Penmaking articles Penmaking Tips
24-Karat “Slimline” Pen and Pencil Kits

24-Karat Perfume Pen Kit

by Scott & Kathy Griffith, premiere turning artisans Reprinted by permission from Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine


This is a very popular gift item, however, the name can be a bit misleading since this isn’t an actual pen. Our completed items are sold as perfume applicators, and the directions for its use can be printed on labels that can be applied to the back of your business card. It is also a good idea to have additional applicator tips available at a small charge for customers who, through use or change of scent, would want to have a new and clean tip. The perfume applicator is easy to use. Simply hold the applicator so just the white felt tip is in the perfume. After approximately one minute, about one teaspoon of perfume will be drawn up into the interior wick.

There are two types of wicks in this kit. The white compressed felt tip is a dense wick that holds up well to skin contact when applying the scent. The interior wick is of a much looser material that quickly transfers the scent to the felt tip for application. When a change of scent is desired, simply pull out the white felt tip and allow the wicks to dry out. If it is still necessary to clear any remaining scent, reinsert the white felt tip and, following the filling directions, use plain alcohol instead of perfume. Once filled, remove the felt tip and allow to dry. This should prepare the perfume applicator for a new scent. Once the applicator is filled with perfume, simply screw on the cap so it sits snugly against the rubber “O” ring. It is now ready to travel with you, without spilling or evaporating.

Turning the applicators is not much different from turning the Slimline pen kit. Be sure to use the appropriate bushings and drill bit. Turning a perfume applicator with a matching pen and key ring would make a gift set any woman would be happy to receive and there would be nothing else similar on the market.


Carba-tec Lathe CT-Lathe-1
Duplicator CT-Dup (optional)
Lathe Mandrel Set, PK-1001
Barrel Trimmer Kit, PK-1390
Pen Press, PK-1008
Afzelia Burl Pen Blank
Shellawax Cream, PK-1009
Abrasive Rolls, PK-1276
Perfume Pen Kit, PK 1076
Perfume Pen Bushing, PK 1216
Perfume Pen Drill Bit, PK 1217

*All of the supplies listed above are available from Steebar at:

Creating A Perfume Pen Kit

Select your blank of wood. For this demonstration, we used Afzelia burl. When cutting to length, add 1/8" to the length of the applicator body and cap. Using the centering vise so you are able to secure the blank while drilling, drill each piece using a 5/16" drill bit (see Fig. 1). Glue the tubes in both pieces, being sure to completely spread the glue over the brass tube and in the drilled hole. Also, adjust the tube so any chip or defects in the ends of the wood are accommodated by sliding the tube to the most complete area of the wood. Our choice of glue is 15-minute-set, two-part epoxy, which allows time to adjust the position of the tube and to glue several sets at a time. Allow the glue to set according to the manufacturer’s specifications before proceeding further.

Once the glue has cured, it is time to trim your wood. If the blanks were a little longer or perhaps your drilling was excellent and there was no egg-shaped opening or chip out, it can be more efficient to trim the excess wood with a saw, rather than trying to true to the tube through the added length. There is no specific barrel trimmer for this kit. We use a 7mm barrel trimmer, and wrap tape (masking or duct) around the shaft of the trimmer, just enough to produce a fit in the brass tube which allows the shaft to spin freely while removing excess glue in the tube (see Fig. 2).

If it is likely that this will be a frequently-made kit, take the time to adapt an 8mm barrel trimmer. Remove the cutter head temporarily and lock the 8mm shaft in the drill press. Be sure to have a perfume pen tube at hand. Using coarse (36-grit) sandpaper or a metal cutting file with the drill press at low speed, slowly grind the pilot shaft until you have a snug fit in the perfume tube. The snug fit is what removes glue and debris from inside the tube, but the fit should not be forced or the heat build-up could ruin your blank. Reattach the cutter head.

.... Continue

Fig. 1. Drilling with the blank in the vise

Fig. 2. Use a barrel trimmer with tape wrapped around the 7mm shaft

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