Introduction: Pen Blanks

About: I love working with wood. I make bandsaw boxes and just lately ive got a lathe and now enjoy woodturning.

I made this 3 pens from offcuts from previous resin casting projects these off cuts normally go in a bin but to reduce my waste and reuse otherwise scrap material i made these pen blanks.

I have added the video so you can watch how i made these and help you if you decide to make pens yourself.

Items i used

Mould for casting i used a plastic container and a silicon pen mould

epoxy resin, weighing scales, stir sticks, plastic mixing cups, scrap off cuts from resin projects

colours for your resin i used 6 (a really bright mix)

pen kits with tubes i used sierra pen kits

Air compressor

resin casting pressure chamber

CA glue and activator (thin and medium)

micromesh pads

clear thick plastic food bag

nova 3 stage polish kit


Step 1: Getting Ready to Cast the Pen Blanks

I had offcuts from pinecone blanks and banksia pod blanks. i cleaned and removed dust from these parts and sanded any shiny resin from the off cuts and placed in the moulds. I put a piece of hdpe to one side i will use this in the plastic container to stop the off cuts floating out of the resin while it cures.

Step 2: Casting

Get all your stuff together

Epoxy resin, plastic mixing cups, wood mixing sticks, scales to measure resin (dependant on instructions for your resin) colours for resin i also added pearl ex for depth of colour.

1) I mixed resin and split into separate cups

2) Add the colours of choice to the cups (i used all six colours in the plastic tray blank)

3) I used a tooth pick to mix some swirls in the resin

4) I then placed in the pressure chamber to cure and get out all the air bubbles

Step 3:

After taking out of the pressure chamber i de-moulded and cut into the size i need for pen blanks (i used a bandsaw). I was really delighted with the large blank the mix of colour and the banksia pods and cones.

Step 4: Lets Make a Pen

1) I now got my pen tube, measured the size on the blank cut to the tube size and then drilled a hole for the tube. (each kit has its own size follow instruction for your kit)

2) I mounted the blanks on a pen mandril on the required bushes for the pen kit on the lathe and turned round using the bushes as a guide for the required size of pen.

Because the pen blanks had a mix of wood and resin i decided to use CA glue to finish to a high shine.

3) I first sanded to 600 grit, i then wiped each blank with rubbing alcohol to remove any dust.

4) I cut a small plastic bag into squares 12 in all for each blank.

5) I then covered the lathe bed with tissue to stop any glue sticking to lathe and put on gloves.

6) I then used thin CA putting a small drop along the blank with the lathe running very slow, and used to plastic bag to rub evenly into the blank using a CA activator after each application i repeated this 6 times.

7) Then i sanded the blank up to 600 grit and cleaned with rubbing alcohol.

8) I then repeated step 6 this time using the medium glue then sanded up to 600 grit.

Step 5: Final Step

For this step you need micro mesh pads and a container of water.

1) go through each micro mesh pad (1500 to 12000 grit) wetting each pad and before finishing each pad stopping lathe and running pad from side to side across the blank ( this stops any rings from sanding going around the blanks) and then wipe of any slurry between pads.

2) lastly use the 3 stage nova polish to give the final shine (this stage is optional)

Step 6:

Well thats the pens all done, i was really pleased with how the pens turned out the waste wood and resin came out so much better than i thought and from now on i will be reusing all the offcuts and waste materials from other projects. I have linked the video this gives and shows in more detail than what i can put in writing so feel free to check this out if my instruction is not clear. Thank you Pam

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