|Review by USCJeff||posted 08-09-2009 09:00 AM||4531 views||1 time favorited||17 comments|
I decided to finally give up my boycott and try my hand at pen making. I didn’t want to become one of those “pen guys”. There are a lot of things you need to get started on pen one. I bought the starter set as it seemed the simplist way to go about it. Having turned a couple pens now, I might have done it differently. The pricing is good considering the a la carte prices of the components. I found, however, I would have opted for different components. The mandrel works, but I replace it with a $30 keyless mandrel which also has the benefit of changing the shaft length to avoid the need of a lot of spacers. The mill requires you to turn your own handle, not a huge thing, but a chore none the less. The three slimline kits are great, no complaints. The blanks weren’t my favorite woods, but they weren’t pine either. If I was to do it again, I would’ve paid slightly more for the items individually.
A HUGE GRIPE regarding some of the project kits. I’ve bought kits for peppermills and atomizers thus far. The hardware is great and looks good. Rockler drives me crazy in the sizing of their components however. The peppermill mechanism requires a 1 1/16th” bit. I’d be willing to bet my lathe that less than 1 and 10 Lumberjocks have that bit. The atomizer requires a 19/32” bit. Bet 1 in 50 has that one. I can’t fathom a need for them to be an non-typical bit size other than hoping to sell a bit with the kits. Don’t go to Lowe’s or Home Depot for those, not there. Neither of the WWing stores I shop had them. Marketing strategy best I can tell. The bushings for the atomizer are again frustrating. Their unique. I again can’t see why they couldn’t match a more popular size that could be used on a larger pen for example. After filling a spade bit or two, the kits look good. Just a lot of frustration.
-- Jeff, South Carolina