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Pen Making Tools

Essential Pen Making Tools

There are some tools that you absolutely need to get started with pen making. These include:

Basic Woodturning Tools

Pen making is a woodturning craft. If you are a woodturner and wish to make pens, you will no doubt already have these basic woodturning tools. Pen turning is a great way to get started with woodturning as the turning skills learned when turning pens can also be applied to larger projects. This section lists the basic tools needed to get started with pen making if you are totally new to the craft and have never turned before:

  • Lathe - A lathe is the most basic requirement for getting started in woodturning. Pens are generally turned on a lathe, so this is essential. There are many woodturning lathes available on the market, most of which are suitable for pen turning. If pen turning is your main objective, a small lathe will be suitable. Look for a lathe that has a solid cast bed, but most importantly, one that has morse taper fittings on the headstock (lathe spindle) and tailstock as this makes your lathe versatile and compatible with most pen turning mandrels.
  • Turning chisels - You will need a roughing gauge and a skew chisel for pen making. Other turning chisels may be useful, but these are the most commonly used when turning pens.

Specific Tools for Pen Making

In addition to the basic woodturning tools listed above, you will need to add several specialised pen making tools to your workshop to make pens. This section lists the essential tools needed to turn pens:

  • Pen Turning Mandrel - A pen mandrel is the most fundamental requirement for getting started in pen turning. Except for specialised pen styles such as closed-end pens, you will need only one mandrel to make all pens. A good choice is either the adjustable pen mandrel or the turn-between-centres pen mandrel. Specialised grabber mandrels are required to turn closed-end pens.
  • Pen Bushings - for each pen style that you wish to make, you will need the appropriate set of pen bushings.
  • Drill Bit - you will need the correct size drill bit for the pen style you wish to make. The required drill bit sizes are listed on the product page of each pen kit on this site.
  • Barrel trimming set - a barrel trimming set is designed to be used on your drill press to ensure that the edges of your pen meet the pen kit components perfectly without any gaps.

Tools to Simplify your Pen Making

Although the tools in this section are not absolutely essential, they make certain elements of the pen making process much easier.

  • Pen Tube Insertion Tool - use this tool to hold your pen tube when applying glue and inserting into the pen barrel to avoid getting glue on your fingers.
  • Pen Assembly Press - pen press offers a quick and easy way of pressing the pen kit components into the pen barrels after they have been turned.
  • Pen Disassembly Set & Disassembly Vice Grip - if you make a mistake in assembling your pen or if you need to replace broken or worn components, these tools are essential to easily remove the parts that require replacement / refitting.