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Blog entry by Jolly13Roger posted 10-09-2012 09:52 PM 1315 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi my names Roger im 21 yrs old and my gf and I are currently in the process of buying our first house. The garage on the house has a nice sized workshop attached to it and the first thing i thought when i saw it was i need a hobby. Going to my moms house and rummaging around in the basement i found a table saw a 12” lathe and a bandsaw which im planning on putting it the workshop. Just looking for general knowledge on woodworking ive done a few things before but never anything too intense. I’ve been looking into pen making and I’m just wondering how hard is it to learn how to make pens and how expensive is it? Ive been looking around on the web but cant find any solid information on the subject. Any replies will be appreciated! :)

18 comments so far

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3322 days

#1 posted 10-09-2012 10:53 PM

Welcome to Lumberjocks! (Im 25)

Congrats on the house. A hobby is definitely smart when living with your gf/wife and you can designate your shop as a place you can go to space out from each other when times get tense, and they will.

I’m not very fluent on pen turning but I bet it’s pretty darn cheap to start up. There are plenty of videos on Youtube that could show you the ropes about pen turning and general woodworking. Woodworking will be a great skill especially when buying a house!

Check out Youtube, there is nothing like learning from a video rather than a book where you can see exactly whats going on. There is a link to my channel in my signature but like I said, no pen turning videos, but there are some decent shop related ones I think you may find interesting.

This is a great place for you to ask questions and just read different forums and check out everyone’s projects!

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View patron's profile


13611 posts in 3398 days

#2 posted 10-09-2012 11:09 PM

welcome to LJ’s
and congrats on the house

all pens are good for
is writing checks lol

make yourself this right away

you will learn everything you need to know
about woodworking

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View a1Jim's profile


117160 posts in 3634 days

#3 posted 10-09-2012 11:18 PM

Glad to have you aboard ,you have come to the right place for some good friendly help.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3300 days

#4 posted 10-09-2012 11:24 PM

Welcome to LJ’s. Buying a new (to you) house is a achievement in itself. You will probably find that the house will take on a life of its own regarding maintenance, upgrades and changes you will want to make. I have a feeling that the house may be a priority for a while for you BUT, don’t let that stop you from your desired hobby.
I would suggest getting on to the Rockler and Woodcraft websites and look at what they have regarding Pen turning and so on. From what I know, it is not to terribly expensive to get started and it can easily turn (no pun intended) into a obsession/worthwhile adventure.
I am sure that this site has several jocks that are into Pen turning that would be able to give some sound advice too.
Good luck and enjoy your foray into wood working.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2980 days

#5 posted 10-09-2012 11:32 PM

Just bought a house? I would suggest spending some time at the local library researching framing,cabinet,storage ideas and general carpentry. You’re going to need it.
Welcome to LJ’s. Lots of friendly’s here to help with about anything in the woodworking area. I would also suggest a digital cam if you don’t have one. It helps immensely to have pictures of you situations.

-- Life is good.

View Jolly13Roger's profile


17 posts in 2112 days

#6 posted 10-09-2012 11:33 PM

thanks every1 for the suggestions! I’m definintly looking forward to starting things up and start looking and every1s projects on here to get some ideas and inspiration!

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2893 days

#7 posted 10-09-2012 11:48 PM

Pens are a nice way to get into turning, I’ve only made two and those were recent so I can still remember the sting of the initial cost. Figure on an easy 100.00 to get you going since you already have the lathe and hopefully a couple tools to start. The mandrel I bought is about 25.00, the finishing kit that woodcraft sells is another 30.00 I believe with two types of polish, two thicknesses of glue, and a hardener. The 20.00 box of sandpaper strips, harborfreight has these cheaper but I don’t know the quality and I think they are on sale this month at woodcraft. The bushings for the kit you will use were another 9.00, the drill bit was 7.00 and the facing cutter another 20.00; get the facing tool it is worth the money. Finally a pair of kits and spare tubes. Wood is free if you go find it but don’t miss out on experimenting with some of the exotics while you are buying the kit.
You can see my two examples in my projects link, I had maybe 8 turned items under my belt before making them so they aren’t too difficult to get the hang of. There are others here who can really give you all the details on pen making far better then me.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

548 posts in 2259 days

#8 posted 10-10-2012 12:02 AM

Woodworking? Great choice. Years of satisfaction are ahead of you. The LJs, the net, and woodworking magazines are fabulous resources. Read, Read, Read. Learn to use your tools SAFELY first. Bird houses, boxes, shelves, candle sticks, and bowls, might be a better entry point. There are thousands of good beginning projects on LJs. Any chunk of wood can provide good practise. Pen making? Find a local turners club and watch them. Start dreaming and don’t be afraid to ask your brothers here at LJs.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View Gary's profile


9336 posts in 3490 days

#9 posted 10-10-2012 12:38 AM

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Willardz's profile


59 posts in 2367 days

#10 posted 10-10-2012 01:04 AM Great site if you want to get into pen turning

-- I have Carrie, food, shelter, and wood to turn. What else do I need?

View chopnhack's profile


375 posts in 2451 days

#11 posted 10-10-2012 02:52 AM

Welcome aboard Roger! Its a great hobby to have and it will prove very useful as a homeowner. Who knows, if you become proficient you may never need to hire out for home repairs – the craft teaches a lot about not just woodwork!

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View rance's profile


4259 posts in 3217 days

#12 posted 10-10-2012 03:03 AM

New? Have you considered taking classes somewhere? WoodCraft offers some very good classes, including penturning. And Charles Neil has some classes I believe. Also A1Jim in Oregon if you are up that way. What state are you in?

Rance (In a state of confusion.)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View bladedust's profile


208 posts in 2323 days

#13 posted 10-10-2012 04:22 AM

Congradulations on your first house, but woodworking….really?? Do yourself a favor and take up drugs instead, it’s far cheaper and much less addictive, LOL. Just kidding of course.

Welcome to LJ where anything is possible and most of it highly probable. Lots of good folks here to help you get more addicted……help you along.

-- ok, is it cut once measure twice, cut twice measure once???? I know....I'll just keep cutting until it's long enough.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2329 days

#14 posted 10-10-2012 05:17 PM

Welcome to LumberJocks , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

I think you will find the ‘search window’, at the top right side of each LJ post, very helpful in your efforts to expand your horizons, just type in your ‘keyword’ and begin your woodworking addiction.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Jolly13Roger's profile


17 posts in 2112 days

#15 posted 10-10-2012 05:20 PM

I live in ohio ive looked for classes but there dont seem to be any local ones , closest one 1.5 hrs away and with a full time schedule i cant seem to find the time

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