Carved Pen With No Lathe


This is not just any pen it is MY pen, and few Out there have one like it. for Christmas, I made a bunch and gave them out for gifts, but I wanted one for myself and thought it would be a good time to experiment with a bit of carving in the shaft. So this is kind of an experiment for me.

Tools needed;

#4 Hand plane setup for smoothing:

Combination Square:


Drill Bit Set:

File set:

Digital Calipers:

Supplies Needed;

Pen Kit:

Pen blank:


Super glue:

Drill out Blank


First, use the calipers to measure the brass tube in your pen kit and find a drill bit with that exact size. Mine was 13/32" Next. drill out your blank as straight as possible from end to end. The brass tube should be a tight fit in the hole. Some people like to roughen up the tube before inserting it and adding a bit of super glue to make sure it does not move.

Shape the Blank


I love a hexagon on the pen shank as it feels fantastic in the fingers. To mark it out I find a bolt that fits nicely in the tube, then use the head to mark out the shape of the bolt head on both ends. Next, I can clamp it into the Vice and plane down each face one by one down to the line. With a sharp #4 this takes no time at all. Last, I will round over the ends untell they match up with the head of the pen.

Carve the Shank


I wanted a simple spiral wrapping up the shank so I used a combination square to draw 45-degree lines that wrapped up the shank. Then, with a fine file is follow those lines to carve in a bit with the file.



I like to keep the corners sharp so I use a file to do a  final smoothing on the faces. To apply the shellac I put it on a bolt int he vice so it can spin. I apply 2lb cut Shellac in 6 thin coats. I stand between coats 2, and 3, then between 5, and 6 with 400 grit sand paper. Last I use the bench vice yo press the parts together. and there you have a personally carved pen.