Introduction: How to Make a Live Edge Pen / the No Lathe Challenge

About: I like to make fun projects and document it all for my channel BCDesign on YouTube!

Were you looking for a project to do with your kids? The live edge pen is a great project that you can involve the whole family in. It only takes a few simple tools and at the end you can personalize it, making it your own.

I made a video of the build for my channel BCDesign this will also help you make your own pen.

Items you will need:

  • Knife
  • Drill
  • 8mm wood bit
  • Handplane
  • Small vise or clamp
  • Hand Saw
  • Bic style pen
  • Clear spray laquer
  • A small tree branch 1" diameter
  • Dog to help you find a nice branch

Step 1: Go Find a Branch

  • I put a leash on my dog and went for a walk to find a nice branch.
  • I used my knife to cut a green ash branch.
  • You can also use a fallen branch, only cut green branches somewhere you have permission to be and where you will not be doing any harm.
  • I selected a small branch that was growing out across the road at eye height and used my knife to cut it down.

Step 2: Cut Branch to Size

  • Use a mitre box and saw to cut the end of the branch where you will drill the hole for the pen.
  • Shape the other end of the stick with a knife.
  • Remember to always cut away from yourself to avoid injuries if the knife slips.

Step 3: Drill the Pen Hole

  • Put an 8mm wood bit in the drill.
  • Use a small vise attached to a bench to hold the wood.
  • I wrapped the wood in a piece of cloth to stop it from getting damaged from the vise jaws.
  • You could also use a normal woodworking clamp to hold the wood if you don't have a vise.
  • My drill bit was shorter than my pen so I drilled all the way to the chuck.
  • If you have a bit that is longer than your pen, mark the depth you need to drill with some blue tape.

Step 4: Use a Handplane to Shape the Pen

  • Use a handplane upside down to shape the front end of the pen.
  • Be careful not to cut your fingertips on the blade.
  • Make the area where you will grip the pen a nice thickness for comfort in your hand.
  • Set the pen in the vise again using the cloth to again avoid damage to the wood.
  • Use the handplane to make a smooth flat surface on one side of the wood.

Step 5: Cut Pen to Size

  • I had to take my pen apart as I needed to make it shorter.
  • Take the inside out of the pen and cut the pen body to the right size.
  • Reassemble the pen.

Step 6: Put the Pen Into the New Body

  • Now put the reassembled pen into the wooden body.
  • Personalize the pen with names or other messages
  • You can make sets of these with coloring pencils that kids love!
  • This is great project to get your kids into making stuff!

Step 7: Finished!

This is a really fun project and takes very little time to make a pen! It is a great way to spend an afternoon with your kids!

Check out the build video it includes all the steps in this Instructable! If you like this project please vote for me in the contests I have entered!

Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017