A time to build up,a time to break down

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Project by fernandoindia posted 08-18-2012 07:29 AM 4557 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Seems now is my time for turning pens.

After looking into Roger´s Civil War pens

I went to the supplier´s page, and you imagine the rest.

I bought a lathe two years ago, but only managed to turn only a couple of rolling pins. I am not prepared yet to turn anything else. Here are some catastrophic results:

However, I make a new try, this time with something smaller. Much smaller

I bought the Rockler newbie kit which brings 3 pen kits. Almost simultaneously I purchased a couple of kits from

Now the very first pen turned, is the Olive blank, which is the 3rd. photo. It took me more time reading the one page instruction, than turning and finishing the pen. I went into the house, and gave my wife her first present for Xmas 2012. WOW. Her reaction was so cool, that I think I have found all the Holiday presents for the family.

The following day we were having the birthday party of my 4th son Santiago. Even I already had finished his Tambour Box present, I decided to try turning a Celtic Knot. After reading Lew´s and Karson discussion on the matter, I finished more confused. However I kept going. This pen is in photos 4 & 5.

I prepared a smaller sled to make the cuts. The green blank is Palo Santo, sort of Argentine Lignun Vitae.

And the inserted 3 pieces o veneer of same thickness as the saw blade. (Well, that is what I thought I was doing)

And managed to glue the pieces with Tbond III.

As you can see, I made another slim pen with a Celtic knot (photos 1 & 2 ), but I inserted only a piece of oak, and I glued with CA. Easier, and quicker.

More on that quickness later.

The squared maple and walnut pen was a learning experience.

1. Don´t hurry
2. Dont hurry
n. Don´t hurry

The following photos describe more or less what I did.

Cut some maple and walnut blanks in 45°.

Glue them in pairs.

Then I glued 2 pairs

WHen I had two halves of the blank, I sanded the bases which were to be glued together to get a perfect glue up (well, almost perfect)

Finally, a complete blank

So far, I haven´t even started. Next step calls for drilling the center of this blank.


Then needs to get rounded in the lathe, much larger than the finished pen. Just rounded.

I then sliced in a miter box, keeping track and numbering each slice. Keep an eye.

Next time I will write numbers i¿with a 4B pencil, and not a marker. Ink bleeds !!!

Following I start gluing with CA each slice inserted in the pen tubing, forming the squared pattern.

Then is just matter of turning. Next time I will sand the blank exactly up to the tubing. Which in this case provides the support to the blank pieces. You can see how the first two squares flew from the mandrel.

At the end I managed to fix it, by making the pen 2 millimeters shorter. These kits have enough lay-line

All the pens were finished with CA, and then wax polished

So bye now, we will continue flooding the site with pens. So you are warned. (Hey Martyn, I will still make some boxes)

-- Back home. Fernando

10 comments so far

View JL7's profile


8793 posts in 4464 days

#1 posted 08-18-2012 11:52 AM

Very nice Fernando…..that is a lot of work for those pens, but they all turned out nice!

I understand the go slow part…..that seems to be my only speed!

Keep them coming!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4303 days

#2 posted 08-18-2012 12:35 PM

Wow! Fernando. Really good slide show and super nice pens. It’s a lot of tedious work to do things like this. Very nice.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Kookaburra's profile


749 posts in 3724 days

#3 posted 08-18-2012 02:53 PM

Thank you for taking photos along the way, even of the mistakes. I thought these were a lot of work but now I know I was right. The squared pen really shows off the wood but wow – that is a LOT of precise work. I can see why “don’t hurry” is the best advice.

I like the subtlety of the Celtic knot pen. I am sure your son is very pleased with the gift.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4443 days

#4 posted 08-18-2012 04:54 PM

Thank you Jeff. I need to come with other method.

ROger, yes, but spend more time fixing mistakes which is even more tedious

Hi Kay. I do still have other hidden mistakes. I found difficult to get a nice blank. So decided to include something in the blank. Yes, he was very pleased with the gift.

-- Back home. Fernando

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4342 days

#5 posted 08-18-2012 05:34 PM

Thanks for the tutorial. Gives me an appreciation for all of the delicate skill and effort that goes into a pen.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View lanwater's profile


3115 posts in 4433 days

#6 posted 08-19-2012 05:08 AM

I will second what DocSavage45 said. I never imagined it is that involved.

Thanks for the detailed pictures.

You pens turned out really elegant. The checker pattern is a winner.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4166 days

#7 posted 08-19-2012 02:31 PM

Love these pens .
Two of my favorite designs worked into a pen .
The checkered flag pen reminds me of FORMULA ONE car racing which I am a great fan of and makes it a sure winner .
Beautiful and detailed work FERNANDO !

-- Kiefer

View Schimmel's profile


76 posts in 3952 days

#8 posted 08-19-2012 04:52 PM

Nicely done. I have a rule with pens if I don’t break or blow out 2 out of 3 its not tough enough and anyone can do it. At least it makes the end result great.

-- Chad, Gilbert AZ and

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4443 days

#9 posted 08-19-2012 08:10 PM

Hi DOc, Ian, Kiefer, thank you for your comments. I neither imagine such work.

Schimmel, thank you for the advice. . 2 out of 3 !! Wow,

-- Back home. Fernando

View shopmania's profile


702 posts in 4682 days

#10 posted 08-24-2012 02:37 AM

Very cool! You are a patient man!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, [email protected] Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

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