The Process: Making a Pen on the Lathe

I know it's a small thing, but your choice in writing implements can say a lot about you. Do you carry a simple plastic tube with cheap ink, or do you hold a solid, well-made piece that makes an impression? Or do you not carry anything at all? A pen holds stories and signatures, words and dreams, and you can make one that leaves an impression every time you put some words to that page.

That's why you should carry something impressive, and why you definitely should make your own. 

I started out with a simple lathe last summer and immediately tooled it up to make pens. Within a few weeks my collection was growing to the point that gifts had to happen to make room for more. Here's the process of making a pen from blank to impressive gift. I started with a few blanks of blue dyed stabilized maple, and here are the pens that came from the effort.

The Blank (Blue Stabilized Maple)

Drilling the Blank

Gluing in the Tube

Mounting the Blanks

Rough Turning

Rounded Blanks

Finish Work

The Final Piece