Pen Making update 25: lathes ahoy

First of all thank you to all the people who replied to my thread yesterday enquiring about the content of these updates. I have taken on board what people have said and that should help the quality of these updates. Any feedback on the new format is welcome.

* Workshop

The planning continues, I have managed to get a door from work for free. All I need to do is cut the frame and the door leaf to size, get some hinges for an externally open doorset and some optional hinge protection then it will be ready to fit into the aperture. I have some veneered chipboard which is quite thick that I can use as the surface of the worktop. I just need to hope that it is the right size for the lathe I want. I measured the inside dimensions of the shed today and it is 1530mm wide and 2000mm deep. Not too big, but I don’t intend to have that many tools in there, it should be big enough for me.

Lathes, now there is a subject that has been a bit stressful recently. I don’t know how much of a budget I will have yet. I keep getting advised to go as big as I can afford. So that is what I am going to do. I have managed to rope my parents into helping out with the lathe now as well, so that is a bit extra that can go towards it. Any pens I sell from now on the money is going straight into the lathe fund. At the moment I have picked out 3 that I would like, they are below, hell if you guys have any other suggestions please make them in the comments, any help on this is more than welcome, also if anyone has any ideas on ways I can get extra funding please do say too. On with the lathes:

[option 1](

[option 2](

[option 3](

* Pen stuff (this is where the pictures are at)

I finished off one pen this week, well almost. I cocked up another pen but I think I have come up with the solution to the cockup I made. I also received the parts to finish up one of my stock pens someone wanted. First of all on with the cockup.

It was going so well. I treated myself to some [blue and red]( ebonite. Why blue and red? Well my logic was that whenever I see any ebonite pens it’s always black and a colour, as it is a pen for me I wanted something unique to me, so it was a toss up between that and the [yellow and green](, I liked both of them. Anyway, I had the barrel shaped and I had the cap shaped, it was [deliciously chunky]( for a pen, the diameter of the barrel was about 15mm and the cap was about 16mm or 17mm. It

[posted well too]

(, something which I have always struggled with for some reason, don’t ask me why. I managed to drill out the section and I was in the process of checking the threads, the nib section screwed in fine and I was happy with it. Then I screwed it into the barrel, [disaster struck](, the section snapped at the threaded part leaving the threaded bit inside the barrel, I have tried using a wooden dowel to unscrew it but it doesn’t work. I know why it happened now, the wall of that part was really thin, thin walls and hardened rubber do not mix well. What I am going to do to solve this is keep the drilled part the same but move up to a different grade of thread so the walls will end up thicker, I have got another small part of ebonite and I will let you know.

I managed to succeed in a pen though, so it’s not all bad. The beginning blanks were very [pretty]( and I had been lusting after them for a while. The cover image of this post shows the pen put together but unpolished. Here are the individual parts all polished in the sunlight still attached to my lathe home made lathe holders, they are so I don’t have to drip the


( pen parts in the jaws of the chuck. It’s not the greatest picture but


( is the mostly finished pen. I just need to put it through the micromesh again to get rid of some very small scratches.

* personal

My brain rebelled again at the beginning of the week, the bastard thing, and I had started to really doubt myself. I have my wife u/poisoned_strumpet to thank for convincing me not to give up on everything. So, yeah, that wasn’t exactly great. I am not going to have as much access to the lathe at work any more either. They don’t really want me working on the pens on my lunch breaks any more, which sucks, that was when I did most of the work. That cuts my weekly lathe time down by about 3 hours or so. Hence why I am really pushing getting my own lathe, once that happens I will be in a better position, I am still accepting new orders though.

Phew, that was longer than I expected, that is it for this week.

If you feel like it you can follow me on instagram, my name over there is @denscustompens

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