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As The Lathe Turns #63: Pens For Sale

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Blog entry by William posted 244 days ago 871 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 62: Turn A Turner Part 63 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 64: Higher End »


These little boxes I make are fine for presenting a pen as a gift. In my shop I have a large display case that hold sixty pens. It is fine for showing them to people who visit my shop. The problem is I need a better way to show my pens away from the shop. I hate to admit it, but my pen sales have been dismal at best. If I am ever to sell more, I desperately need a way to take a few with me when I go to town and display them nicely.
I looked at various options. There are some real nice commercially available display cases and boxes. I always prefer making something myself though instead of using something that anyone can order and have.

So this is what I came up with. I routes slots in a slab of sycamore for the pens to set into. Then I wrapped that with a sapelle casing with slots for a piece of plexi-glass to fit into. Then I added a sapelle handle to the top to make it comfortable to carry.

The plexi-glass simply slides up to put pens in, or take them out.

Here is what it looks like loaded with pens.
I will start carrying this with me when I can. Hopefully it will improve my pen sales. If not, I am going to be forced to start writing a novel just to make a reason for having so many ink pens.

I made an extra case. I have a good friend that is also showing my pens around. Actually, that friend has sold more of my pens than I have. I guess I’m a better wood worker than I am a salesman.
.
The rest of today’s post consists of pens I have turned the last couple of days.

Ms. Clause’s care package that she sent had a piece of red palm in it. I have turned black palm before and really wanted to see the difference in appearance of the two. It was just a short piece, but that is all that is needed for a .50 Cal. pen.

This one, the pen kit and the wood, is also from that same package.
It is a Polaris kit with crepe myrtle for the wood.

Then it was time to dive into some kits that I ordered recently from Penn State.
No, it is not a broken pen. This is called a flip stylus pen.

Put the insert in one way and it is a pen.

Take it out and flip it over and it is a stylus.
I used a piece of olive wood for this pen. It was also in the Clause care package. I had never turned olive wood before and wanted to see how it looked. I think it went good with the gold and black hardware for this pen.

No, you are not seeing double. I had the kits from the care package to make a pen and pencil. Both were designer kits with the same brushed satin finish, so I decided to make it as matching set. This was something I had never done.
This set took a lot longer than I anticipated. First, I had done the designer kits before that do not require a tenon. These were not those kits. These you have to cut a tenon for the center band to fit onto. Then, when you slip it on, you have to have the upper barrel the proper diameter for it all to flow as one. What made this a tad harder than it should be was the fact that I did not have bushings for it. I could have waited until I place another order to Penn State and got the right bushings. However, I did not think of all this until I had already glued the brass tubes into the blanks and was ready to turn.
Oh well. A good set of dial calipers took some careful measuring, and often, but I got the job done without the bushings.
For the wood, each pen is maple with two rings of cherry and one opposing ring of walnut.
.
Until next time my friends, happy turning.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/



12 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12941 posts in 1276 days


#1 posted 244 days ago

I like your “Pens-To-Go” cases.
An artist has a portfolio…
A pen artist needs a penfolio!!!

Keep up the good work!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View stefang's profile

stefang

12588 posts in 1935 days


#2 posted 243 days ago

I like your display cases. Compact and very nice looking. I do think it would be a good idea to have some writing with them to explain that they are handcrafted wooden pens including the price(s).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View William's profile

William

8908 posts in 1443 days


#3 posted 243 days ago

Thank you both for the comments and the advice.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1641 posts in 904 days


#4 posted 243 days ago

William, just a thought, if you make some more display cases you could hinge the two halves and carry them in one hand.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View William's profile

William

8908 posts in 1443 days


#5 posted 243 days ago

Thanks luv. I thought about that. In the end though, I wanted to keep it as light as possible. I have to check with my friend who is helping with my pen sales though. I may wind up making him one in that style.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6797 posts in 1904 days


#6 posted 243 days ago

a great idea william, of coarse i love all the pens and i hope the new way of carrying them and displaying them will bring more pen sales, have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with your family..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Doe's profile (online now)

Doe

927 posts in 1431 days


#7 posted 243 days ago

Very nice pens and case. What did you think of the olive? I love the stuff. It turns nice and smells quite yummy. The pen and pencil set is great. I guess Mrs. Clause forgot to put the bushings in but that sure didn’t stop you from making them.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View William's profile

William

8908 posts in 1443 days


#8 posted 243 days ago

Thank you doe.
I liked how the olive wood turne out. I will defiantly be looking for more in the future. It is one if those woods that looks simple, yet elegant.
As for the bushings, I have gotten good at measuring and turning using dial calipers. I have to do that for certain pens such as the .45-70 pens. Bushing make things easy but are not necessary to get the job done.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10579 posts in 1291 days


#9 posted 243 days ago

You are not alone in the poor sales department! I can’t sell a box! But like you I enjoy making them!

The ‘pen totes’ are a great idea and well executed.

I noticed the twin to my pen in the center of the tote. Still my favorite.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View William's profile

William

8908 posts in 1443 days


#10 posted 243 days ago

I have yet to make you new favorite and send to you Andy.
I’ll get it done after the holidays.
Sales do seem to be poor for everyone everywhere from what I’ve been told. Hopefully things will pick up one day.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View William's profile

William

8908 posts in 1443 days


#11 posted 243 days ago

Thank you Grizz.
I just happened to look up whiel typing a response to Andy and noticed you had commented. I don’t know how I missed it.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10579 posts in 1291 days


#12 posted 243 days ago

No worries William. I still have a pile of hedge on my bench I’ve been needing to send South!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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