Step 1: Marking and Cutting the Blank
Step 2: Drilling
Step 3: Gluing the Tubes into the Barrel Blanks
Step 4: Flush-Trimming the Tubes
A "Barrel Trimmer" or "Pen Mill" is mounted in the chuck of my drill-press. I then turn the drill press on and slowly feeding the cutter into the blank, like my video shows. This done to each end of every blank.
Step 5: Mounting the Blanks for Turning
Step 6: Roughing out the Blanks
To get the best idea of how I roughed the blanks down, watch the video as well as read the following sentences. I use a small spindle gouge the take light passes so the acrylic doesn't shatter. It's important to know the proper cutting method to use with a gouge. Lean the tool into your cuts. Make sure that the tool rest is close up to the work piece. As well make sure that the edge that's cutting has an adequate amount of support. If the tool isn't supported enough as it cuts, you will experience a catch. A catch will usually scar wood. I've never had one on acrylic, but I imagine it could compromise the blank.
Step 7: Final Turning - Top Barrel
Now the the pen has been rounded a bit you can start on finishing the barrels up. I start with the top one. To achieve the smooth finish on the acrylic necessary for a scratch-free finish, you will need to know how to bevel a skew chisel to make fine sheering cuts. The video I made shows the proper method for making these cuts. Hold the tool so it has a substantial amount of support. Then touch the bevel to the work-piece and lean it into the material and begin shearing off fine shavings. A tennon is also cut (to accept the center-ring) using a parting tool and the sizing ring (the largest of the bushings). When the sizing ring fits over the tennon snugly that means the center-ring will fit well too. The rest of the Barrel is shaved down until it's just about flush with the sizing ring. Remember not to make this too close of a fit since sanding needs to be done.
Step 8: Final Turning - Bottom Barrel
The bottom Barrel is shaped using the same cutting method as the top one except there is no tennon. The video shows how it's shaped. It tapers down to the smallest bushing with a neat contour. Make this Barrel any shape you want as long as it fits into the 1/16" of the center-ring that over-laps. Also make sure that it's comfortable to write with.
Step 9: Sanding and Polishing
One of the most difficult parts of turning acrylic is achieving a smooth, scratch free finish. During the sanding process, I start with 150 grit and finish with 12000 grit. The order of how I sanded goes like this: 150, 200, 400, 600, 1500, 1800, When I get up to 1500 grit I start using Micro Mesh sheets. The Micro-mesh sheets I used can be found here. The most important part about polishing is to not apply a ton of pressure. Sand very, very lightly. Back the micro mesh sheet up with a paper towel if necessary.
Step 10: Assembly
Assembling the pen is relatively straight-forward. Assembling this pen is no different from assembling any other turned pen (If you are using the Round Top European hardware). As my video shows, the threaded insert is first pressed into the top end of the top barrel, then comes the clip and clip screw, after that the nib is then pressed into the bottom end of the bottom barrel, then the twist mechanism is pressed into the opposite end of the bottom barrel, then the center-ring is glued onto the tennon and then the ink cartridge screws into the end of the twist mechanism. Finally, this pen is ready for use! These pens are very unique whether your using Slimline or Round-Top European hardware and when all these steps are followed, the results are remarkable. They could also be engraved if you had a method for doing so. I'm still trying to figure out a way to accomplish that using a Dremel.