How to Build a Pyrography Pen Tip Holder – Pyrography Tutorial

In this tutorial I’m going to explain how to build a pen tip holder.  I love my tip holder as it keeps my pen tips organized and readily accessible.  The holder is pretty easy to construct, but does require a drill.  

You can watch a YouTube video of the holder being created by clicking on the image to the left. 

Now, let’s get to work.



  • 1 – Pine board = 3/4” wide x 6” long x 2” tall (1.9 x 15.2 x 5.1 cm)
  • 1 – Pine board = 3/4” wide x 6” long x 3” tall (1.9 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm)
  • 1 – Pine board = 3/4” wide x 6” long x 4” tall (1.9 x 15.2 x 10.2 cm)
  • Ruler
  • Wood Glue (like Titebond or even Elmer’s Wood glue)
  • Wood Awl (optional)
  • Drill – power hand drill or drill press
  • 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) Drill Bit (depending on size of pen tip)
  • Flame Torch (optional)


The size of drill bit you should use is dependent on the pen tip. I use Colwood pen tips and this photo shows one of them.








The drilled hole needs to be large enough to easily fit the pen tip shaft.









But it also needs to be smaller than the pen tip flange or lip.    With Colwood pen tips, the shaft is 3/8” (0.95cm), and the flange is 5/8” (1.58cm). 4/8 is equal to 1/2, so the ½” (1.27cm) drill bit is perfect for this.








I do recommend using a Brad drill bit because they have a point at the tip which helps guide the drill bit.









Todd used pine lumber, that he purchased at a home improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, to construct the holder.  You can purchase dimensional lumber in the different heights needed, or buy a 1x4x8 (2.54cm x 10.2cm x 2.44m) and cut it down as necessary to get the 3 pieces of wood you need.  Be aware that you will have a lot left over.


We’re going begin by marking the board to prep it for drilling. 



Place the ruler on the edge of the board and draw a short line at the ¾ inch (1.9 cm) mark.  Then draw another short line ¾’s of an inch away from the first line.  Continue this process until you have 7 short lines on the board.





This is how the board will looks after the 7 equally spaced short lines are drawn on it.


Now measure the center of the board and draw a short line at that spot.  The pine board Todd is using measures 3/4″ wide (1.9 cm).  Half of 3/4 is 3/8 (0.95 cm).






Here’s how the board looks now.  I put yellow arrow on the photo to show the new lines that were drawn on the board.


Use a straight edge and draw a line down the middle of the board.






This is how the board looks after it has been marked.    Mark the other 2 boards.



With the board marked, used a wood awl or other sharp pointed tool to create a deep divot at each intersection on the board.





Place the point of the awl on an intersection; the spot where one of the 3/4″ short lines touches or crosses the center line down the board.






The push the awl down into the wood to create a deep divot. This makes a guide for the drill bit to follow.  Repeat the process of creating deep divot for the remaining 6 intersections.





Measure how long the shaft is on your pen tip.  Colwood pen tips are 7/8” long (2.22 cm), and to ensure the metal connectors don’t touch the wood we’ll drill the holes 1” (2.54 cm) deep.








Use a piece of white masking tape and wrap it around the drill bit at the 1 inch (2.54 cm) mark.  The masking tape is the visual reference to know when to stop drilling downward.




Place the brad point of the drill into the deep divot and drill down into the wood.







Note that while Todd is holding the piece of wood as he drills, I would recommend securing the wood in a vise or something like.  It would be a lot safer and keep the wood steady.





Once the drill bit reaches the tape, then stop drilling and reverse the bit out of the wood.






Drill a hole at each intersection on ALL 3 boards.






Lightly sand over the top of each board to remove any rough spots.





Then apply a line of wood glue to one side of the smallest board.  Todd likes Titebond, but any wood glue will work.






Spread the glue evenly over the surface of the side of the board.  You don’t need a thick layer of glue.





Now press the 2” and the 3” boards together. MAKE SURE that the bottom edges are even with each other. Press the boards very firmly together for 30-60 seconds or so.  If some glue oozes out along the seams, that’s okay and a great sign that you’ve applied enough pressure.   Remove the extra glue and let the boards sit for 15-20 minutes to set.



If you have clamps, you can clamp the two boards together.



Apply a line of glue to the side of the medium board and spread it around to cover the side evenly.






Then place the board on top of the large board.  Again MAKE SURE the bottom edges are even with each other.   Press firmly for 30-60 seconds.   Remove any surplus glue and let the boards sit for 15-20 minutes.   Again, if you have any clamps, you can clamp the boards together.






If you have a flame torch and you used pine wood to create the pen tip holder, then use the torch to char the grain lines.  This technique works well with pine because its high pitch or sap content causes the grain lines to darken much faster than the rest of the wood.




Here’s how the pen tip holder ended up looking.






This photo shows the holder with a few pen tips in it.









Keep in mind that you can use any wood you want for the pen tip holder.  With this holder, Todd used Walnut, Maple and Padauk. 









This tutorial is done.    This is a very easy project to build and I find mine extremely helpful.  I just love having my pen tips nearby in a way that I can easily see which one I want and keep them organized.  

Until the next blog,


Aug 9, 2019

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