From your selected pen kit, remove the brass tube(s) so you know how long to cut your pen blank. Lay the brass tube (or tubes for a two-barreled pen) against the blank and measure 1/16" to 1/4" longer than the tube to allow a little extra "working" material while you drill and barrel trim.


Set up your mandrel according to your pen kit instructions placing the bushings and pen blank(s) as shown. Hand-tighten the locknut on the mandrel and then lock and tighten the tailstock in place. Do not over-tighten the mandrel set-up as this can warp your mandrel shaft over time and cause your pen blanks to turn out-of-round.


Once you have turned your wood or acrylic to your desired shape with the blank’s ends turned down to match the bushing diameters, you can then begin sanding the blank(s). As you sand, stop the lathe occasionally to feel the smoothness and texture you are achieving with your sandpaper. Work through the sandpaper grits until your pen barrels are smooth and even to the touch. If the sandpaper does not take out small ridges or high or low spots caused during turning, you may wish to use your gouge or turning tool to make very light cuts to remove these uneven areas. Resume sanding after correcting these spots until you are satisfied with the look and feel of your pen material.


WoodTurningz recommends several finishing products which, when applied to wood, leave a glossy sheen highlighting the natural grains and patterns in the wood. You can use these products for extra durability and a high-build shine in just minutes while the pen is still on your lathe.

You can also use a process using CA glue as the polishing agent which also builds into a high gloss finish. If interested, you can find the detailed instructions for this CA glue process under the (link) on this Web site.

For acrylic pens, you can apply a plastic polish to remove any slight scratches and give a shiny glass finish to your pen. WoodTurningz offers several polishes that are easy to use.


When your pen blanks are turned, sanded, and polished, you are ready to assemble your pen into the finished product. Refer to the pen kit’s instruction sheet and lay out your pen parts as shown on the diagram on the instruction sheet. Use a pen press to press the parts together.

Note: Once pen parts are pressed together, they have an extremely tight fit and are difficult, if not impossible at times due to potentially damaging the pen, to disassemble. WoodTurningz sells a pen parts disassembly kit for this reason. You may wish to purchase this kit to have the proper tool diameters to tap out pressed-in parts.

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