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Old 09-10-2017, 02:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Default Getting Started

I am really glad I found this user group as you all have already answered many of my questions, so thanks for all the great information. I took the plunge on buying some sale on starter kits from PSI as they seemed to be a good value with the bushings and drill bits as well as the necessary parts. I also have found my way to Exotic Blanks.

I was wondering if some of you who have been at this hobby for a while have any tips on maximizing your spend? Which companies seem to have the best prices on kits and blanks? Also, does anyone have big sales at certain times of the year? I'd love to be able to stock up on sale prices as I see I am going to have to make a ton of pens for family and friends. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have. David
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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welcome.

When I buy a kit, I buy an extra handful of tubes. Then you can make some extra pens and just buy the kit itself when you need them. saves having too much cash tied up in stock.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I buy inventory about twice a year, I try to keep a 6 month to a year supply in stock of all of the kits that I make. I sort of keep track of my inventory, both kits and finished pens, so that when one kit or several need ordering I can make a large order and not pay multiple shipping charges. Buying this way also allows me to take advantage of volume discounts. I have a big investment in inventory, but very little cost in shipping. I do the same with supplies that I order online.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Advisory: I sell blanks through Exotic Blanks.

Having 11.5 years of experience buying kits, blanks and other pen stuff, there are 3 major pen kit suppliers in the US: Penn State Industries (PSI) Berea Hardwoods and Craft Supply (CSUSA). Those companies sell directly as well as selling to other retailers. There are other suppliers, but those three probably comprise about 90% of domestic market.

Most retailers stock one or two of the Big 3's kits (usually PSI and Berea) some retailers also stock kits they source on their own. Exotics stock a big percentage of all of the Big 3's kits as well as additional sources - no other supplier has the breadth of selection.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Welcome from western NY! Exotic Blanks is a great place to start. They carry a very good selection, are 'local' to IAP and have an outstanding reputation. PSI and Craft Supplies USA are also great places. Some vendors also offer discounts for multiple quantities of kits. Sign up for their email newsletters and watch for specials.
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Welcome aboard. Have fun. Safety first. Protect yourself.
PSI has 10% sales now and then. If you review a product you will get a $5.00 off code.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hi David !! . Welcome to IAP !!
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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David; Like others have said, buy extra tubes. In some common sizes (not every size), it is possible to purchase "bulk" tubes in 10-12" lengths. That way you can cut tubes as you need them and you can then make longer blanks that may show off your blanks in the best way. It is possible to modify existing pen components to create one of a kind pens. Keep records and instruction sheets for every style of pen you make! A complete 115 piece set of drills and maybe a metric drill set is a good investment. Sometimes you will find the bit size on the instructions isn't the closest fit. Write the drill size on the instruction sheet.

Time spent in the Library is well worth the time reading. You will get lots of ideas from there! AND it is possible to modify a slimline (cheap) to make it look like anything you want.

There is a Birthday Bash in Feb every year, lots of contests, prizes, and sales from the pen suppliers that support IAP. After the Christmas Holiday rush, pen stocks are low and it is possible to get some great deals. Don't snooze though,

Vendors that I didn't see are WoodTurningZ (PSI reseller), Wood Pen Pro, and Timber Bits (Australia). Wood Pen Pro has kits that are not available from other sources.


I'm going to cut it off here... Didn't mean to be so long winded.


Quote:
Originally Posted by David350 View Post

I was wondering if some of you who have been at this hobby for a while have any tips on maximizing your spend? Which companies seem to have the best prices on kits and blanks? Also, does anyone have big sales at certain times of the year? I'd love to be able to stock up on sale prices as I see I am going to have to make a ton of pens for family and friends. Thanks in advance for any suggestions you might have. David
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Old 09-11-2017, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Welcome David!

In addition to other's suggestions, I would like to add Classic Nib and Signature Pen Supply to the list.
Most folks start out with a variety of pen kits and then after some time zero in on the ones they like to make or what sells for them. Also, I now go for the better plating options. The last thing you or any penturner wants is someone bringing back a pen due to a low grade plating that has worn through.

Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2017, 09:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Thanks to all for the tips, I really like the ones on buying some extra tubes. What is the best way / tool to cut them to length?
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