First Pens

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Project by pastorglen posted 04-27-2012 02:49 AM 2039 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently was given an old lathe at a VERY good price. Before the lathe was even here, I picked up the hardware necessary to try my hand at making some pens. I made one pen the first day the lathe was set up. When I brought the first pen in the house, the whole family was hooked. I made these two pens the next day. My 12 year old—who has never used a lathe in his life—made a pen blank out of Padauk (that’s not pictured, yet). He’s crunching numbers and is trying to figure out how many pens he can make for his teachers and friends.

These are actually Pens #2 and #3. Pen #1 was already given to the very gracious man who lets me dig through his firewood pile, where I find scraps that I can turn (get it, “turn”—like on a lathe!!!) into something nice.

The top pen is made from a briar burl pipe blank I bought from Manny’s Woodshop in Lexington, Kentucky when we lived in the Bluegrass. It’s been kicking around for a while, so I decided to make something I could enjoy. The rest of the pieces from that I’ll use to accent another pen, another time.

The bottom pen is made with curly maple that I rescued from the firewood pile. This is nearly identical to the first one I made that I already gave away.

Both pens sanded and polished up through 800 grit. I quickly realized that I’ve just scratched the surface. (Now you’ve got to admit, that’s just down right funny!) Both were finished with turner’s finish. The maple was also polished with a little wax.

I’m enough of a perfectionist that I already know getting a good finish is going to be my challenge and focus. so let the learning begin (again). If you have any advice on pen making, post here and I’ll check out your projects and posts.

And if you know of a pen-turners support group (like AA), keep that handy, too. I might need it before long.

Thanks for looking!

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

5 comments so far

View JohnGreco's profile


284 posts in 4066 days

#1 posted 04-27-2012 03:44 AM

You’re off to a good start, welcome to the addiction :)

-- John

View bake's profile


387 posts in 4688 days

#2 posted 04-27-2012 04:58 AM

Great job Glen.
Pen turning is relaxing and rewarding.
It has also been a good little side business for me.
Have fun with it.

-- I love the smell of Home Depot in the morning, it smells like.......carpentry. Bake, Bar Lazy U Woodworks, Lehi,UT.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4601 days

#3 posted 04-27-2012 02:41 PM

Beautifully done!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5005 days

#4 posted 04-27-2012 04:08 PM

Wow, those are really nice. I can see where you could definitely get hooked on these. And, since you got such a good deal on the lathe, that’s even better. Nice work, Glen.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Chefdavid's profile


255 posts in 3865 days

#5 posted 04-27-2012 04:22 PM

Nice pens and welcome to the club. I have some pens that I have done and posted. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Turning!

-- Become a fan on Facebook...

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