Stick pen

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Project by SST posted 02-20-2008 10:10 PM 2582 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided that I didn’t have enough stuff that I’m interested in, so I thought I’d try pen turning. It occurred to me that I could give them away to my business associates when they achieved a given level of performance. The pen would be appropriate to our business, and being hand made, it would provide a personal touch to the gift.

I got to looking at all the possibilities for wood blanks and decided that, while the exotic woods will ultimately be great, my first pen (which I figured might be a throw-away) should be made from something cheap. (have I ever mentioned that I was cheap?)

Since I have previously turned tool handles from sticks appropriated from a neighbor’s woodpile, and since I had a few left over, and since I’m cheap…I guess I said that before… I decided to use an ash remnant.
I just squared it up a bit and followed the instructions I downloaded from Woodcraft for the kit I bought, and
“turned” my stick into a pen.
I left the color natural, and used some leftover water based polyurethane for the finish. That worked really great. I just dipped a corner of cloth into the finish & wiped it on while it turned. That finish dried within minutes on the lathe and I did a second coat.
I let the piece spin for 2 or 3 minutes, and it was dry enough to assemble. This could become habit forming. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

7 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5154 days

#1 posted 02-21-2008 12:29 AM

You are a woodworker after my own heart. I love seeing projects done “cheaply” ($ that is). This is a nice pen and you also have a nice neighbor as well. Anyone would be proud to receive this as a gift.

Thanks for sharing.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5183 days

#2 posted 02-21-2008 01:02 AM

Great job on the pen SST. I made a bunch for my staff before I retired. They do get appreciated. Have you tried burnishing with wax?, very simple and fast to apply, gives a brilliant shine.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5409 days

#3 posted 02-21-2008 04:23 AM

Looks great SST…this is even more cool that you used some “appropriated” wood…

I have not used the lathe on my SHOPSMITH yet—-send some advice…what kind of mandril, tools do i need to get set up for the pens on my shopsmith…are you using the drill chuck? or something else…would love to hear…let me know if you got a chance…I want to turn a series of pens for my teaching colleagues…I have the blanks purchased…


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5207 days

#4 posted 02-21-2008 11:41 AM

Very nice pen. Keep turning them out. I still have ‘number one’ and use it all the time.

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5267 days

#5 posted 02-22-2008 04:21 AM

SST, the pen looks good. I have only turned the one so far and still looking for a lathe so I can turn more them. Does seem to be addictive. I too hope to mainly be using cheap sticks I can pick up at work when we cut something down.
Good luck on the future pens, can’t wiat to see them.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5659 days

#6 posted 02-23-2008 03:06 PM

I’ve made a couple of pens using Ash that came in a multipak. It does look nice, though I recall it turns down really fast so you have to be a little careful if you’ve been turning harder stuff previously.

nice work, any plans for more?

View SST's profile


790 posts in 5527 days

#7 posted 02-23-2008 05:48 PM

I’m certain there’ll be more, this is kind of addicting. I just need to go & buy more pen kits.

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

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