Here is a straightforward guide that details everything you need to know to turn custom-made pens and mechanical pencils on a lathe. It starts with a section on choosing tools, equipment, materials (including alternatives to wood such as acrylic, antler and soapstone), pen kits and adhesives, discussing the relative merits of various options in each category.

An overview of tool techniques and safety practices precedes in-depth instructions for making 15 different kinds of pens and pencils, suitable for skill levels ranging from beginner to expert. Complete with photographs of every step, it shows how to work with laser-cut kits, segmented blanks and inserted veneer inlay, as well as make pen barrels from polymer clay or small objects encased in clear resin. Actions repeated in each project, such as trimming the blank to the tube, are presented in various ways so you can choose the method you prefer.

Though the book focuses on using relatively basic tools for each project, it also suggests optional equipment that can simplify the process. Finally, a photo gallery of pens made by expert turners presents a wide range of ideas to inspire your next project.

Softcover, 8" × 11", 175 pages, 2011.

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