Thursday, January 22, 2009

David Lindquist is the creator behind Craftiness. Here he illustrates his basic pen recipe for those that have wondered, 'HE Made THAT?!'

First, find a piece of wood that looks like it might be interesting inside. This particular wood is Siberian Pea shrub, also known as Caragana. Caragan is an old friend – its always has an unusual color pattern inside.

Mark your piece with a marker slightly longer than the length of your pen tube. You will do this twice since you have two pen tubes for this particular type of pen, a Euro center-twist ball point pen.

Cut your marked pieces with a chop saw. Or band saw, if you have one. I’m hoping to get one from Tina Claus for Christmas.

Drill a hole down the center of your wood piece with a drill press, using a vise to secure your piece. You now have two wood blanks with holes drilled and ready for the glue.

Rough up the surface of the tubes, then glue the outside of your tubes thickly with Gorilla Glue, which expands as it dries filling in the space nicely. Insert the tubes, still wet with glue, into your drilled blanks.

Now you have 2 nice blanks ready for the lathe. Square the ends of the blanks, so they are exactly perpendicular to the tubed blank. Mount the blanks onto your mandrel along with bushings for your particular pen kit. Bushings are spacers that have dual function. They space your items nicely on the mandrel and also serve as guide for reducing your blank to. Chisel down your pen blank to the same diameter as the bushings. Each type of pen kit usually requires bushings with different diameters. The middle of the wood can be any size but the ends need to be precise in order for the pen kit to fit your blanks.

Turn the blanks on the lathe, and shape them with turning tools: gouges, skews, etc. Turn and shape them until they have the final desired profile.
Sand your blanks while turning with different levels of sandpaper. I usually start with 150 grit, then 220, 320, 400, 600, 8-1000, and 1200-1500. Polish with the finish of your choice. David uses several different finishes for his pieces, depending on the type of material or wood used. This time he used a friction finish.

Now lay out your pen parts, and use a pressing device to assemble the pen barrels.

You end up with 2 parts, top and bottom, which are then pressed together to complete the pen. The pen can be pulled apart, in order to change the refill, in this case, a standard Cross style refill.

Or as we say in TX: damn, boy, hellfire, that’s a purty pen.!

If you are interested in being interviewed or having a tutorial published on this blog, please contact Tina at

Happy Creating!

1 comment:

  1. great tutorial, Tina! very cool to see how he makes those "purty" pens!