Hand Made Pen

When writing in copperplate and spencerian styles, the nib needs to be held at a fairly steep angle to make the letters at the right angle.  In order to do this, pens are designed with a straight holder and an angled nib, called oblique.  I do most of my writing with this type of pen and I have 2 different versions of it.  Back when penmanship was more common, nib holders like this were fairly common, but now only a few manufacturers make them.  As a very amateur woodworker I thought it would be fun to try to make myself a pen in this style and see how it came out.  The style I was trying for was a replica of a Master Penman’s pen, a Magnusson.  The image below is a proper Mangusson.


I don’t have a lathe, but I decided to get creative and made the pen by using my battery drill, dremel tool, chop saw, table saw, and lots of sandpaper.

I cut the grip section roughly to width, then the long thin section roughly to width, then roughed it out with the dremel sander. I left 1/2 inch at the top (where the nib would go) as a piece to go into the drill chuck, which I cut down to a 1/4″ square. From here, I just put the pen on the drill, turned, turned, turned, turned, etc until I had the shape that I wanted. It took about an hour of spinning, but it ended up turning out great!

After completing the wooden section, I carefully drilled out a hole in the center and cut a long slit down the side to insert the brass nib holder.  With a piece of flat brass plate, I fashioned a nib holder and cut it to the proper angle and slid it down into the pen.


Here’s how it came out:


IMG_8673 IMG_8671 IMG_8669 IMG_8668 IMG_8667 IMG_8666


One comment

  1. So cool! Great job!!!
    I tried to do one myself today. It took me so long to give it any shape at all that I chose to go for the “rustic look.” Despite all my sanding it still looks like an almost straight stick.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s