Maybe you are thinking about making a handmade pen as a gift or promotional item to impress a client but don’t know how to make resin pens. well, keep reading and you will see that pen-making is not as difficult as it looks, and making a resin pen is no harder than making one out of wood or plastic if you have the right knowledge and equipment.
Pen-making is a hobby that involves the making of custom pens. A pen maker makes pens by hand using various materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and resin.
A hobbyist can make a variety of different designs for the pen ranging from simple to elaborate using a combination of pen kits and pen blanks.
Resin blanks are used to make the decorative barrel of resin pens. The blank is placed in a lathe, and it is turned to the desired shape. The Blank is then sanded smooth and finished with a polish, and assembled with a pen kit into working resin pens.
Making resin pens is a rewarding project that can be enjoyed by crafters of all skill levels from beginner to advanced.
What Is A Pen Kit?
A pen kit contains all of the components needed to make custom pens except the pen blank. This typically includes a cap, clip, brass pen tubes, band, twist mechanism tip, and pen refill this may vary depending on the style of pens you choose to buy.
Several of the more popular styles of pen kits are ballpoint twist action, ballpoint click action, bolt action roller ball, and fountain pens.
Your options don’t only end with the styles.
With each style, you can choose several different materials such as brass, copper, gold, silver, platinum, chrome, pewter, and anodized aluminum to name a few.
The pen kits can also be bought in single-barrel and double-barrel designs.
Along with pens, there is an emergence of soft point stylus pens that can be used with touch screen technology such as smartphones and tablets.
What Is A Pen Blank
A pen blank is a material used for the body of pens, this is where you can really individualize your pens. Traditionally a pen blank is made out of wood, often exotic species with interesting grain patterns.
Popularity is growing for the addition of resin into pen blanks whether the blank is entirely resin or just a resin-stabilized wood.
Color or glitter can be added to the resin to make interesting effects on the resin pens.
Resin can be added to wood scraps that otherwise could not otherwise be used.
This is especially good for the environment and for your wallet.
There are so many other options available to you when it comes to pen blanks that it would be impossible to list them all here.
What Is The Best Resin For Pen Blanks?
There are 2 main types of resin to use for pen blanks Epoxy resin and polyurethane resin.
Each has its own unique properties making either one more suitable for different circumstances for instance epoxy has a simple 1:1 mix ratio.
Epoxy resin is an excellent bonding agent and is resistant to some moisture making it ideal for casting timber into pen blanks the major drawbacks are that epoxy is very thick and has a very long cure time of approximately 24 hours.
Polyurethane resin on the other hand is better for making solid resin pen blanks especially if you making multiple pens for gifts or for sale.
polyurethane is much less brittle and has less strength however this is not really a factor as the pen blank will have a brass insert through the center.
Polyurethane is more difficult to mix because there is a bit of math involved with the ratio and it is not tolerant of moisture.
What You Need: A List Of Materials and Tools Necessary To Make Resin Pens
If you’re interested in making your own resin pens, there are a few things you’ll need to get started.
Materials Needed For Making Pen Blanks
materials for making pens
Of course, you will also need pen blanks which you will have once you make them.
The next 2 items are more of a luxury than essential but if you are planning on making a lot of pens you may want to invest in these tools as they make pen-making much easier.
Now that you have all of your materials, it’s time to get started!
9 Steps To Making Resin Pens
Mix The Resin
In order to make resin pens, you will need to mix your chosen resin.
This can be done by using a measuring cup and a stir stick.
First, measure out the amount of resin that you need.
Next, add the hardener to the resin as well as any color pigments or glitter and stir well.
The mix ratio will be determined by the type of resin you use this will be sown on the product label.
When you mix the resin unless you have a pressure pot ensure that you mix slowly to avoid air bubbles.
Ensure that you are always using a respirator when you are using any type of resin, the fumes are not good for you
Pour The Resin Into A Pen-Blank Mold
Prepare the mold with mold release agent and any items that you want to include in the blank and pour the resin into the mold.
If you have a pressure pot place the mold into the pressure pot to remove any air bubbles and leave it in the pressure pot until cured.
If you don’t have a pressure pot you will need to remove as many air bubbles as possible as they appear with a butane torch.
Drill Out The Center Of The Pen Blank
Place the cured pen blank into a vice on a drill press so that it is square vertically and drill out the center of the blank.
Ensure that you follow the pen kit instructions so that you don’t drill a hole that is too large for the brass tube.
Insert The Pen Tube
Spread CA glue over one end of the brass tube and slide the tube into the blank in one motion so that glue doesn’t flow into the inside of the tube.
Ensure you twist the tube as you slide it in to spread the glue evenly.
Turn The Pen Blank
Mount the pen blanks onto the pen mandrel between spacers.
These spacers are sized so that you turn the pen blank to match the size of the spacers giving a smooth transition from the blank to the pen components when assembled.
Woodturning uses a tool called a lathe and is a skill on its own so make sure that you know what you are doing before using the tool.
When you turn a blank you are spinning the material and use a tool called a gouge to shape it. You are also applying pressure to the blank.
If the blank is not secured it will spin on the mandrel and fly off. I have seen this happen many times and it can be very dangerous.
Sand And Polish The Pen Blank
Once the desired smoothness is achieved polishing compound is applied and the same process is used.
Assemble The Pen Components
Once the pen blank is complete it’s time to assemble the pen.
First press the tip onto the blank and then the twist mechanism and test to make sure everything works correctly.
Finally fit the second blank (if there is a second piece) the clip and the cap and press it all together. there you have your new custom handmade pen.
In conclusion, making a handmade pen is easy. All you need is a few supplies and some time.
With a little practice, you can make beautiful pens that will last for years. So get out there and start making!