LumberJocks

An Organic Space Pen

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Project by 12ftguru posted 08-15-2008 07:36 PM 2115 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a friend that is obsessed with something called a “space pen.” It’s a pen that uses a special pressurized ink cartridge originally designed to write in zero-G. The pen gives a very consistent line and has become a bit of a fetish item in a number of online communities, with people paying anywhere from $20 – $80 per pen.

My friend has asked me on a few occasions if I could make him a wooden space pen, but there aren’t any commercial kits available. The cartridge itself is quite a bit shorter than a standard cartridge and doesn’t fit any kind of twist or push mechanism that I was able to find.

This past weekend, I picked up a classic pen kit (PKPAR-RCGP) from woodturningz.com and decided to give it a try. With a few modifications it worked just fine.

I had to cut down the pen tube to allow for the size difference in refill cartridges, which was no big deal. The space pen also has a slightly fatter tip, so I had to remove a bit of metal inside the tip of the pen casing so that the refill poked out far enough to look right. Since the spring that comes with the kit is too large, I also added a small rubber washer at the back of the refill housing to insure that the refill didn’t wobble when it was being used.

The wood is a simple rosewood. The pen is a nice size for sticking in a pocket when it’s closed. When you ope it up it makes a nice full sized pen. Overall I am pretty pleased and I will be looking for a few way to perfect this in the long term.





9 comments so far

View Bigbuck's profile

Bigbuck

1347 posts in 4297 days


#1 posted 08-15-2008 07:55 PM

Nice pen, never heard of a space pen sounds interesting.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile

Sawdustonmyshoulder

489 posts in 4262 days


#2 posted 08-15-2008 11:06 PM

Send Jerry Seinfeld one.

Bigbuck, there was a whole episode of Sienfeld show devoted to the space pen. Very funny.

Good looking pen, 12ftguru.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View trifern's profile

trifern

8135 posts in 4401 days


#3 posted 08-16-2008 04:33 AM

Very cool pen. Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View kenn's profile

kenn

813 posts in 4354 days


#4 posted 08-16-2008 06:42 AM

Great job with a pop culture classic. I like it.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View 12ftguru's profile

12ftguru

31 posts in 4209 days


#5 posted 08-16-2008 08:11 PM

Not surprising about the Sienfeld Ep. The space pen seems to be such an odd obsessive thing. I read a few newsgroup posts from space pen fans. They are a devoted bunch to say the least.

View rikkor's profile

rikkor

11295 posts in 4509 days


#6 posted 08-16-2008 10:28 PM

I remember when NASA developed this thing in the early sixties.They spent several million on R & D to have something that would write reliably in zero gravity. The Soviet Union used pencils.

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 4711 days


#7 posted 08-16-2008 11:27 PM

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4337 days


#8 posted 08-17-2008 11:50 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post

Callum

-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out http://thetimberkid.com/

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4202 days


#9 posted 08-19-2008 01:00 AM

The space pen was developed independently, not by NASA. And the Russians use them too…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_pen

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

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