How to Make a Wood Pen

How to Make a Wood Pen. Making your own wood pen is a fun hobby. You can make wood pens as gifts or sell them to earn extra money. The following steps will show you how to make a unique wood pen using a lathe.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen kit

  • Lathe

  • Mandrel

  • Bushings

  • Drill bit the size for your pen kit

  • Drill press or hand drill

  • Bench vice or quick-grip clamp

  • CA glue or epoxy

  • 220 to 2,500-grit sandpaper

  • Soft cloth

  • 10,000 and 12,000 micromesh

  • Renaissance wax

Preparing the Blank

Step 1

Obtain a pre-cut blank to make your pen. This is usually a piece of wood about ¾ by ¾ by 5-inches long which you can purchase from a pen-making supply catalogue company or online. You can also cut your own piece with a table saw.

Step 2

Cut the blank into 2 pieces (1 for the top part of the pen and 1 for the bottom part). You should read the instructions with your pen kit to make sure you cut them the correct size.

Step 3

Square the ends of the blank pieces with a disc sander or a miter gauge. Sand down the pieces to adjust the length of the piece.

Step 4

Draw an "X" from corner to corner of the end of the blank which will identify the center of the blank for drilling (the center of the "X"). With the drill bit recommended in your pen kit, drill a hole through the pen where the pen tube will be fitted.

Step 5

Glue the tubes that came with your pen kit into the blanks through the hole you've drilled. See the instructions with your pen kit to make sure you insert them correctly. Rough up the outside of the blanks with fine grit sandpaper to allow the glue to bond securely.

Step 6

Glue with CA glue or with epoxy by putting a few drops in the end of the blank. Push it through the drilled hole and turn it as you spread the glue. Set the blanks to the side to dry.

Using the Lathe

Step 1

Place the blanks on the mandrel with the bushings as per the instructions in your pen kit. Tighten the nut on the mandrel and secure it into the lathe. Set the lathe to its highest speed.

Step 2

Use a ¾-inch gouge and bring the blanks to about 1/16 inch of the bushings. Chisel the wood carefully with a skew chisel to make the pen as it turns on the lathe.

Step 3

Sand down the wood with 220-grit sandpaper. Sand with smaller grit paper until you get to a 2,500 grit to make the wood completely smooth.

Step 4

Remove the blanks from the lathe and apply a friction polish to the wood.

Step 5

Replace the blanks to the lathe and use a soft cloth to polish the wood as it turns. Keep polishing until it gets too hot to touch. Then sand the finish with 10,000 and 12,000 micromesh.

Step 6

Apply 2 coats of Renaissance wax to the pen to protect it from moisture and buff it to a shine between coats.

Assemble the Pen

Step 1

Refer to the instructions that came with your pen kit to read about assembly of the pen.

Step 2

Apply all the pieces to your pen. Push the pieces into the pen tube.

Step 3

Use a bench vice or a quick grip clamp to push the pens together if you need to.


You can purchase a pen-making starter set from pen-making suppliers, which includes everything you need to make your own pens.


If you do not make the ends of your blank pieces perfectly square, your pen will have gaps where the pieces meet. When drilling a hole in the center of the blank, drill slowly and remove all the shavings as you go. If you drill too fast you could ruin the blank. Wear protective eyewear when using the lathe.