Pen turning can be a very interesting and rewarding part of your woodworking hobby. With unlimited designs you can let your creativity run wild and in the end wind up with a one of a kind pen that anyone would love to have. You can give them away as presents or sell them to help support your woodworking shop.
Most creative woodworkers start pen making simply as another project to do. They make a few pens, show them off and then just give them away to friends and family. Others see the possibilities and start creating unique pens as a custom way to put a few more dollars in their pocket. Either way, both woodworking types enjoy and are proud of what they've created.
If you just want to make a pen or two and you're not really sure you'd want to buy the tools, then there are pen kits you can buy. Finish and customize them just as you would have if you had made from scratch. This is also a good way to find out how the whole process works.
To help you get started we've assembled resources for you to learn pen making from other pen turners, where to buy supplies, watch videos, and anything else you may need to get started.
Small tabletop wood lathes seem to work the best for pen making. It gets a little awkward turning something as small as a pen body on a large floor model lathe. Mini or midi versions of lathe cutting tools are also a big help. Although you can use the bigger tools and equipment it's much easier to get the feel for turning small parts if they're matched to smaller equipment.
One very interesting specialty tool for pen making is the Pen Wizard by the Beall Tool Co. Watch this short video about what it's designed to do.
One of the best ways to learn pen making is watching someone else. There's a lot of videos on You Tube and other places about pen turning.