The Dale Maley Family Web Site

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30 Caliber Pen - August 2020

In 2014, six years ago, I made over 60 different kinds of pens, and gave them away as Christmas gifts to the family.  I kept very few for myself.


I decided to make some pens for myself.  I checked my inventory, and I had 2 of the 30 cal pen kits in inventory, plus 2 types of camo blanks.


Boy, it has been 6 years since I made any pens, so I have forgotten all the details.  I documented how I made the pens on my woodworking web site, but I lost all the photos when the hosting company shut down.



30 cal kit number from Penn Industries

2 types of Camo blanks I had in stock

Extra brass tube stock

Not a Good Start

I used my 3/8" gold colored drill to drill the blanks.  One of them, I wallowed out the hole too much, and there is not enough material left to turn.....DARN.


On the 2nd blank, I got the hole drilled ok, but I blew out one end when I was just about done!!!!!!  RATS


Fortunately, I bought a bunch of 3/8" brass tubes, so I could try it again.


Process is:


-saw blank to length on chop saw, make it a hair longer than the brass tube

-hold blank in vise, drill 3/8" center hole

-use 2-part expoxy to glue brass tube in the center hole

-air dry, or speed up with oven dry

-using special bit, hand  hold in drill press and make both ends square to brass tube

-chuck in lathe and start turning


Brass tube epoxied into blank

Blown out piece on RH side of blank

Turning Blank on lathe

1st good pen made

Dried Polish Compound

The polishing compound after 6 years had dried to be a hard as a rock.  The paste wax was still ok.


I went to the Australian web site to see what they recommend for rejuvinating the polishing compound........and it said to use Turpentine.

I tried mineral spirits, because I keep it in stock.  It didn't really do much, so I bought a can of Turpentine to try it.

I used a hammer and screwdriver to break off chunks, then crushed the pieces with pliers........then put in a scrap plastic bowl with paint thinner first, then turpentine.


Lathe technique

When I made the 60 pens 6 years ago, I had a carbide tipped gouge and skew chisels.   Now, I have 3 carbide replaceable tip lathe tools.

I was hoping my new tools would work better, but I still blew out 2 out of 3 ends on the first 3 blanks I tried to turn!!!!!!!     Boy, is it a sensitive operation !!


I may need to try to lower my steady rest, so the new tools are cutting lower on the blank.