An Organic Space Pen

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Project by 12ftguru posted 08-15-2008 07:36 PM 2248 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 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


1347 posts in 4908 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


489 posts in 4873 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


8135 posts in 5012 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


813 posts in 4965 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


31 posts in 4819 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


11295 posts in 5120 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


1404 posts in 5322 days

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

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 4948 days

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

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4813 days

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

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

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

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