LumberJocks

Pen Turners, Where's the Good Stuff?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Ted posted 06-30-2015 03:09 AM 1208 views 3 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ted's profile

Ted

2785 posts in 1677 days


06-30-2015 03:09 AM

I’ve been turning pens for a few months now and really enjoy it. I get most of my kits from Penn State Industries and I find the quality to be okay for their prices, but I’m guessing there is better quality kits and/or components out there. Any suggestions? Thanks.

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.


19 replies so far

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

13506 posts in 1322 days


#1 posted 06-30-2015 03:16 AM

Ted, have you searched pen kit on Amazon? I just did and turned up a bunch of stuff. The Good Stuff, I don’t know, but there’s a lot there.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)

DIYaholic

19179 posts in 2141 days


#2 posted 06-30-2015 03:21 AM

Great question….
I’ll be following.

Ted,
How dare you post a question & not stop by “The Stumpy Thread” first!!!

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

View Ted's profile

Ted

2785 posts in 1677 days


#3 posted 06-30-2015 03:27 AM

I just now looked, Bill. It’s pretty much the same kits everyone else sells. I’m hoping to find some German made precision engineered…. not sure where I’m going with that, but you get the idea. The good stuff!

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.

View Ted's profile

Ted

2785 posts in 1677 days


#4 posted 06-30-2015 03:28 AM

Randy, I did stop by but I was hiding from you. Well…. trying to. You done found me. :p

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.

View firefighterontheside's profile (online now)

firefighterontheside

13506 posts in 1322 days


#5 posted 06-30-2015 03:31 AM

Good luck. That’s all I got.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2308 posts in 2298 days


#6 posted 06-30-2015 08:15 AM

Ted, did you check out Bear Tooth Woods? Ernie and Robin are nice folks, I got all my kits from them.

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Woodbum's profile

Woodbum

732 posts in 2531 days


#7 posted 06-30-2015 11:37 AM

Try the IAP site: International Association of Pen Turners. There are some options and information there.

http://www.penturners.org/

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

View Ted's profile

Ted

2785 posts in 1677 days


#8 posted 06-30-2015 12:17 PM

Thomas, thanks for the tip. I knew they sold pen kits but always assumed it was just a little side thing they did, so never thought to take a look. All I can say is Wow! That’s quite a selection they have there. I’m checking their inventory now.

What I’ve been noticing about the quality of the pens I’ve made, so far, is with the twist mechanism and the ink cartridge. As for the ink cartridge, it appears low quality is the standard – pen kits come with Parker “Style” or Cross “Style” cartridges, meaning they are not genuine Parker or Cross but rather, cheap knock-offs. Of course, the solution to that is to replace them with their genuine counterparts.

So that boils down to the twist mechanism. I notice many of them have a slight “grinding” feel to them, and some seem to be too easy to turn, like they have no glide to them. Does that make sense? Anyway, I figure better quality pens would come with better quality twist mechanisms.

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.

View Roger's profile

Roger

19881 posts in 2270 days


#9 posted 06-30-2015 01:03 PM

I think they all come from the same place….just my opinion

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

427 posts in 1907 days


#10 posted 06-30-2015 01:16 PM

I’ve only purchased some accessories from this guy in the past:

http://www.woodpenpro.com/

So I can’t speak directly to the quality, but the higher end kits do look different than what PSI carries and seem to be pretty nice.

Craft Supplies USA also sells a variety of pens that’s different than PSI:

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/

I kind of get the feeling that the quality is about on par though. Just a guess, not speaking from experience there.

I think I have to agree with your assessment of PSI kits. Decent for the most part, but the transmission definitely leaves a lot to be desired. The Cross “style” refills are definitely junk. It’s a night and day difference when you replace it with actual Cross refills. I’ve had better luck with their Parker “style” refills, but there’s the occasional dud every now and then too. I’ve taken to the habit of just chucking out the ink that comes with the kits and using genuine refills, especially when they’re given as gifts.

If you happen to find out some better sources, please do keep this thread updated… I’ve often wondered the same thing myself.

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 642 days


#11 posted 06-30-2015 01:46 PM

I have always had good luck with Arizona Silhouette and the owner Berry Gross is a professional pen turner. But definitely not the cheapest.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3557 posts in 2027 days


#12 posted 06-30-2015 04:09 PM

OK Ted

You asked for them

http://woodpenpro.com/pen_kits/0014_cigar_pen_black_titanium.html

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/

http://www.hutproducts.com/

http://woodpenpro.com/pen_kits/0024_pacifica_fisher_2-tone.html

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=packard

These are my favorites

http://thegoldennib.com/

http://www.woodnwhimsies.com/

http://woodturningz.com/Pen_Kits.html

I used to go to Arizona Silhouette before they sold it to Berry Gross but his changes and prices I did not like so I stopped buying from them.

Hope you can find use of them

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View moke's profile

moke

861 posts in 2242 days


#13 posted 06-30-2015 05:56 PM

Has anyone mentioned Berea Hardwoods…...Chefworks.com….exoticblanks.com….bottlestopperkits.com…..
......smittyspenworks.com yet?
All have different and cool stuff
Mike

View Ted's profile

Ted

2785 posts in 1677 days


#14 posted 07-02-2015 03:09 AM

Thanks for all the great links, everybody. I haven’t had time to look through them yet, as I’ve been working overtime lately at my pays-the-bills job. I’ll revisit this topic this weekend and check out all the sites.

-- The first cordless tool was a stick. The first power tool was a rock.

View dlgWoodWork's profile

dlgWoodWork

159 posts in 3220 days


#15 posted 07-02-2015 02:16 PM

One big question is, what type of kits do you usually get?

One of my favorite places to order from is Exotic Blanks. It is run by a guy that posts a lot on Penturners.org. They have some nice quality kits and they also carry the PSI lines.

Refill upgrades are available and not really expensive. And they make a huge difference in the quality/value of the pen.

-- Check out my projects and videos http://dlgwoodwork.com

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com