Crafting a Royale Segmented Fountain Pen

 
(Click on any picture to enlarge it) 



This is a sled I built for my tablesaw that enables me to safely and accurately cut small segments of wood.

 
 

Based on my pen design, I determine how long I need to cut each particular segment. I used a thin veneer of the black ebony to transition between the Amboyna burl and the Honduran Rosewood. Here are all the cut segments, ready to be glued.


For reference, I show the brass tubes for the upper and lower body of the pen. These tubes are what the various components of the pen get pressed into and form the backbone of the pen.


 
 

I use regular wood glue to glue the segments together. They then get clamped and are allowed to dry overnight.


To keep the segments in line for the glue-up clamp, I used a simple right-angle jig.

 

Here are the glued segmented blanks for the upper cap and lower body. Since the various segments have slightly different widths, I next trim these blanks on my tablesaw so that the sides are all relatively flat.
 

Next I drill a hole down the center of each blank using my lathe. These holes should be the same diameter as the brass tubes. I have to start with smaller drill bits and gradually work my way up to the desired diameter so that I don’t destroy the blank.
 

This is a larger picture of my lathe. That's me modeling my new IAP woodturning smock.
 

Here are the blanks with the central holes drilled. I can now glue the brass tube inside each blank using two part epoxy. I plug each end of the tube with wax to prevent glue from getting inside. The epoxy then cures overnight.
 

Since I purposely make the blank a little longer than the brass tube, I next sand the ends of the blank down so that they are flush with the end of the brass tube.
 

I then mount the blank on my lathe, first using bushings on each end that fit into the brass tube. These bushings give me a rough idea of what diameter I need to turn the blank down to.
 

Once I get closer to the required diameter, I remove the bushings and mount the brass tube directly between the cone shaped drive center and the live center of the lathe. This ensures that the blank is rotating around the central axis of the brass tube.

I now continue carefully turning the blank down to the needed diameter and shape. I frequently stop and measure the blank using digital calipers so that I can get it to within a few thousandths of an inch of what I need.
 

The upper cap blank has been turned down and is next to the unturned lower body blank. You can see how thin the actual wood is on the turned pen, only about 1 mm at the ends.
 

Here both blanks are now turned and sanded.
 

Both blanks have now been finished with over 12 coats of cyanoacrylate. The lower body blank on the right has been sanded and polished. The left upper cap blank has only been sanded at this point.
 

Once the upper and lower bodies have been polished and buffed, I then press the various components into the ends of the brass tubes using my pen press. For the lower body, the segment and the finial are then screwed onto these components. The feed and nib are then installed and adjusted.

The finished Royale fountain pen. Amboyna burl, Honduran Rosewood, and Black Ebony.
 

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