My first Pen!

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Project by Tony posted 01-14-2014 04:56 PM 926 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi! So I have been reading this blog for a while and thought I would post my first project, one because it is pretty cool that I was able to do it, and I have no idea what type of wood it was so if I could get some help I would appreciate it.

I bought a wood pack several years ago from Rockler, and thought this would be really nice to turn my first pen. Unfortunately I have no idea what type of wood it is. It is very heavy almost as heavy as the same size of Zebra Wood.

I also had trouble drilling the hole for the Lathe, I must have gone through half of the stock as I tried to get the larger hole needed for the Apollo Infinity pen set. Then it was a little scary getting the pen turned down to the right size, as I was sure I would take it all the way to the brass insert.

I used a lathe my wife bought me for Christmas. So, not to shabby for my first one, and very fun once the drilling part was over, might just get pre-drilled blanks in the future as it was very frustrating, even with a drill press vice and pen blank insert for the vice. Just could not line it up very well as the drill bit was almost as big as the darn blank.

Thanks for the help if you can! I love seeing all of the projects, and hope to post more as I get a chance.

4 comments so far

View deparrott's profile


92 posts in 2917 days

#1 posted 01-14-2014 06:59 PM

Congrats of your first pen, you did fine job! It will get easier as you go. I would like to encourage you to practice and learn how to drill your holes. If you buy pre drilled blanks it really limits your options as to where you obtain your turning materials. I have found it’s much more accurate to drill on the lathe than a drill press but if you can’t then there are some interesting procedures for drilling pen blanks. Google is your friend in looking for “drilling pen blanks”.

Just my 2 cents but I’d guess the wood is some type of Rosewood, maybe Cocobolo Rosewood.


View clieb91's profile


3976 posts in 4746 days

#2 posted 01-14-2014 10:40 PM

Tony, Looks good. Welcome the the addiction that is pen turning. The other option is if you have a bandsaw or even table saw to make your own blanks. I prefer blanks that are a bit larger then the standard 3/4” as it gives a little more room to move around.


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

View trees2pens's profile


160 posts in 2439 days

#3 posted 01-16-2014 01:13 AM

No one would think that is your 1st pen, it is very nice. Apollo is one my favorite styles and my guess would be that it is Cocobolo. End grain drilling requires patience and the Apollo tubes are big. Thats a lot of wood to drill, go slow and at low speed.

I agree with the Lumberjocks above me…making your own larger pen blanks are more forgiving and lathe drilling is the best centering option. Well done.

-- When All Else Fails ... Hit Delete

View UncleStumpy's profile


741 posts in 3124 days

#4 posted 01-16-2014 09:21 AM

When it comes to drilling – practice, practice, practice.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

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