Monday, November 25, 2013

Aluminum Pen

my aluminum Bic pen

I've got a thing for metal pens.  I've been planning on making my own but I haven't settled on a design yet.  So I have been collecting any decent metal pens that I can find.  Kickstarter is chock full of nice pen projects.  I've backed a few and been generally pleased.  One that I missed was the Baux Pen.  So simple, it's elegant.  It's nothing more than an aluminum tube machined to fit Bic pen parts.  Very cool idea.

the Baux Pen, my inspiration

Not too long ago, I posted about some landing gear I assembled for my hexacopter.  Turns out those landing legs weren't so great so I took them off and swapped them for a different design.  As I did that, I noticed the aluminum tubes on the bottom of the landing legs looked to be just the right diameter for a pen.  I checked with a Bic pen I had on hand and the outside diameters were almost identical.

drilling inside diameter

First I cut the tube to rough length.  Then I chucked the tube in my lathe and opened the inside diameter of the tip end with a letter G drill bit to a depth of 1/2".  Then I turned the tube around and parted off the other end to the correct length.  Drilled that end with a letter E drill bit.  The end plug is a bit more narrow than the tip.

parting off

Only thing left was to add a few grooves for a better grip and some visual appeal.  I used a 60 degree insert and spaced the end rings 0.020" apart and 0.010" deep.  At the tip I made the grooves 0.030" apart and 0.010" deep.  I was going to polish the tube but I really like the shine of the grooves against the bead blasted finish of the tube.


The Baux Pen must use tubing with a larger diameter than a Bic pen to achieve the step-down look at either end.  It gives the pen a much more interesting look than the straight sides of my pen.  But I used what I had on hand at the time.  Overall not bad for about 20 minutes work.  The metal body feels better than plastic and balances better when writing.  I may have to do this again in stainless steel.

1 comment:

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