Making Long Pens by Arthur Duell
1. Cut straight grain wood, or figured grain with a very fine
character, one inch square and 8 to 9 inches long.
2. Mount in a "v"jig to cut the corner to corner slots at only one end
(used as a center guide line)
3. Center the stock and drill a 1/4" hole 4.5" deep. To do this start
with a short drill to provide a guide hole. Then use the long bit to
complete depth of the hole. Actual size of the hole depends on what kit
parts you want to put into the hole.
4. Mount the stock on a 1/4" mandrel (drill rod about 3" in length). Or
use that size of drill rod to fit in the size hole made.
5. Turn on the lathe with tail end free, then bring up the tail piece
to secure the NEW center (at the tail of the stock).
6. Now bring the tail, with live center up just tight enough to hold
the spindle in place. If the tail piece is too tight it will cause a
bowing of the spindle, chattering of the tool, and uneven cutting of the
skew. Turn at high speed.
7. Turn the spindle down to 9 mm, then begin the decorative process, as
you would for making fine finials.
8. Sand smooth and polish.
9. With lathe turning slowly grasp the spindle (with a glove on) and
pull it STRAIGHT off the mandrel. If the spindle is not pulled off
STRAIGHT it will crack.
10 Insert the ball pen parts.
NOTE: If you want to insert the "Bic" part then you must drill a 5/8"
recess with a 17/64" bit. Otherwise the "Bic" will fracture the spindle
when you force it into place.
Nine-five percent of the work is done with skews.