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My first (good) pens

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Project by Keith Fenton posted 1149 days ago 1072 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are the first pens that I have made that I consider to be up to the standard that I feel comfortable selling them with my name on them. (They are on the website in my signature under “Items For Sale” ) I do have a bunch of substandard “practice pens” and key chains that I don’t know what to do with. I guess everyone I know will be getting one for Christmas :). The first two pics are of opposing sides of the same pen.

I do most of the pen turning with a rouging gouge and Nanotools

I sand the wood ones up to 320 with the lathe running and then stop it and sand with the grain with 320-500 grit before applying CA finish. The acrylics get wet sanded to 12000 before putting a finish.They all get finished with about 4 coats of medium CA glue, wet sanded up to 12000 grit and polished with HUT plastic polish. I have gotten an acrylic buffing wheel and ultra fine acrylic compound but I can’t really notice any improvement after the HUT polish. Some of these pens have seen the buffing wheel and others haven’t.

I haven’t really gotten myself to turn much else on the lathe since the pens are so much fun and turn out so nice, but I do want to eventually get into doing hollow forms….Eventually :)

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com





11 comments so far

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2831 days


#1 posted 1149 days ago

Beautiful pen sets, you must have caught on fast.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View huntter2022's profile

huntter2022

275 posts in 1200 days


#2 posted 1148 days ago

Keith you did a beautiful job on the pens .

-- David ; "BE SAFE BE HAPPY" Brockport , NY

View christopheralan's profile

christopheralan

1105 posts in 2305 days


#3 posted 1148 days ago

Great pens and AWESOME pics! Well done! You should do a blog on your photo technique!

-- christopheralan http://www.projectwoodworks.com

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6703 posts in 1888 days


#4 posted 1147 days ago

well i didnt know you had your own page here..i love the pens, and was glad to hear you got the lathe…maybe someday i will do this myself, great looking pens…grizz

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

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1427 days


#5 posted 1143 days ago

Those look great. There is a guy here locally that sells his pens at the two crafts shows we have every year. His lowest price pens are $25. Ones like you have here are what he calls his “premium” pens and they go for $50-$100. Then he has what he calls his “exotics” like antler and pearl that goes up into the thousands.

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

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

310 posts in 1504 days


#6 posted 1143 days ago

It’s very hard for me to price this stuff. I do realize as you said in your reply on Sheila’ blog that pricing higher doesn’t necessarily hinder sales and sometimes it helps.

I do want to move up from the 24k gold for the most part since sometimes, depending on the manufacturer’s plating process, they can wear rather quickly with heavy use. Titanium and rhodium kits cost 2 to 5 times what I have been spending on my kits so far but then I will feel much more comfortable charging more knowing that the plating can potentially withstand a lifetime of regular use if cared for. The only exception in the cheaper kits is with chrome which is about the same price as gold but is significantly more durable.

I can’t wait to start making higher end stuff. I did order two 2-tone titanium kits the other day that I will put together with my best burls so I will have a couple higher end pens.

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1427 days


#7 posted 1143 days ago

I look forward to seeing the two tone on some pens. I went and found your pens on the website. This Christmas I lan on sending some people to your site if you plan on continuing to offer some of the pens you have on there now for about the same price. I have been asked locally a lot of times (since some people know I play around on the lathe) about pens at a cheaper price than the guy I mentioned before that sells locally. I have no desire to do pens though. The extent of my lathe use so far has only been when I needed to make parts for some scrolling project I was doing. The pens you have listed now though are up to par with the quality that the local guy is making for less money.
Good work. It’s hard to believe you just started doing these. It looks like the work of someone with a lot of lathe experience.

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

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1427 days


#8 posted 1143 days ago

I thought about what I said in the last response and wanted to make something more clear. I wrote that you are making pens up to par with what a local guy is making for less money. I thought about it and realized that it sounds like I’m saying that the local guy is cheaper.
What I meant was that the prices on your pens are cheaper than the local guy. Your pens on the website run between $30 and $45. The local guy’s of similar quality start at $50. The local guy does make some for $25 for the local craft show, but they are made of commonly available local woods such as oak with no finish.
I don’t know if you plan on this or not, but another idea is boxes. The local guy I keep talking about adds $40 to any pen purchase at the craft show to put it in a gift box that he makes for the pens. He also makes gift boxes that hold two pens. He’ll sell that one for $40 as well if you buy two pens. I noticed while at his booth that this made some people buy two pens at the regular price just to get the two pen box. The reason they do this is the two pen box was a nicer box than the other on.
He also makes pen and pencil matching sets. I don’t know where he gets them, but it’s just a matching set. One is the pen and the other is a lead pencil that uses the tiny lead that you buy in office supply stores.

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

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

310 posts in 1504 days


#9 posted 1142 days ago

There are tons of nice looking boxes to choose from and they sell for so cheap that I find it not worth my time to make a custom one in this price range. Unless they were made to match the pen, I would have my doubts as to whether or not he makes them himself. I bought these and they look quite nice.

This is a pen and pencil set.

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

View Keith Fenton's profile

Keith Fenton

310 posts in 1504 days


#10 posted 1142 days ago

I will be making my own boxes and stands and such eventually though. I have some ideas for on the lathe and some with the scroll saw. More ideas than time i guess :)

-- Scroll saw patterns @ http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com

View William's profile

William

8840 posts in 1427 days


#11 posted 1142 days ago

I forgot to mention that. I talked with the guy about the boxes. He was a little reluctant to tell me much until he and I were alone (he knew that I do wood work as well). He buys his boxes in bulk from a supplier (he wouldn’t tell me what supplier). He only offers them as an extra selling point. His buy two pens and get the better box for the same price thing worked though. Most people he was talking into the two pen purchase. Some only wanted one pen, but he talked them into two.
The single pen gift boxes you could tell were made of thin frame with cheap plywood overlay (and all the same color). The two pen boxes were made of a solid wood (various wood grain colors to match various pen styles) and had small finger joint corners.
Unless you just like making boxes, I think buying them in bulk would be the way to go when you’re planning on selling many items to many customers to go into those boxes.
I went to the shop for a while earlier and thought of something else. I noticed a grease pot that was given to me as a gift. It got me to thinking about something else you might do. If you make the old style pens (can’t remember what they’re called at the moment) that use an ink well, can the ink well be turned on the lathe as well? And I don’t know but, will plain wood hold ink without becoming saturated and bleeding through, or does that take some kind of special sealing or insert as well?

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

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