I like making the odd pen or two, however I am very well aware of my inadequacies when it comes to turning pens.
I don't seem to have the hand-eye co-ordination required for hand turning of pens - in fact I never have had, I was dreadful at sports like cricket, squish and tennis too, even to the extent of being banned from squish at my first game because it was too dangerous for the other player. So, getting back to the point, I have to use a metal lathe. But curves are then difficult.
To overcome my incompetance in this field, I've taken drastic steps and gone all CNC:
The machine is a 60x40cm engraver with fourth axis. It seems to be stiff enough to machine aluminium, so should be OK on plastics and possibly silver. NOT Nickel Silver though!
I have left a 6" vernier on the bed to give an idea of the scale of the thing. As you can see, there is currently no computer attached, because I'm in the process of setting that up before my first trial.
There is going to be a fairly long and steep learning curve, but with any luck I should be able to persuade it to machine curves as well as do some engraving on the surface of the pens eventually. My first effort this week is going to be a 2.5D routed timber headstone for a very dear kitten who died last week in a car accident. Once I am happy with three axes I'll progress onto 4.