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Had some fun with a pen kit from Woodcraft. Started by using a lathe to get the wood round and then started carving.

[ Edited by: AlohaStation 2020-02-10 13:15 ]

[ Edited by AlohaStation on 2022-06-20 10:41:43 ]

That is bad ass! Where did you get the kit?

Pen kits are fairly common and inexpensive (depending on the quality of the pen). You can even buy the "blanks" for all types of material - wood, synthetic, antler/bone. A quick Google search will give you a bunch of links. Some of the websites even give you step-by-step directions on how to do it.

That is so cool! A true one of a kind!


AStat, Really Nice job on the Pen. I have seen the pen kits and often thought of doing what you have done but just keep putting it off. Great Idea, glad you did it. How was it to carve, and what tools did you use?

The trick to doing pens is having the lathe and all the goodies - I have a buddy who's set up. He's done hundreds of pens and was totally psyched when he saw mine.

Hanging out in my buddy's garage I saw the lathe and asked him about it. He told me that turning wood is his hobby - so I gave it a try. I smoothed a square blank so it would be thick enough to carve. Then used a hooked knife to carve the features. That wasn't so easy, because the exotic wood was very hard (most blanks are kiln-dried) and I kept envisioning stitches in my future. I have to admit I didn't put a whole lot of thought into it - so the next one will be done with my Dremel. You also need a large vise - to press the pieces together. The result is what you see.


I know what you mean about Visions of stitches. The Hook knife is one of my Main tools and it has bitten me several times but only once for stitches. Your dremel will do a lot of that work, but some things will Still need to be done with the knife. And the exotic woods Are very hard, but beautiful when finished. Keep up the good work.

Rockler sells those pen blanks in many different types of exotic wood. nicepen tiki

Here are more pens I've created for friends.

The response is overwhelming - it seems that this could become a great side business. I have no idea what to charge, so I'm hoping TCers could give me an idea. What would you pay for a hand-carved tiki pen?

I would charge $1. Sign me up for 25 pens. Who do I make the check out to?

Just kidding. Those are soooo cool! When you deside on a price, and if you are making those for TCers, please let me know, I would love to have one.

GREAT looking pens!
I have a tiny suggestion... perhaps keep the area where the pen is gripped smooth or at least free of any deep relief carving, would probably be more comfortable for people like me with cranky hands to use.

awesome pens!

as for charging, ok first you need to take into account the raw materials and how much they cost. Then how much do you want to scharge for your time? Think about it like this; if you were getting minimum wage per hour how much would that be? Sometimes you have to charge less than that though, then you have to go by how many you can crank out, like for my fanzines, after all the involved expenses I generally make only about $5 (less if bought with paypal... that darn 89 cent charge). So I have to go with how many I can crank out in say an hour. Still I may have to raise prices in the future; one thing you always want to keep in mind is if the place you are buying your inventory from will raise their prices in the near future; in your case, will the price of the pen kits, or just the parts that make up the pen go up?

I am probably making this sound harder than it is, just go out somewhere and find some kind of equally well crafted novelty pen and see how much they charge, then stack that against your costs of raw supplies. I am sure there are some well crafted novelty pens on the net somewhere, it doesnt have to be tiki just compare the costs.

Hope that helps. :)


Alohastation, its always hard to determint the selling price of art. You just have to figure what your costs are and go up from there. You can't base cost on your time spent because that is not a measure of a pieces worth. You should just go with your gut feeling of what the pen is worth and put that amount on it. if it doesn't sell then you have all the neat pens.

Thanks for all of the input. Look for more pens in the near future. They just keep getting easier the more I do.


The more you do the more you will know about them
After creating about 25 pens, you will be able to set a price and make money with it. You will know the ins and outs of the pen production and will be the tikipen master and we will All be coming to you to help us with our dinky little pen jobs.

On 2005-02-14 08:04, AlohaStation wrote:
Here are more pens I've created for friends.

I'll be your friend! :)

I have over 215 pens, but the only sorta tiki pens are the bamboo stick type.

I like the one on the right side of the picture, due to the grip area being smoother, as Purple Jade pointed out, they're easier to use. PM me when you decide on a price.

Here are some new pens. Turn your head and... write.

I'm not quite ready to start selling - my craftmanship isn't up to my standards quite yet. I will let everyone know when I am ready to start. Like Benz said - a few more and I'll be a TikiPen Master.

Too cool for words! You'd better start production soon or you may be resposible for a riot.



Very nice work. I would also like to join the others, waiting in line for the pen production.

Keep it up!


Here are some new pens.

The Pineapple pen is for a local social club. The word "VooDoo" wraps around the bottom portion (the name of the club). It is made of Zebrawood.

These three are done in Cocobolo. The wood is gorgeous, with colors ranging from Orange to Purple and evrything in between. No stains are used on the pens - just a thin clear coat to help protect the wood and permanent marker to help feature the relief. These are a bit larger than an ordinary pen, but the extra weight actually feels good in your hand.

Here is the latest tiki pen. I'm not real happy with the bottom half - it just doesn't seem to match the top. Any suggestions?

[ Edited by: AlohaStation on 2005-04-22 13:49 ]


Your pens are really getting there if not there already. Some of us like the real thick bottom so if you could just thicken it up to match the top. Also is there any way to eliminate the 2 part look and make it look like one whole piece?
I think Finkdaddy is right, you need to start selling them soon or be caught up in a riot!
Great Pen Master.

Thanks Benz.

I didn't get a lot of positive fead back on the fatter bottoms (insert joke here), so I went in a different direction. These pens are much more comfortable to write with - plus they take alot less time to carve. The lathe is a wonderful toy. There are so many different types of pen kits out there and I've only just begun. As far as selling them I am willing to take offers if anyone would like to buy or trade - just PM me. I'm working on a website but that may take a while as I am overloaded with freelance and home projects. Here is a picture of my tropical getaway that is currently in progress.

Adding 400sq. ft., pool and tiki bar. The pens are really just a distraction while construction is under way. they're helping to keep me from going crazy.


Great pens...
I say... you give them to TCer's that tell you how much they "like'em"

I really like your pens...

Edited to remove double post, sorry!

[ Edited by: ZebraTiki on 2005-04-23 19:16 ]

I have to agree with Benzart about making the bottom of the pen thicker to match the thickness of the tiki. All your pens are great, you'd better start selling 'em soon! You'd have a hard time trying to get me to resist buying a Zebrawood tiki pen!

It looks like you have some nice palm trees in view from your back yard, even if they belong to the neighbors.

Nice overall carving. The fact that they write is a bonus.


Nice pens! But I want a backyard tropical getaway!

Nice pens! But I want a backyard tropical getaway!

Me Too!!

The really trustrating part is that I have to wait for the contractors to be done before I can start MY projects. Guess I'll stick with the pens for now.

Here's the latest. I tried to compromise between comfort and design. This one is carved in Cocobolo, I love the way the wood carves and looks. It holds detail and isn't too hard. Does anyone have a suggestion for a different wood that works like this? Check it out and give me some input.


Al Right, Pen Master, these are getting just right. I Love not having the gap between the 2 pieces and I like the "Plus size" Bottom.
I'm sure you have seen the exotic Wood Pen Blanks at woodCraft and other stores. They offer several different woods Including black Palm which should be Beautiful in a tiki. You could say it was from a Baby palm tree.
they have an " African Pen Blank Assortment
We have assembled some very rare exotic timber into a unique pen blank assortment that will add some excitement to your pen and pencil turning. Includes 2 each of 16 different species, labeled with the species name. Assortment includes: African Mahogany, Jackel-Berry, Sapele, Karri, Rhodesian Teak, Zebrawood, Iroko, Bubinga, Salinga, Okoume, Knob Thorn, Jacaranda, Kiaat, Padauk, Weeping Boer-Bean, South African-Acacia-Blackwood."

For a bit over 1$ per pen which is pretty good.
Hope this helps.

Thanks Benz.

The variety packs are nice but don't fit my needs. The blanks usually tend to be smaller thant what I like to carve. I've been buying bowls blanks that are larger and be cut to a more suitable size. I just got some Paduak from Constantines and will be giving that a try. Its a beautiful red color wood (3x3x12 for $5). So keep your eyes peeled for more.

Here's the newest rendition of my tiki pens. Its made out of Paduak (pa-dook). The wood is almost pink in color before its finished. I finsh my pens with a clear-coat wax/chilac/hi-speed polish stuff. After I bagan carving this stuff I was informed that paduak can be VERY hazardous to your resparitory system. Its definatley worth the extra bit of caution, because this wood is beautiful.

Also check out this web page - the photo albums page for my wife's birthday at the Mai-Kai. http://home.bellsouth.net/personalpages/PWP-voodoo

[ Edited by: AlohaStation on 2005-06-13 11:17 ]


AlohaS, This is by far the finest pen you have done, I believe. I also like the fact that the pen looks like one continuous piece of wood, the joint fits nicely. The detail looks cleaner and more crisp than before. What are you doing differently? Stronger magnifyer? Sharper tools? Whatever it is, keep it up. You are DEFINATELY the Pen Master. Now lets see a ton of these for sale.
I WANT one, Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie...

Really nice. You have a great talent.

Thanks for good words. I'm putting on an addition and pool - so there was alot of aggravation released into that pen! More to come.

Sooooooo nice! Is mine ready yet?

Here's the newest pen. Made from Paduak. This one gave me a nasty case of sore sinuses, because I forgot to wear a mask when sanding. Won't do that again! I'd love to hear everyone's input.


Looks great, like a Moai with hair under his hat. I love it.

Here's my latest - its a necklace for the Wahine. I haven't had much time to carve so this was done while I was on a road trip. Its a little over 3" and carved out of Bass wood.


ALohaStation, that must be like carving Gigantic for you, Right? I mean we are used to seeing 1/2 to 5/8 wide tikis! That is a big step. Well done. How do you like carving the bass wood?
Been wondering where you have been?
Nice pendant, lets see some more.

This was a nice change. I'm not crazy about Bass wood, its a little soft. It was perfect for trying to carve while riding in a car.

I have some other stuff I'm working on (including a cannibal pen), but TIME is a precious comodity. This summer has been very hectic: family, work, vacations, freelance and construction (I'm adding onto my house including a pool). All of the construction is almost done. These little carvings are practice for all of the tikis I plan on doing for the pool!! I'll have pictures of the progression - later.

Benz - have you ever harvested Mahogany? Part of a nieghbors tree fell during Katrina and I have cut some logs and sealed the ends. How long should I let it cure? Is there a way to get the quality of kiln-dried wood without the kiln?


Great pens and mask.

My experience with bass is that it will help you get used to deep cuts. When you get to harder woods your standards will be higher for your cuts and you will be pushing your skill more.

Mahalo for sharing your pieces.

hewey posted on Tue, Aug 30, 2005 9:18 PM

Gorgeous little pieces! Love to see more of them.

Here's another necklace. This time I used Butternut (very easy to carve. I started this one a long time ago and didn't like him. If at first you don't succeed - have another drink and try again after its kicked in!

[ Edited by: AlohaStation 2005-09-23 10:27 ]


Don't know how I missed this for so long. The Basswood piece is very nice but I'm with you, I HATE carving it.
Mahohany is fairly stable. I have carved a Lot of the local SoFlo Mahog. It is very nice and can be carved fairly fresh. The piece starts out being very pinkish reddish and slowly turns to rust aver a few weeks. Just carve it.
The butternut guy is really nice too. Better stop carving those big pieces or we will Never see any more pens.
Looking foreward to seeing you at Hukilau. I won't have very much for sale but a few big guys, but I'll be there!

Thanks Benz, I have three nice pieces of Mahagany that Katrina donated to me. I'm letting that dry for a little bit till I have time to work on them. I will be at Hukilau but only for a limited engagment (possibly Friday or Saturday). I will be bringing some of my pens with me, hopefully someone may want to trade some items (wink,wink, nudge, nudge).

My tropical paradise is almost completed leaving alot of "little" projects for me to finish - fence, spinklers, gutters, landscaping... my weekends are shot.

It is amazing to see your progress from the first pens to now. Great work! I like your designs and that you can do more than one style. I would consider slabbing your mahogany logs and stack the wood with sticker's between them, tent them in a black plastic tarp, leaving some room for air exchange. Wood takes a long time to dry if you don't slab it. Here is a web site that address home drying. http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/forestry/g60.htm

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