby caboshing my SKI (Spend Kids Inheritance… yeah, I’m a tad selfish).

I love my jigs and “home improvements”, however, if I cost it out, it often costs 2² what a similar propriatery may cost (unless of course I can improve on it… though I often have to buy it to realise I could do “better”).
I believe that my most precious possession is the time I have left on this earth and I hate to waste it (and see others do the same). Often a few shekels spent may let me utilise my time in more constructive projects.

As I said, I mean no offense, however, I have seen far too many people spend far too many hours of their life to save a few meagre shekel.

Again, this is not a rebuke but an attempt by a moron to stop others following in the same path.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Garth Kay-Hards's profile

Garth Kay-Hards

13 posts in 2975 days


#8 posted 11-18-2019 06:47 PM



_Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

God loves you and I love you my friend. :-)) I have great satisfaction when I can make things for free. If you look at my Instructables projects you’ll see that I believe in “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. So much can be done from scrap. I also love walking around hardware stores (I work in one) and in 2nd hand markets – I look at many of the items and see alternate potential uses for things. I wish I could buy more but I too have a low income – at 75 I still need to work.

-- GarthKH

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com