Woodturning is said to be the safest form of woodworking, that said it can still be dangerous and care should be taken at all times

The methods and procedures I show here are what I do at the moment and feel safe doing, I am not suggesting that you should do things the same way, that is up to you, if you don’t feel safe doing it one way find another way of doing it.

Above all take care and remember if this is your hobby it is supposed to be fun so enjoy it.

The final step is to assemble the pen, their are many ways to do this but the idea is to squeeze the parts together gently, this avoids damage and ensures a good fit.   Please do not use a hammer or anything else and try and assemble the pen by hitting it.

You can buy special assemblers from most places that sell pen kits but the usually cost around 30 upwards.   There are also a lot of plans to be found on the internet for making your own.

There are lots of things that can be used in a workshop to assemble the pen a vice, bench drill, G clamp etc all free of charge.   The way I do it now is to use the lathe to squeeze them together.   A word of warning is needed here, the lathe I use for this is a Hegner and the bearings are designed to take pressure pushing in from the tailstock.   Most of the cheaper lathes have simple ball bearing bearings and are not designed to take this sort of pressure so please be careful.

In the picture below you can see the Items I use for this, the two wooden pieces are home made and did an excellent job but I decided to splash out and buy the plastic ones instead.

The brass piece is something a friend made for me to go in the pillar drill so I could use that for assembling pens when I first started turning them.

The first step is to put the nib end in to do this insert the helpers into the lathe as shown below.

Remove the lower barrel from the mandrel and check to make sure the ends of the blank is clear of overspill from the finishing.   If the is any odd pieces of finish gently rub the end on very fine sand paper on a flat surface.

Put the nib end into the blank and position on helpers then gently push together by winding the tailstock in.

With the helpers the same way round remove the top barrel from the mandrel and check the ends as before.

Then position the clip and top in place and gently squeeze together.   If your design has the top barrel very bulbous it is an idea to leave the plastic cover in place until after assembly to stop it scratching the barrel.

Now turn the helper in the tailstock around and put the mechanism in place as shown below. 

Now gently squeeze into place so that the ring around the mechanism is just level with the top of the barrel.

Now fit the pen refill in and make sure when turned fully the nib protrudes far enough, if not remove the refil and return the barrel to the lathe and push the mechanism in a little bit more.

When happy with the fit of the refill put the centre ring on the mechanism and push the top barrel into place after lining up the grain.

You now have a finished pen

finishing - previous   back to projects main page

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