Wood pens is one of the most popular turning projects ever!

I believe that the major reason is that it's a very controlled turning environment which allows the turner to focus on the turning materials and styling. There are so many turning materials that go beyond the standard single wood pen. Today, you can do multiple woods like segmented pens or Celtic cross pens or fancy laminations. And then you can go to Alternative man made materials like Acrylics, or Solid Surface (think Corian) or more! And of course, lately I've seen rice, corn cobs, rattlesnake and even cactus used as pen materials!! So, there is plenty of room for creativity.

If you've not yet made a pen, then I suggest that you start now!! And if you're already making pens, don't stop now!!


Artisan-Made Calligraphy Pen HoldersArtisan-Made Calligraphy Pen Holders
By: Rodger Mayeda
In this article, Lindsey documents woodturner Rodger Mayeda's process to make calligraphy pen nib holders. This is an interesting new area for pen turners.


Using Bullets For Nibs On Cartridge PensUsing Bullets For Nibs On Cartridge Pens
By: Les Elm
In this tutorial, Les shows us how to converts at bullet into the nib of a cartridge pen. He shows he step so that you can duplicate his work. If you're into guns (and bullets) then this might be a fun project for you.


Corn Cob PenCorn Cob Pen
By: Bill Nosie
In this photo tutorial, Bill shows us how he makes a corn cob pen. He's found that they are very popular and you may too!


Turning the Sierra Wooden PenTurning the Sierra Wooden Pen
By: Lilian Schaer and Bill Collier
In this tutorial, we learn all the step necessary to turn a one-piece Sierra pen.


How To Woodturn A PenHow To Woodturn A Pen
By: Laura Selhurst
In this tutorial, Laura shows us how to make the Americana pen kit. She uses an acrylic pen blank for this pen.


Making Celtic Knot Pen BlanksMaking Celtic Knot Pen Blanks
By: Terry Quiram
Terry shows us how he makes these pen blanks with Celtic knot designs. If you've ever wondered how to do this, then Terry's article should help you out.


Serpentine Pen BlanksSerpentine Pen Blanks
By: Terry Quiram
In this AAW Reprint, Terry shows us how he creates these stunning serpentine pen blanks. They will make beautiful pens!


The Pen Turner's Corner: Making Rattlesnake Skin Pen Blanks using the Tube-On Clear Casting ProcesThe Pen Turner's Corner: Making Rattlesnake Skin Pen Blanks using the Tube-On Clear Casting Proces
By: Don Ward
In this tutorial, Don shows us how to use rattlesnake skins to create a unique and attractive pen turning blank.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Making a custom longwood twist penThe Pen Turner's Corner: Making a custom longwood twist pen
By: Don Ward
At our last local woodturning club meeting, one of the members asked me about making a pen with a long profile. One option is to buy a kit sold by Penn State Industries: their Longwood Twist pen, item # PKLONGPEN, Another, less expensive option, is to make the pen from a slimline kit. I told him I would make one from a slimline kit for him and bring it to the next meeting.  Any slimline kit can be used, but my favorite slimline kits to use for my modifications are the PSI Comfort Pen (PKXMCH) in chrome, the PSI Trimline (PKXMCH) in chrome and the Berea Streamline “7mm” pen (SO-0301-B-CHR) in chrome. These kits have larger center bands than the standard slimline and the clips are much nicer. 


The Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a Dragon Pen with the Dragon Scales Epoxy Inlay KitThe Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a Dragon Pen with the Dragon Scales Epoxy Inlay Kit
By: Don Ward
Penn State Industries has introduced several theme-based pen kits over the last year. These kits have lots of ornamentation and decoration on the metal parts, clips, center-bands and end parts. While a burl-wood or acrylic blank pairs nicely with these kits, a blank with similar decorations/themes would be appropriate. Some of them are the Skull Kit, the Keyhole Kit, the Dragon Kit, the Medieval Kit, The Southwest Kit, Celtic Twist, and the Fly Fishing Kit to name several of them. For example, a blank with skulls would be nice with the skull kit or trout would work nicely with the Fly Fishing Kit. There are some turners who can cast and can make labels with the appropriate theme. Others can use decals to decorate or embellish the blank. Still others can use segmenting skills to create blanks. Personally, I don’t have the patience to segment. I can cast images printed on labels or use decals but I would rather be doing something else!


The Pen Turner's Corner: The Sierra ExplosionThe Pen Turner's Corner: The Sierra Explosion
By: Don Ward
Have you noticed the explosion of one-piece pen kits? There seems to be a new one each time I look at the catalogs or online stores. Just a few years back there were only two or three kits using a single blank and then it all began. They now come in clicker pens, twist pens, with caps, shorter and longer barrels, and even pencils. Let’s explore what I think is the reason for this proliferation of one-piece pen kits. The information that follows is my perspective and how I remember the one-piece pen evolving. The evolution could be a little different.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a Fountain PenThe Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a Fountain Pen
By: Don Ward
I often hear pen turners say, “I have made several styles of ballpoints, pencils, and rollerballs. Now, I think I am ready to attempt a fountain pen.” The say this as though there is something difficult or mysterious about making a fountain pen.  Fountain pens may be a bit mysterious to many but making one is no more difficult than making a rollerball. Actually, if one can make a rollerball then one can make a fountain pen. The only difference between a particular model of fountain pen and its rollerball brother is the front section.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Pen Turning Sans Mandrel or No-Mandrel Pen TurningThe Pen Turner's Corner: Pen Turning Sans Mandrel or No-Mandrel Pen Turning
By: Don Ward
Ready to ditch your pen mandrel? There is a different way to turn pens that is gaining lots of popularity in the penturning world. TBC: Turning Between Centers, as it is called, is catching on with experienced penturners as well as those with less experience. Turning between centers, or TBC, is used for several reasons and the process will be explained later.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Making a Pen Blank From Colored PencilsThe Pen Turner's Corner: Making a Pen Blank From Colored Pencils
By: Don Ward
In this tutorial, Don Ward uses colored pencils to make a pen blank. It's an unusal look and will allow you to turn a unique pen.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a Pen with a Fire and Rescue Laser Inlay KitThe Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a Pen with a Fire and Rescue Laser Inlay Kit
By: Don Ward
Would you like to try something new? Would you like to make a pen that will surely turn heads and wow your fellow club members? If so, then consider looking over the laser inlay kits available. Categories covered by these kits include flags, animals, sports, occupations, food and drink, military, special occasions, religions, plants, hobbies, music, dog breeds, firearms, and fish to mention just a few. In this article, I show how to turn a pen using the Fire and Rescue Laser Inlay Kit.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Turn a Pool Cue PenThe Pen Turner's Corner: Turn a Pool Cue Pen
By: Don Ward
In July 2014, I was asked by Barry Gross to assist him with his class at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. Barry called one of the pens we made the "pool cue pen". Although it did not look like the classic pool cue, the shape was tapered like one. In this article, I show you how to make a pool cue pen.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Closed-End PensThe Pen Turner's Corner: Closed-End Pens
By: Don Ward
Turning closed-end pens is usually one of the steps one takes to start getting away from strictly kit pens. Closed-end pens are one way to start modifying kits to make them a bit more unique.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Hexagonal Pen BarrelsThe Pen Turner's Corner: Hexagonal Pen Barrels
By: Don Ward
Penn State Industries introduced the Vertex pens a couple of years ago. The metal nib and clip ends have hexagon sections. Ever since I first made one of the vertex click pens I though how nice it would look if the barrel had a hexagon shape as well. The vertex pens are available in a click version as well as rollerballs and fountain pen. The rollerballs and fountain pens have magnetic caps. The cap easily posts magnetically onto the nib and back of the pen without the use of threads. The vertex pens can be seen on the PSI website at


The Pen Turner's Corner: Hidden or Recessed clipsThe Pen Turner's Corner: Hidden or Recessed clips
By: Don Ward
In a previous article I outlined how to make a pen with many of the parts made from wood. The clip end had a wooden finial and the clip ring was exposed on one example and hidden in a recess in another choice. I really like the hidden clip look with only the clip itself exposed. How else could this be executed other than cutting a recess in the end of the blank, cutting a relief slot for the clip and then plugging the end with a finial made from wood?  There is another method to “hide the clip” or “recess the clip.” The clip is not actually hidden, so I consider recessing the clip a better choice of terminology. Only the finial ring is hidden or recessed inside the pen barrel.


The Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a One-Piece Cigar PenThe Pen Turner's Corner: Turning a One-Piece Cigar Pen
By: Don Ward
With many types of pens like the slimline, it's easy to convert them into one-piece turnings. But the Cigar Pen was much more of a challenge. Take the journey with me as I show you how to make the Cigar Pen with a single turning blank.


Making a   Scalloped Segmented   Pen Blank Making a Scalloped Segmented Pen Blank
By: Tim Spaulding
In this tutorial, Tim shows us how to modify a standard pen blank with his table saw and then he fills the kerfs with veneers to create a very interesting scalloped design.


How I made a Herringbone 360How I made a Herringbone 360
By: Darrin McArthur
In this tutorial, Darrin explains how he creates this amazing pen blank. The pattern of the pen blank is a herringbone. The cutting and gluing process is quite amazing and it's no wonder why the final pen is so beautiful. If you've got the patience, this tutorial shows you the reward that is possible.


How to Make an American Patriot Bolt-Action Pen How to Make an American Patriot Bolt-Action Pen
By: Stephen S. Johnson
In this photo tutorial, Stephen uses the Patriot Bolt Action pen kit from Penn State Industries to build this "Salute to the Troops" pen. He goes through each step to make this Parker Style pen. You too can pay tribute to the troops when you make this pen and give it to a soldier!


The Osage Orange Archery PenThe Osage Orange Archery Pen
By: Stephen S. Johnson
In this photo tutorial, Stephen shows us how he modifies a standard 7mm slimline pen using some beautiful osage orange wood and a piece of an archery arrow. It turns out to be a really nice pen and will be perfect for that archer in your life.


Making a basic slimline penMaking a basic slimline pen
By: Stephen S. Johnson
In this photo tutorial, Stephen shows us how to make a basic 7mm slimline pen. He goes over each and every step needed to turn and build your own pen. If you've ever wanted to make pens, this tutorial will give you all the steps needed to be successful.


Modified Slimline Pen - The Beekeeper\'s PenModified Slimline Pen - The Beekeeper's Pen
By: Stephen S. Johnson
In this photo tutorial, Stephen explains how he modified the popular 7mm slimline pen. This custom pen was made for a door prize at his father's bee keeping club. Stephen uses some color markers to give it the bee keeping colors which really dresses up the pen. If you wanted to break away from making kit pens, this is one step in that journey.


Deer Antler Pen And How To Make ItDeer Antler Pen And How To Make It
By: Stephen Johnson
Stephen shows us the 12 steps that he uses to make this gorgeous pen from a whitetail deer antler. The tutorial has wonderful photography and tells you everything you need to make one of these pens yourself.


Pen Turning TutorialPen Turning Tutorial
By: Ian Pribyl
In this photo tutorial, Ian Pribyl takes us through the following project steps in making a slimline pen:

Step 1: Preparing Your Blanks for the Lathe
Step 2: Turning the Pen Blanks
Step 3: Sanding the Pen Blanks
Step 4: Applying a CA Glue Finish
Step 5: Assembling Your Slimline Pen

It's really great to see a good CA finish explanation too since many new turners seem to have trouble with this!

Ian's only 24 and has already been turning 10 years so he's got a good base of turning and can help you learn to turn pens!


Using remainders for pen blanksUsing remainders for pen blanks
By: Kurt Hertzog
In this photo tutorial, Kurt shows us how he uses recycled laser cut pen blank components to make beautiful pen blanks. He uses lots of alternative materials so it's a good learning even if you're going to use those materials for other projects.


Turning PensTurning Pens
By: Tom Hintz
In this project, Tom shows us how to turn pens or as he calls it, "Cheap thrills at the lathe".

Tom describes the project like this, "Pen turning is growing in popularity because it is fun, easy and can be done on virtually any size lathe. Another attraction is producing unique gifts for friends or even merchandise for sale.

In this story, we will turn a basic pen and look at the necessary (and not so necessary) tools. This is only the beginning though. Master the basics and the only limiting factor is your imagination. Everything from the materials used to the shape of the pens is open for exploration."

And we agree!


The Slimline PenThe Slimline Pen
By: Barry Gross
This photo tutorial is a great beginner's project. It covers the most available pen type, the slimline or often called the 7mm pen.

In this project, Barry goes over all the steps required to make this easy pen and provides a photo for each step. With this tutorial and a pen kit, you should be well on your way to making your first pen!


Turning a Wood PenTurning a Wood Pen
By: Bonnie Klein
In this photo tutorial, Bonnie Klein shows how to make a wood pen. The project can be applied to any pen style. Bonnie's close-up photo's really help to understand what is happening making it easier for you to copy her process when making your own pens.

We hope that this easy to follow project helps you to get started making pens!


Turning Leather PensTurning Leather Pens
By: John Swinkels
In this well done article, John shows us how to make pens with leather bodies.

John describes the process of getting the leather (inexpensively), shows us how to make a leather punch to cut out the leather disks and how he builds up the pen blanks using a clever wood mold. Once you have built up one of John's leather pen blanks, most of the process is the same as any other 7mm turned pen.

Leather is an interesting alternative material for pens! The results are pretty stunning which I can say since I have one of John's pens in my hands right now! With such a clear tutorial in front of you, I'm not sure how you won't give it a try!


Four Different Ways to Build Segmented Pen BlanksFour Different Ways to Build Segmented Pen Blanks
By: Mike Vickery, Jim Boyd, Ron Sardo, and Ron McIntire
This is a great document because it shows 4 projects from 4 of the premier pen turners in the U.S.

This set of projects shows 4 different ways to make segmented pens! These are advanced projects but are very inspirational!! And even beginners can learn a lot from reading the projects and even giving them a shot!!


Invisible ClipsInvisible Clips
By: Mike Vickery
In this photo tutorial, Mike shows us how he makes wood turned pens without the standard metal top that holds the pen clip in place. Using this technique allows for a wood top to the pen making it look very natural.

This project will be more than most beginners should attempt right away but it can show them how much more exciting things there are available to do with pens!


Double Cross PenDouble Cross Pen
By: John Nystedt
In this photo tutorial, John shows us how he makes the double cross pen. The close-up photo's are a big help to understand the critical parts of this project. This pen comes out as another variation of the Celtic cross style pen and is very attractive. It's a great project to make!


Turned Writing PensTurned Writing Pens
By: Wood Magazine
"The Write Stuff" All you need to master pen turning!

Lathe projects don’t have to be complicated, and neither does gift giving. Learn to turn pens, and you'll discover both a pleasant new pastime and a great way to make personalized gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.


Custom Centerbands for Slimline PensCustom Centerbands for Slimline Pens
By: William Young
Just because a center band is included in each slimline kit doesn't mean that you have to use it!!

In this photo tutorial, William strives to convince you to abandon your factory center bands and make your own lovely contrasting wood ones! We hope you learn how easy it is to improve the slimline pen with this simple modification.


Pen Making - Building on the BasicsPen Making - Building on the Basics
By: Mike Shaver
In this photo slide tutorial, Mike shows us all the steps that he uses to make his lovely pens. He also shares several secrets on getting the best pen and best finish. Jim also shows his layout jigs which are a great way to ensure that you cut the top and bottom sections of the blanks to the proper size.

This is a great tutorial to get you going on pens.


Making StickpensMaking Stickpens
By: Kurt Hertzog
Kurt says: The advantage to making stick pens is that they are quickly and inexpensively made. There are no kit parts required and there is no limit to the creativity that can be incorporated in the turned body. Because it is a spindle turning, beads, coves, captive rings, and other spindle turning adornments are possible.


Turning a Baseball Bat PenTurning a Baseball Bat Pen
By: Dennis Daudelin
In this photo tutorial, Dennis shows us how to use a Bic pen insert to make a fun baseball bat shaped pen. He also shows what can go wrong if you don't drill this long length correctly.

This is a fun, easy and inexpensive pen to make. If you have any baseball fans in the house, this is a good pen for them.


Turning Beads and Coves on a PenTurning Beads and Coves on a Pen
By: Ed Davidson
In this wonderful photo tutorial, Ed shows us how to make beads and coves on a slimline pen. This is a great project to see that it's possible to make exciting pens on this basic pen kit. Ed's point is that pens don't need to be just straight lines, be creative using his explanation of different shapes and forms.


Making PensMaking Pens
By: Dave Hylands
In this very clear photo tutorial, Dave explains each step in the process of making a slim line pen. He also has a "close-up" photo for each of these steps!


Polymer Clay PenPolymer Clay Pen
By: Jami Miller
In this project, Jami explains how to use polymer clay to make pens. I've also had luck putting them on the lathe for turning and sanding. You do have a take a very light cut as they plastic-like clay is very soft to a turning tool. Using clay allows you to make very different colored or patterned blanks for your pens.


Creating a Polychromatic Segmened PenCreating a Polychromatic Segmened Pen
By: Kenn Osbourne
In this photo tutorial, Kenn shows you to create laminated wood blanks using multiple woods and then to cut them into slices. These slices are glued to create a rotated pen blank. It's a wonderful technique and makes a great looking pen. This technique can also be applied to other segmented projects.


How to make a Corn Cob PenHow to make a Corn Cob Pen
By: Patricia Lawson
In this project, Patricia explains how to use an ordinary old corn cob as your pen blank. The final pen is rather stunning.

Just a quick note to let everyone know that stabilized corn cobs are now on the market so that you don't have to try firming up the corn cob exclusively with CA. They will be much easier to use but there is now the upfront purchasing cost.


Pens - Turning for FunPens - Turning for Fun
By: Scott Greaves
In this 2-part article, Scott starts off talking about all the different styles of pens and why someone would want to turn them. Then Scott explains about the loose center bands that part of the slimline pen style. He then explains how to make your own center band and shows how that opens up the opportunity to make different shaped pens.

If you've not yet opened your world up by turning replacement center bands, this article should give you sufficient motivation.


Scallop PensScallop Pens
By: Mark Gisi
In this simple tutorial, Mark shows us with drawing the steps that he follows to make this scalloped pen. The drawings sure make it easy to follow and to be able to build this pen.


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Customized Electric Branding Iron

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This customized, 110V electric branding iron will let you imprint your woodturnings in way that will never fade away. You will be able to order from fifteen different standard-size design choices, enter your custom text and proof the final design. The delivery of your custom burning head will take 2 - 3 weeks.

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Rockler Mini Carbide Pen Turning Tools

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This three piece set has comfortable rubber handles which provide excellent control and reduce fatigue—replaceable carbide tips require no sharpening. The 3-piece sets comes with diamond, square and round carbide tipped tools.

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Drill and assemble your pens perfectly with flush fittings and a smoothly-operating mechanism! This dual-purpose jig takes care of both prep work and assembly. It holds your blank firmly in position for drilling, creating a precise, perfectly centered hole the entire length of the pen. Later, it smoothly presses your parts together without any bowing or misalignment. Notched jaws automatically center the blank for drilling, while two countersunk holes center the parts during assembly. Large clamping wheel provides slow, controlled pressure so you'll never crack a casing again.

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Protect your lungs, face and eyes during virtually any woodworking task with the air-circulating Trend® Airshield Pro. Its built-in fan circulates filtered air to prevent fogging, provide cooling and protect users from dust particulates down to 0.6 microns in size at a 98% efficiency rate. This model also meets ANSI Z87+ standards for eye-protection. It features an improved headband with a ratchet suspension and pivoting nape back strap for enhanced comfort, fit and durability. The nickel metal hydride battery allows for up to eight hours of operation on a full charge, twice the length of previous models. Includes a charger, airflow indicator and pre-installed plastic film overlay to prevent buildup of sap after heavy turning jobs, and to prevent scratching.

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This is a one-size fits all, heavy duty denim apron with a soft-cloth collar and criss-cross shoulder straps. It even includes a pencil pocket.

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Starter Pen Turning Kit

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This kit contains all the essential tooling you need to start turning custom pens. It includes three pen blank species (bloodwood, bubinga and olivewood), three gold-plated Slimline Twist Pen Hardware Kits, a 7mm mandrel with knurled nut and #2 Morse Taper, 7mm bushings, a 7mm Brad Point Drill Bit, a 1 oz. bottle of CA Glue, a Pen Mill Kit for truing up all mating surfaces and a storage case with 28 adjustable compartments. The Pen Mill includes four pilot shaft sizes for a wide range of pen types.

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Robert Sorby's flagship set of turning tools is designed to fill the needs of woodturners from beginner to professional. These high-quality tools will shorten the learning curve for those just starting out, and are sure to impress the seasoned woodturner. The set comprises six of Robert Sorby's core range of tools: a roughing gouge, spindle gouge, bowl gouge, skew, parting tool and scraper. Each tool is crafted from the highest quality high speed steel, and married to a comfortable handle turned from solid ash. The set arrives in a high quality box that provides an attractive presentation as a gift, and practical storage thereafter.

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The Excelsior 5-Speed Mini Lathe can turn bowls of almost 10" in diameter and spindles up to 17-3/4" in length, making it perfect for chair legs, small table legs and an endless array of decorative turnings. A convenient door provides easy access to the belt, along with 5 different speeds: 760, 1100, 1600, 2200 and 3200 RPM. Cast-iron body provides mass for minimal vibration, stable turning and maximum durability.

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