Power Tools Commonly Used for Pen Crafting
The lathe is at the top of the list. Arguably one could make a pen by carving the barrels with a knife, but the majority of crafted pens are turned on a lathe. Most pen crafters turn other items as well (there are a noteable number who do not).
The drill press is used by most pen crafters to drill the hole through the center of the blank. Because of this, the amount of quill travel is important feature to look for when purchasing a drill press. Quill travel is the distance that the drill can move vertically in one height setting of the drill press table.
Another common use of the drill press that is unique to pen making is to turn the barrel trimmer.
Other uses off the drill press that may apply to pen crafting include powering a drum sander for sanding inside radius curves.
Bench grinders are used to sharpen Turning tools. Common consensus is that slow speed grinders (~1750 RPM) are a better choice than high speed grinders (~3500 RPM).
Many pen crafters use jigs and fixtures to hold their tool to the sharpening wheel at the correct angle for that specific tool.
A popular variant of the bench grinder includes a wet wheel grinder with jigs and fixtures that allow the turner to sharpen specific tools.
Cutting small pieces of wood presents a challenge to penturners. A saw sled or clamping jig will help keep your fingers away from spinning blades.
A saw sled is almost a necessity for cutting small pieces of wood accurately.
The band saw is the tool of choice for those who wish to cut blanks from larger pieces of lumber or found wood. The standard text for band saws is "Band Saws: Workshop Bench Reference" by Mark Duginske. A more recent book is "The New Complete Guide to the Band Saw" also by Mark Duginske.
A power miter saw can be used but keep your fingers away from the blade. A clamping jig will allow you to make cuts safely.
For those on a limited budget or with other constraints, a metal miter box and small hand saw is perfectly usable to cut pen blanks.
A dust collector will keep your shop clean, and your lungs too! CA fumes can be wisked away before it burns your nose.