Tim McGill

Woodturners have been turning pens for many years and most of them have been based on a pen kit that hasall the parts and instructions of how to assemble the finished pen in a bag, The turners challenge is to get theappropriate material for the body of the pen and turn itto match the parts in the kit. What constitutes a custom pen? Some would say anything that isn’t a give away plastic advertising item would qualify. Our demonstrator last month, Tim McGill, looks at this question from a completely different point of view. His idea would be to start with a kit but modify it so that it doesn’t resemble the picture in the catalog. Going farther, he suggests starting with the ink supply and designing the pen around that. Designing a pen this way will require a great deal of measuring accuracy for all of the parts to fit together properly and not having a finished product that is uncomfortable to write with. A large selection of drill bits, both numbered and fractional sizes and taps and dies are necessary if you are to use more than one style of ink supply. Carefully sketching out the pen design with the component sizes will reduce the possibility of mishaps during construction. Tim provided several handouts which were very helpful in remembering all the things he talked about as well as sources to purchase individual components for pens.