Pen Making at Harding Pens
Click on a thumbnail image to see the full sized image.
Start with a purchased kit of
Shown are kits for a twist pen, a
European (Mont Blanc) style twist
pen and a detachable key ring.
Exposed parts are gold, chrome,
Titanium or Platinum plated.
Internal tubes are brass or zinc
plated. Some kits use matt or
satin finish instead of glossy gold
or chrome.
Twist Pen Kit
Select a block of wood. The
wilder the grain, the better.
Cut in half, drill a hole through,
and glue in the brass tubes
from the kit.
The blank ends then need to
be squared so the wood and
brass tubes are the same
length and the ends are
square to the tubes.
I write the type of wood on
the blank and add lines so
the grain can be aligned
when mounting on the lathe.
I want the grain to flow
naturally from the pen top to
bottom sections.
Blanks, cut, drilled, and glued
Turn and Finish:
Mount the blanks on a mandrel on the lathe and turn to
shape. I start with a 1" roughing gouge then create the final
shape and finish with a 3/4" oval skew. The tools are
guided by hand, part of the reason each pen is unique.
Next, sand progressing down from 150 grit to extremely fine
grit abrasives. I sand to 4000 grit.
I finish the wood with a cyanoacrylate glue (crazy glue)
finish. I apply layers of glue creating three to five coats. This
finishe hardens creating a strong clear protective coating.
When the finish is dry, I sand off any bumps. Next buff the
surface to get a glass like gloss. I use a automotive glaze
for a buffing compound, it is an extremely fine abrasive.
Next Renascence wax (a museum grade wax) is applied,
let dry and buffed by hand.
Ready to assemble
The tip, transmission, and final are pressed into place with an arbor press. The
Euro style has the centre band glued in place.
The pen refill is threaded into the transmission.
Finally the two halves are pushed together by hand, the pen is given a final
waxing to protect the hardware. The pen is buffed by hand with a soft cloth.
The pen is scanned for an image to use in the web and to keep a record of each
unique pen.
Want an image of a pen you purchased, send me a request through the
Me page. I have images of almost all the items I have sold.
Turned, finished and
waxed blanks are
ready to assemble
with the hardware.
Pressing in clip
<-Press in the clip and final
Pressing in Transmission
Pressing in Nib
Done - wax and admire.
Below is a picture of me
standing beside my lathe.
The shot was taken by my
middle son, 5 years ago.
<-Press in the nib and transmission
The final touch is to include a page of information on the wood, pen care and an individual item number.
All this is packaged in a case to gift wrap or store the pen. See the
Pen Cases page for more details.
Me at my Lathe - pen blank ready to turn
Standard Pen or Pencil Case
Plastic Felt Pen or Pencil Case
Premium Wood Case / Desk Stand
Thanks for visiting Harding Pens and Woodturnings,
Brad Harding.
Contact Me
Pen Making
Harding Pens and Woodturnings
One-of-a-Kind Fine Writing Instruments and Turned Treasures