Pen making is putting a wood sleeve on a brass cylinder, shaping it to your desire and pressing all the pen components together. The components are bought but the wood doesn’t have to be. There is a wide variety of pen style kits available for making pens. For example a slim line pen kit includes all the components you need to make a pen except the wood. I.e. The pen tip, the ink refill, the brass cylinders the wood fits over, the pen clip and top piece, and the mechanism that advances the ink tip.
The first wood I used to make pens were little pieces of scrap hardwood from my wood box. I used Walnut from a discarded chair, some wood from an old hammer handle. Some poplar from some scrap piece, Red oak from an old shovel handle. And to get a little creative I used some plywood from an old discarded sewing machine. Plywood was different back then, the width of the layers more uniform.
After awhile of making these I bought some blanks of Cocobolo and some of Purple Heart wood. You will never see a greater variety of wood types than when you are looking at a pen making supply catalog. The grains are beautiful, and not too expensive for the little pieces that go into the pens. Cocobolo is said to be one of the most popular types to use. It is a dark brown wood with contrasting tiger like stripes. More recently I took advantage of a yearly sale and bought some exotic woods in an assortment package from woodturningz website.
Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy