Kitless pens

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  1. #1
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    Kitless pens

    A recent post by BradG where he shows us a beautiful kit-less aluminium pen got me thinking about kit-less pens and how they are made. Phil then mentioned that we don't see many kit-less pens on this forum.

    Does anyone have any good links to show how kit-less are made. Any tips or tricks?

    Simon


     
     
  2. #2
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    U Tube and various forum libraries, reason Phil is a contact is because he keeps the necessary gear to assist you in your quest.

    Peter.
    Nil Desperandum

     
     
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  4. #3
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    firstly, you need to decide what you want to produce, and work backwards to work out how you can manufacture it.

    I find this page useful. How should it look? Newton Pens
    There are some tutorials on the IAP website, amongst other places, but making a kitless pen is very much a journey to the finished place- everybody may take a slightly different route, and trying to follow somebody elses can be harder than working it out yourself. I never really understood this before my first attempt- I just wanted somebody to tell me exactly what to do, but that doesnt really work.

    If you are interested in having a go, I would get one of these refills Rollerball pen refill - standard ink, and a spring Spare springs for pen kits (59pence one) and start with making a rollerball. you will need 2 blanks for one of these, and for most kitless pens. You will need to drill a hole in the barrel, of the right diameter and length, make a nose piece and make a cap. If you make it friction fit, then the need for taps and dies is removed, so you can have a go for very little money. From there, fountain pens are just the next stage, with a more fiddly section to craft, but you will have worked out many of the workholding challenges. Fountain pens are no more difficult, but it is like playing 18 holes instead of 9 at a game of golf- to make par you have to be consistent for longer.

    I have made a small few kitless pens. They are not to the standard of others displayed on the forum and elsewhere, but they are great fun to do and a great sense of achievement when done. I really enjoy researching/planning them, so that when I get a chance to turn for a couple of hours, I can get on with it. With kit pens, there isnt much progress that i can make whilst sat on a train, or having lunch at work.

    The hardest part on my first couple was working out what each component needs to look like, where threads need to go and sizes. The page that I linked to helps- look at "steps" for example. The second pen you make, is 100x easier than the first in this respect. I also sketch out every part, showing diameters, shapes, internal and external threads, lengths etc. The making is only part of process, the thought/planning is at least an equal part, possibly more.

     
     
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  6. #4
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    Take a look at this Simon.

    There are a few on you tube and the likes but I think Fred shows and explains it fairly well.

    http://content.penturners.org/librar...itless_pen.pdf

    Used to make them with my dad as he did most of the turning and I did the threading, fittings and metal work bits.

    I have started to make them again now and once I can get long enough in the cave I will be back in to it again.

    This was my last attempt to get back in to it.

    http://www.penturners.co.uk/other-ma...e-kitless.html

    Done some more work on clips with a designer so should be up and better again soon.
    If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem. - Richard Bach

    For pens and handmade presentation boxes click here

     
     
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  8. #5
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    Just to add to the above, I wrote a couple of articles for Woodturning magazine on the subject.

    Here are links:

    http://www.walterhall.co.uk/images/s...ens_Part_1.pdf

    http://www.walterhall.co.uk/images/s...ens_Part_2.pdf

     
     
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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgreen View Post
    Phil then mentioned that we don't see many kit-less pens on this forum.



    Simon
    You will see another when I get my stuck ball out.

    COOPER 01/08/1998-31/01/2012

     
     
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  12. #7
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    Hi Simon
    Here's my two cents.. by all means this is just my opinion so take it with a pinch of salt.

    Forget how to's & tutorials, make it up as you go along. Focus on your machining skills rather than your pen making skills. In this case, learn about cutting threads. Learn about thread pitch. 0.75mm pitch for instance is what is commonly used on pen kits as its a fine thread.. this means it won't be such a loose fit when screwing it together, but of course, this is just one which has been picked. you can use any thread size you want. just through experiance, you will find some work better than others for different applications.

    Going on from there, what size tap should I be using? .. well that depends on how big you want the pen to be in your hand.

    a full size gent will use M12 on the lid, M10 on the section.
    a jr gent will use an M10 on the lid, and an M8 on the section.

    Here's my chain of thought:
    I want to make a pen which is 15mm in diameter.
    I've decided im going to use an M12 thread on the section for the lid.
    This means im going to have to drill the lid out 11mm, so I can tap it M12. this means for the most of the lid, the wall thickness will be 2mm. thats plenty thick enough to be strong. but what if i wanted the pen diameter to be 13mm... well, fine... but then the wall thickness is only 1mm!.. might get away with it? ... don't forget about those M12 threads you cut in the lid... now you only have 0.5mm wall thickness by the threads.. the weakest point which takes the highest amount of stress... you can see why these crack for so many people.

    Your focus should always be "but how much meat is left" in the above example, if i wanted to go less than 15mm, id probably just use M10 threads on the lids, simply because it will leave more meat surrounding them - and that is the only reason which dictates what size threads I will use on my pens.

    I work with metal as you know, so of course I can get away with alot more than someone can who works with wood or acrylic.

    As others have said, plan it out... think it out.... think about it even more while you're making it and don't be afraid to change your mind half way through. Just take a step back, go for a coffee and have a think about it before continuing.

    put a piece of material in the chuck of your lathe, and grab a kit pen. now copy it. I like to lay a pen on top of the material, grab a marker pen, and mark its length.. where the threads start... where tapers begin.. go crazy.. colour away. that way you can just eyeball it as you're machining it.. cutting up to your marker pen lines etc. measure the depth of a kit pen, and drill it out to that depth. that way you know the refills and springs will fit etc. they've already done the donkey work for you. Yes, fountain pens require a little more work with the sections. are they complicated? not really.. just a few more steps for you to machine. I'll confess I have more pens than I do sections at the moment lol. I like to be in the right frame of mind to do my sections and il make half a dozen at a time. You will also hate to learn that fountain pen nib carriers use very special threads.. For special threads, you will need a special tap.. and a unique tap will cost a fortune. for my JoWo's, I could only source one from the USA, and by the time that tap cam through customs, it cost me somewhere around the tune of 60. In fact thinking about it.. my first kitless pens, I just used the sections off a gent kit just so i could get to grips with making the pen bodies themselves. once I was comfortable with that, I started on the sections.

    Hope I've not rambled on too much I just want to encourage everyone not to think about making pens.... but to think about how to make a bit of material screw onto another .. and drilling a hole in it. once you get the process down, the rest is child's play only limited by your imagination.

    Of course if you're planning on using a metal lathe for this endeavor, just come on over to Blackpool and il teach you in person.
    http://www.AlchemistsCorner.com

     
     
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  14. #8
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    Thanks to everyone. There are some great posts on here which have a lot to think about.

     
     
  15. #9
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    It's something I've been wondering about as well, so thanks for providing these excellent write ups/resources everyone.

     
     
  16. #10
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    The links posted here were a great help to me.

    I posted the making of a kitless pen here (along with a few side projects that cropped up along the way...) Getting back in the pen saddle...

     
     

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