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Shell Casing Pen

It is impossible to buy presents for my dad. I’ve exhausted my repertoire of gifts. I pride myself on giving fantastic gifts, but the man seems hell-bent on flabbergasting me. So, when I finally figured out this year’s Father’s Day gift, I felt damn proud.

A little context – my dad’s father died almost two years ago, and I’d been hanging onto a shell casing from the 5-gun veteran’s salute since then.

original shell casing

I decided to make a pen out of the casing. See a breakdown of process below. Much credit to Jordan, because you all know I can’t operate any of the shop machinery. Yet.

1. Cut off the casing end from hollow shell body and drill a wider opening. The brass is very soft so use a rubber clamp and a jewelry cutting saw.
2. Cut, hollow out, and finish hard wood shaft for pen body extension. Stain if you so choose. I used a light cherry stain as the wood was almost white.

before assembly

3. Epoxy and insert wood shaft into wide end of shell casing, and epoxy casing end to opposite end of wood shaft as pen cap.

shell casing end pen cap

4. Mold hot glue into removable stopper for pen tip using WD-40 to keep glue from sticking to ink insert and shape into cone using heated blade (neat side effect is that the glue becomes glassy and transparent). Pop in pen tip with glue stopper!

hot glue stopper for pen tip

…and fin!

finished product

I hope he likes it. I’m going to give it to him on Friday. :)

20

06 2011