» Prepare the pen blank
A "pen blank" is the small rectangular wood piece that is used in making pens. The appearance of the wood can vary considerably by the way it is cut and the alignment of the grain to the pen. If the pen blank is being cut from a larger piece of wood, the wood blank (board) is examined to determine the best orientation for the pen.
Most pens have two parts, an upper and a lower barrel. The orientation of the grain is marked so that it can be maintained throughout the pen making process and the pen blank is cut into two parts.
Each pen blank has to be cut to the proper size for the style and finish of a pen kit. There are hundreds of different pen styles available -- most in several finishes. The chosen pen style needs to compliment the wood.
» Drill holes for the brass tubes
The brass tubes are the insides of the pen. The pen blank is mounted on a drill press or lathe and holes -- sized to match the diameter of the brass tubes -- are drilled lengthwise through the center of the pen blank.
» Glue the brass tubes into the pen blank
The brass tubes are rough sanded to help the adhesion of the glue. Then glue is applied to the tubes and the tubes are inserted into the drilled holes in the pen blank.
» Square and clean the pen blank
Once the glue has set for the brass tubes, the ends of the pen blank are machined to be even and square with the tubes.
» Mount the pen blank on the mandrel
The pen blank is mounted on a mandrel with special attention to the orientation of the grain.
» Turn the pen blank
The mandrel -- with the pen blank positioned -- is mounted on the lathe and the pen blank is turned to a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the pen fittings.
» Remount the pen blank to be sanded and finished
The pen blank is removed from the mandrel and remounted without a mandrel for sanding and finishing.
The pen blank is sanded up to 12,000 grit micro mesh. This sanding reduces the size of the pen blank equal to or slightly less than the size of the pen fitting, depending on the finish that will be applied.
» Apply the finish to pen blank
Depending on the type of material and finish, anywhere from 2 to 8 coats of finish will be applied. Some finishes will require light sanding between coats.
» Polish and buff the pen blank
After the finish on the pen blank has cured, the pen blank is polished with White Diamond polish and then buffed with a soft cotton buffing wheel.
» Assemble the pen
The pen blank and the pen fittings are assembled using a 1 ton arbor press.
» Apply the final wax and polish
As a final step, a coat of carnauba wax is applied to the assembled pen and the pen receives a final buffing.