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Forum topic by jonnybrophy posted 11-09-2016 03:22 PM 590 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jonnybrophy

160 posts in 445 days


11-09-2016 03:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pens novice money kind of broke

Hey guys! So I just got started in wood turning a little bit ago and want to build up a pen collection without breaking the bank. Any suggestions?

I already have the pen mandrel, slimeline pen/pencil bushings, 10 mm drill,7mm drill, 7mm barrel cleaner and all finishing supplies.

I’ve turned around 5 slimlines already and have given them away, but I want to expand my horizons and maybe start selling.
(P.S.: only reason I have the 10 mm bit is because the guy at woodcraft told me wrong)

-- "If she dont find ya handsome, she better find ya handy"


11 replies so far

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

404 posts in 574 days


#1 posted 11-09-2016 04:15 PM

Jonny,

FWIW, I’m a fan of the sierra line of ballpoint pens. Nice hardware kits, and many manufacturers have a similar style using the same drill bit size, tubes and bushings (i.e., the Wallstreet II at woodcraft). It’s an attractive single tube pen, so you can crank these out faster as well.

Welcome, and happy turning!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View rickf16's profile

rickf16

389 posts in 3415 days


#2 posted 11-09-2016 04:47 PM

Jonny,
Dustin has some good info. Single tubes are a breeze to turn! I have been making pens for about 5-6 years now, and NO, I am not an expert by any stretch. That being said…I started kinda slow, not buying all the stuff at once. If I saw a pen kit I liked, I’d pick it up, along with the bushings and go from there. Penn State is good place for supplies. It’s where I get most of mine. Pay attention though as some of the bushings will work for more than one kit. I do mostly acrylic pens. I think they look better and you can get a myriad of designs. I paint my tubes so they don’t show through the blanks. Any questions shoot me a PM and I’ll help you if I can. This site has a lot of great info as well as turners who are way more seasoned than me.

Just my two

-- Rick

View jonnybrophy's profile

jonnybrophy

160 posts in 445 days


#3 posted 11-09-2016 05:17 PM

Thanks ,this very helpful! I’m gonna start by lookin at the 7 and 10 mm single tubes and bushing. Right now I’m just doing a basic super glue finish (about 5 coats then buff). Thanks again!

-- "If she dont find ya handsome, she better find ya handy"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2186 posts in 1968 days


#4 posted 11-09-2016 05:37 PM

I too have turned many Sierra, Elegant Beauty and Cigar kits. Since already have 10mm drill bit have a look at making some Cigar kits. These folks have been my favorite vendor for kits and supplies for many years (prices, quality & low shipping cost). I have also bought from Craft Supplies and Penn State (PSI) and their re-suppliers. While Craft Supplies does not have any re-sellers both Berea & PSI do! Shop the sales!

Berea runs a lot specials on many popular kits so worth a look now and then.

http://www.bereahardwoods.com/pen-kit/sets/0502X_B-CHR.html

http://www.bereahardwoods.com/pen-kit/sets/WCO-145-CHR.html

Notice only reference chrome plating’s if going to start selling stay with most durable plating’s. Berea & Craft Supplies both list kit plantings. 10K, 24K, and up-grade gold not always so durable. When want a gold plating will titanium gold.

http://www.bereahardwoods.com/pen-kit/cp-about-plating.html

Good luck!

-- Bill

View jonnybrophy's profile

jonnybrophy

160 posts in 445 days


#5 posted 11-09-2016 05:55 PM

Thanks bill! I do like those but they’re a bit pricey for me. I don’t have much money, I’m trying to build an affordable product line. Do those pens really sell? I’m looking to join little fares and festivals for now, maybe even church events.

-- "If she dont find ya handsome, she better find ya handy"

View jonnybrophy's profile

jonnybrophy

160 posts in 445 days


#6 posted 11-09-2016 06:17 PM

Also, how do people make their mandrel a accept the larger tubes? Mine only does 7mm

-- "If she dont find ya handsome, she better find ya handy"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2186 posts in 1968 days


#7 posted 11-09-2016 09:09 PM

You can find many less expensive kits to make like this European gold top pen Berea has on special for $2.50/kit. You can also find special at other vendors too!

http://www.bereahardwoods.com/pdf/GoldTopEuropean(Chrome)NT.pdf

Problem have with lot of 7 mm kits are cross refills. In my town cannot find Cross refills at a reasonable price. That’s why stopped making 7 mm kits that require Cross refills. I will only make a kit that takes Parker or Roller ball refill.

I bought a lot of Cigar kits from these people for $1.95/kit many years ago that came in Berea kit bags and bushings worked on my PSI mandrel. Then found could buy them for Berea for same price. Stopped buying kit from WoodturningZ because their Slimline kit not made by PSI and quality was an issue. Have not order from those folks in 15 years. Back then made a ton of Slimline kits for Servicemen.

Have three mandrels PSI, Berea A & B and normally don’t use them any more. I turn pens between centers with dead center in the headstock and live center in tailstock.

http://www.woodturningz.com/Cigar_Pen_Kits.html

My most consistent sellers have always been Cigar, Elegant Beauty, & Sierra pens in both wood and acrylic. My other wood turnings proved to be better sellers than pens! If want to start selling hang out here for tip tricks & tips. Will have to join to see all threads and other stuff available since free worth it! .

http://www.penturners.org/forum/

Good luck with it.

-- Bill

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

4505 posts in 972 days


#8 posted 11-09-2016 09:15 PM

This is a little off topic but while I’ve got you pen turners in one spot, I’m gonna hijack jonny’s thread :-)

I use 2mm clutch pencils (aka leadholders or drafting pencils) extensively in my shop. I would love to turn a few but the only kits I’ve ever been able to find are the 5.6mm ones for artists pencils. Any chance any of you guys have a source for a 2mm kit? I’ve found a couple online but they’re always “no longer available”.

Thanks for any help!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5328 posts in 3497 days


#9 posted 11-10-2016 12:21 AM

Also, how do people make their mandrel a accept the larger tubes? Mine only does 7mm

- jonnybrophy

You need bushings that are sized for the hardware kit you are using … the bushing adapts your mandrel to the proper size for the tube you are using.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2186 posts in 1968 days


#10 posted 11-10-2016 02:56 PM

Not sure if relevant today but Berea Hardwood’s mandrels were bigger than PSI or Craft Supplies mandrels. Learned different sizes many years ago over at IAP. Don’t see that info even mentioned there these days. Like mentioned earlier had no problem with Berea Cigar kits or bushing from WoodturningZ on a PSI mandrel. Do know 7mm bushings from other suppliers did not fit my A mandrel.

What help me the most was learning, Berea, PSI, and Craft Supplies were three major suppliers of kits and supplies. Today many re-sellers carry both Berea and PSI kits. Craft Supplies doesn’t have any re-sellers but some vendors do carry Day-a-Com kits.

Buying bushings where you buy your kits cheap insurance. Do inspect bushing and kits when get your order. Here is a chart that lot of folks find helpful. Not sure info still current lot of new kits so just read kit instructions before buying.

http://content.penturners.org/library/general_reference/2009_penkitcomparisonchart.pdf

-- Bill

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

3635 posts in 2243 days


#11 posted 11-11-2016 05:17 AM

If you are trying to have a stand alone booth or sell at small events I would recommend you have 75-100 pens turned and ready in a display. You need not bring them all out at once but without something else as a draw you need a variety. Make 50 slimlines and people look for a minute and walk quickly. Unique and unusual pens sell, variety sells, small things like gift boxes or handmade boxes aid in sales.

I send 25 pens a year to a guy that runs a booth that has alot of other wood items for sale. Usually get a few back and some cash that covers costs and some slushy for my pocket. To make a good return requires alot of inventory and that takes time. My projects list from Iraq is rather long, either make my stuff or make a few extra dollars. Me, I am working on the shop this winter busy making more drawers, tape holders, trash can, etc etc etc etc. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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