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Old 01-21-2017, 06:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Posts: 4
Photos: 16

Default New member

First attempts at turning pens. Would like to get some honest feedback.

Thank you.
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Old 01-21-2017, 10:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
magpens's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Photos: 76


Welcome to IAP, Tom !!!!

Rather interesting pens !!!
I am wondering which pen kit you used for pens 1,2,4, and 5. . Don't recognize the kit.

You have obviously mastered the art of controlling your cutting tools .... skew ???
And also the finishing and polishing process.

Frankly, however, I prefer less undulation in the shaping, and plainer styling and contours ... that is just my opinion for what it's worth.

Having said that, I admire your workmanship !!
Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

Last edited by magpens; 01-21-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Arvada, CO 80003
Posts: 1,075
Photos: 0


I am not fond of extreme shapes or wasp waisted pens. Aside from that your turning appears to be right on and you have done a great job of finishing. Keep it up. You are doing great.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Centennial, CO
Posts: 1,691
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Welcome from Colorado. I agree with other comments about crazy shapes, how do they feel in your hand while writing? That's the important thing, very well finished.
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Old 01-21-2017, 06:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sydney. NSW. Australia
Posts: 6,545
Photos: 103


Nice Turning, Tom.
Excellent Assortment of Blanks.
Like others have already mentioned, your chosen shapes, show that you can turn.
But the Shapes, in my opinion, would be better Suited to Seam Rippers, Light Pulls, Stair Spindles, Finials, or Awl Handles etc.
I don't know how one of your Pens would sit, and Feel, in my already Tight Shirt Pocket.
You have shown Excellent Skill in your Turning, and Finishing, and Obviously got carried away, with the Shape, and didn't give much thought to the Aesthetics, or Function.
Please Try Turning a Straight Pen to the Diameters of the Bushes, using your obvious Skills in Turning and Finishing.
I look forward to seeing the Result.
Turn that special piece of Timber you have been keeping.
Enjoy it for its true beauty.
Why leave it for others to enjoy without you?

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Old 01-21-2017, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Ft. Mill, South Carolina
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Welcome from South Carolina.
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Old 01-21-2017, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Posts: 5,904
Photos: 4


Wellcome to the IAP family, from South Australia.

You asked for honest opinions and I'm given mine based on what I see and what I believe you require a little more attention.

Let's start with the finishing, that you are doing very well indeed.

Shapes- You show great control of the cutting/shaping tools and that is a good thing to have but, you may not be aware that and for reasons unknown, the vast majority of new pen turners that started all on their own without any guidance from more experienced pen turners, find themselves turning/shaping their pens in a very similar profile and sizes that have various names but I call the "fatties" however, I have turned some fatties, a lot more chunky than yours to mold to some disabled people's hands that can not grip and write with a normal pen.

That said, yes, your shapes are a little odd and you will find yourself understanding and accept that fact, as you acquire more experience so, is not the end of the world.

Fit - Most of your fit is OK however, you may be working with a wobbly mandrel, lathe out of alignment or other reasons that create out of centre pen barrels that in this case, are more visible on the pen top barrels. I wonder if the pic is accurate on displaying all the shapes and there is no distortion that will allow for details showing that aren't really there, you will be in the better and unique position to hold the pens in your hands and checking if my conclusions are correct or not, and please let me know.

In general, the presentation of your work is good and if seem to have a great future improving your skills and be a good contributor to the pen makers world future.

"Don't give others what you don't like for yourself"


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Old 01-22-2017, 07:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Posts: 4
Photos: 16


I sincerely appreciate the honest feedback. I will take it all into account with future attempts and look forward to learning from the more experienced pen makers on the forum.

Thank you all.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Posts: 4
Photos: 16



Thank you for your comments. That kit is the PSI Post Graduate kit.
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Old 01-22-2017, 07:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Ambler, Pennsylvania
Posts: 4
Photos: 16



I checked my pen mandrel out and it does appear to be bowed. I did some research online after reading your point and noticed I can purchase the replacement spindle, not very expensive. Thanks.
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