tools needed to turn pens on a wood lathe

Turning a pen on a wood lathe is an enjoyable and creative process that requires a specific set of tools. Here’s a list of essential tools and equipment you’ll need:

  1. Wood Lathe: This is the primary tool for pen turning. It should have a suitable speed range and be stable enough for precise work.
  2. Pen Turning Kit: These kits typically include the pen blanks (the wood pieces), pen tubes, ink refills, and the pen mechanisms. They come in various styles and finishes. You find companies using this directory link. – Project Supply Companies.
  3. Lathe Chuck and Mandrel: The chuck holds the mandrel, which in turn holds the pen blank. The mandrel is a critical component for pen turning, ensuring the blank is centered and stable during turning.
  4. Turning Tools: A basic set of turning tools, such as gouges, chisels, and parting tools, are used to shape the pen. A sharp gouge, like a spindle gouge, is particularly useful for shaping pens.
  5. Drill and Drill Bits: You’ll need a drill to bore a hole longitudinally through the pen blank, and drill bits that match the diameter of the pen tubes in your kit.
  6. Glue: A strong adhesive, like cyanoacrylate (super glue) or epoxy, is used to secure the pen tube inside the drilled pen blank.
  7. Sandpaper and Finishing Supplies: Various grits of sandpaper are needed to smooth the pen blank. Finishing supplies like wax or friction polish will give the pen a professional, glossy finish.
  8. Pen Assembly Press: After turning and finishing the pen components, a pen press is helpful for assembling the pen parts smoothly and evenly.
  9. Safety Gear: Safety glasses and, in some cases, a face shield are essential for protection. Dust masks or respirators are also recommended to avoid inhaling wood dust.
  10. Measuring Tools: Precision is key, so having a ruler or calipers to measure the pen blanks and components is helpful.
Vertex (Magnetic) Fountain Pen - Abalone styled artistry epoxy with buckeye burl

Remember, the quality of your tools can significantly affect the outcome of your pen turning project. High-quality, sharp tools will make the process smoother and more enjoyable.