Applying Clay to a Pen Barrel

The main considerations when applying your clay are: Preparing the barrel Height relative to the rest of the pen hardware Avoiding distortion Smoothing the barrel as much as possible before baking Preparing the barrel I don’t have a definitive answer on this. Some people say it’s critical to sand the barrel first — others sayContinue reading “Applying Clay to a Pen Barrel”

Troubleshooting Pen Making: CA Glue

Making a pen is a more technical process than much of what we do with polymer clay, so there are a lot of places where things can go wrong, particularly when you combine different materials and equipment. This article is much more complete thanks to the second half of this article on Toni Street’s websiteContinue reading “Troubleshooting Pen Making: CA Glue”

Basic pen making terms

Like any other activity, pen makers have their own specialized terminology that can be confusing when you first start. Bands The piece of metal that goes between two parts of the pen — e.g., where a twist pen twists. You can get specialized bands engraved with various designs that fit specific pen kits; make sureContinue reading “Basic pen making terms”

Translating Pen Turning Terms into Polymer Clay

Much of the information online about pen turning is confusing because it’s difficult to sort out what actually applies to making polymer clay pens and what doesn’t. Do I need a lathe? No. I have posts here about how to use a drill to finish pens, and you can even just sand them by handContinue reading “Translating Pen Turning Terms into Polymer Clay”

Quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making

Got the basics purchased but interested in some ways to make penmaking easier by spending a bit of money? Here are some of my favorite tools. I do not get any commission from any links on my site, not even from Amazon. I am just sharing things I’ve found effective and helpful. Kits and TubesContinue reading “Quality of life equipment upgrades for pen making”

Minimum Equipment to Make a Pen

Unlike woodworkers, we’re unlikely to have any of the basics necessary to make a pen other than the clay, so here’s several levels of “what’s the minimum list of stuff I need to make a pen?” lists for buying the pen hardware, assembling the pen, making the barrel, baking the barrel, and finishing the barrels.Continue reading “Minimum Equipment to Make a Pen”

Sanding a Polymer Clay Pen

If you’re making polymer clay pens you’re probably very experienced at sanding polymer clay, but sanding pens requires some new methods. Not experienced at finishing polymer clay, or feel like you could use some help with something that will be handled as much as a pen? I can’t recommend Ginger’s Sanding and Buffing e-book stronglyContinue reading “Sanding a Polymer Clay Pen”

Finishing a Polymer Clay Pen with CA Glue

There are many techniques for applying CA glue and I’ve tried most of them. I will show you how to do the one I’ve found to be most consistently effective. If you haven’t already read my article on the prep work for applying CA glue to polymer clay pens, start there. The rest of thisContinue reading “Finishing a Polymer Clay Pen with CA Glue”

Prep work for applying CA glue to polymer clay pens

Getting the right hardware You need to apply CA with a lathe or other spin-creating tool (see my articles on cordless and lock-on drills for lathe alternatives). And since your barrels will be spinning, you will need a threaded rod and nuts to keep them held firmly and moving around with the drill. If youContinue reading “Prep work for applying CA glue to polymer clay pens”

CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials

One little-discussed risk around CA glue is the fact that it will cause an exothermic reaction (heat/fire) when it comes into contact with natural materials like cotton, leather, wool, etc. — which includes things like your jeans, T-shirt, paper towels, etc. The reaction can be fast, and depending on the amount, you could burn yourselfContinue reading “CA Glue Safety: Natural Materials”