How to Make a Wood and Acrylic Pen "AKA the Money Tree"

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Introduction: How to Make a Wood and Acrylic Pen "AKA the Money Tree"

About: I have been a woodworker for over 40 years, working in a cabinet shop to making custom interiors for executive jets. I have a full shop in my garage and have been making wood pens for the past 3 years. I am ...

So I have done an instructable on a wood pen, but this is a wood and acrylic pen that requires different methods to complete the blanks..

Funny story, a gal at work asked if I would make her a pen like the one I made for another employee..

(It was a Money Pen. See photo 1. Chopped up money in acrylic)

I said sure. She said she liked all the wood I have to make pens and really wanted a wood pen.... Hmmmmm ... I said the Money Pen is not wood but acrylic, and if it was wood I would have a money tree and would not be standing here. We both laughed... Guess you had to be there...

But the light came on and I said, what about wood on the bottom and Money on top.. Money Tree.. She was thrilled and I hope when I deliver it tomorrow she is even more thrilled...

Note that the money pen blank is real money that goes out of circulation (trash) and gets cut up.. and turns into treasure...

Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed

1. Wood cut to 3/4" x 3/4" x 3" to 5"

2. Wood Lathe with Pen Mandrel -- Pennstateind, Rockler, Woodcraft, Woodturningz

3. Lathe Tool - I use one with a carbide replaceable tool.

4. Drill Press

5. Vice for Pen - Pennstateind

6. Sanding pads 1500 to 4000 grit

7. Bandsaw

8. Pen Press - Pennstateind

9. Bushings - Pen State, Woodturningz

10. CA Glue - Lowes

11. 2P-10 CA Activator

12. EEE Ultra Shine

13. HUT Wax 2 and 1

14. Barrel Trimmer

Step 2: Choosing the Wood

The first step in making a Pen is to choose the style and then the wood. I have 10 different pen styles and over 70 types of wood.

1. Mark the wood with the bushings

2. Cut the wood on the Bandsaw

3. For these bushings I have used a black permanent marker for the back of the pen where the money in acrylic will be used

Step 3: Drilling the Pen Blanks

The next step is to drill the wood and acrylic pen blanks with the correct drill size to match the brass tube.

Step 4: Adding the Bushings

Once the blank is drilled, I use 5 min epoxy to glue the bushing in place.

This needs to dry over night even though it is called 5 min...

Step 5: Barrel Trimming

Once the glue is dry, I use a barrel trimmer to assure the end of the blank is perpendicular to the brass tube glued in the bushing.

Step 6: Cutting the Corners on the Bandsaw

This step I trim the pen blanks to make it easer to turn on the lathe. This cuts down the time to turn and also reduces the chance of blowing a pen apart while turning.

Step 7: Turning the Pen on the Lathe

Now I turn the pen to the bushing diameters that match the pen parts. Notice the difference between the wood and acrylic when cutting.

Step 8: Sanding the Pen Blank Note That I Changed the Bushings Out

For the wood blank I start with 220 grit and work up to 400 grit.. sanding with the lathe turning then off with the grain.

For the acrylic I also use 220, 400, 1500, 1800, 2000,3200, 3600, 4000... It is a different process for acrylic blanks

Step 9: Applying CA Glue

Now I put CA glue on a paper towel and apply to the blank at slow speed. I do this just to the wood blank. I will put one coat on then spray the accelerator and apply another coat. I do this 3 times.

Note that I use a bag to cover my finger while applying the CA glue.. These bags come from the pen parts as you will see later

Step 10: Sanding the CA Glue. Note That the Acrylic Blank Is Already Sanded

Next I sand the CA coating again with 220 to 400 grit. Sorry no photo here as this is messy and I need to focus on the sanding not the photos. If you are not careful you can sand through the CA and have to start over again..

Step 11: Next I Use EE Ultra Shine to Polish the Blanks

This is basically liquid sandpaper. It will take something sanded to 400 grit up to 1500 grit..

I use a paper napkin cut down to apply the EEE. I wipe it on with the lathe stopped then turn the lathe on at high speed to buff it in.

Step 12: Step 14: Next I Wax With HUT PPP #2 Then Hut PPP #1

This is a 2 stage wax to brings the shine out on the pen

Step 13: Removing the CA Glue on the End of the Wood Blank

Note the CA glue over the edge of the wood pen blank in the box. photo 1

I carefully use a barrel trimmer to bring the end back to the brass tube.

Step 14: Pressing the Pen Together

Note the bags of parts the pen pieces come in. As mentioned I use these to protect my finger while putting the CA glue on

Step 15: Final Assembly

Now I put the spring on the end of the ink cartage. Screw the cap on and press the back over the twist mechanism.

Pen is complete with hopes for another happy customer..

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    2 Discussions

    That is one lovely pen! And the shredded money blanks are awesome.. never heard of or seen that before. Very cool!!

    1 reply

    Thank you. Yes it is interesting. People will buy bags of shredded money and and place in a acrylic bath but they don’t get the density like these blanks.
    Also I found that the ones I purchased at Woodturningz turn a lot better than other stores as the material does not seem so Brittle, and thus turns better