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Well this was one of several Diva Pen Kits from Penn state industries. This particular one is a clear crystal with a pink ivory pen blank.

I do like the kits from Penn State Industries but am always shopping around for kits, blanks, etc. In any case, this kit was probably one of the easiest I have done thus far. A single blank, drilled out to 3/8 with a single tube.

The assembly was very very easy.
1. press on tip
2. press on the center band or adapter
3. put spring on parker refill
4. insert refill into pen, and screw in the mechanism (screwing in the mechanism was left out of the instructions).
5. manually (not using the press) push the end cap onto the pen.
6. test.

I like the way these pens turned out. I did not use the same blanks that were pictured on the site for all of the ones I made. For instance, the use of pink ivory for the clear crystal pen vs the pink mica pearl shown on the site.

I was disappointed with two of the blanks I bought. The large purple and gold bar I bought was carefully quartered. The first attempt at drilling the 3/8 hole, met with disaster as the bottom of the blank blew out as the SHARP drill bit exited the blank. Attempt #2, the side of the blank exploded. I use a centering vise which is clamped to the table of the drill press, so it is not like the drill bit was off center. Attempt #3, I scored the bottom of the blank and attempted to drill it again. The result was the same as attempt #1, a large piece broke off the back side, rendering it useless for the project. Attempt #4, drilled just fine, glued the tube inside, let it set, and mounted it on the lathe. I got down to the final phases of turning the blank, when a chip came off, exposing the brass tube. So, I set that pen tube aside and have not decided what to do just yet. I have never had any problems with Penn State not standing behind their products. When I turned my very first pens, I had a problem with a blank and I admitted that it was probably my fault that it had happened and asked for help. Without question they sent me a new blank and tube, which allowed me to complete the project.

The other blank that gave me troubles was a spalted red maple. It looked great, until like the purple and gold, it chipped near the bushing. My gouges were sharp, as I sharpen them before and after every use. Yes, I know a little anal, but I like to be sure that the tools are as sharp as they can be. And before I get a lot of messages telling me I am sharpening them too much. I just do a light once over with a diamond sharpening tool I got from Penn State.

All in all I am happy with this and the other Diva pen kits I received, now I just need to replace those blanks and remove the damaged ones from the tubes.

The Man in The Can



· Registered
50 Posts
The other thing to love about these pen kits is that you can get two bodies from one pen blank.

Pink ivory will turn brown over time unless you can get a UV protection on there. Armor All sprayed on befor ethe finish helps.

· Registered
52 Posts
Thank you Rod! I did not know that about pink ivory. I will be sure to use Armor All on all future projects which I use pink ivory. GREAT tip!

· In Loving Memory
10,409 Posts
Very frustrating when all those things happen Craig.
I had some trouble with blanks but now make my own. I buy large pieces & cut them up into several larger blanks. That helps a lot with the tearout.
The chipping away from the brass sleve problem can easily be fixed by using an epoxy glue that expands as it sets. I use a glue called Vise which has solved that problem for me. You will need to let it set 24 hours but it's worth the wait.