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Old 10-09-2012, 12:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Walked into a Woodcraft store looking for some fancy wood to use for knife scales, ended up giving them my e-mail address and got a pen turning class e-mail.

Needed more scale wood anyway so I went to it -the pen turning class- as well and got hooked on pen making.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Back in 1996 I went to work at a specialty hardwood sawmill. The boss wanted to find ways to use small pieces of wood that would otherwise go to waste. I did some research and pens seemed like a logical item to make. I sent for a few catalogs, bit the bullet and ordered a Sherline lathe and most of the other items I felt I needed. Looking back, those first pens weren't much to look at (but I wish I had kept a couple) but when put in the Gift Shop they sold quite well. I was hooked and tuned more and nicer pens over time. It was a nice extra income too. But, since I worked for the lumbermill, I could only sell pens made from their wood (underwater salvaged old growth hardwood). Not too bad a problem since I had access to some beautiful wood but always was a little jealous of all the exotics and acrylics I would see on the pen forums.

Now that I'm no longer working at the mill I have been able to expand into other types of materials for pens. I have purchased all the goodies to do my own casting but haven't started yet but hope to soon.

Been a fun ride -- hope to be able to keep it up.

Jeff in northern Wisconsin
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I went to a local wood shop to work on a pine wood derby car with the den. My son picked up a pre-drilled black resin pen blank and asked me what it was. I had no idea, so asked.

One thing led to another, and I now have a lathe, a bandsaw, a grinder, a belt sander, three pressure pots, a pen tube insertion tool and one hell of a mess in the garage that will never be clean again. Actually, turning pens makes a mess, but when I started pouring resin we lost the garage completely. What a disaster.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Last Feb. 2012 a blacksmith friend of mine traded me a metal lathe. I had seen damascus pens that sold at knife shows for big bucks and though I would do that because I made my own damascus. I figured I would start with wood to learn the basics of pen making. After much trial and error being self taught I produced a few pens. I found this site and my ability grew by leaops and bounds as I was able to gain insite and wisdom from many in this group of fine folks. I did learn to cast alumlite blanks and worthless wood
I am still making wood pens haven't ventured into turniing damascus yet.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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During the Summer of 2008 I brought my dad home to help me build my woodshop (aka the Ark) just for general woodworking, at that time I had only in my mind working in furniture, so I December 2008 I went to the Ottawa wood show and at William Woodrite booth I've seen a lathe and said, that might be a good addition to my shop, so I bought one and a starter kit for making pens, at High school I did metal turning, but at least in this case I would be able to make table or chair legs. I was totally wrong, I started to make bowls and platters but I was a little bit shy to try the pen kits, I don't know why, but after I've tried my first one (a sierra) I never stopped and pens became my main production and bowls and platters secondary . ahh BTW since I got my first lathe, I only did one set of chair legs and that's it
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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I'm a pen tramp. Not being able afford the pocket bling I longed for I decided I would make my own. I would love to build furniture, boxes and small cabinets but I just don't have the time right now. Pens are pretty quick.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I've been turning bowls for a couple of years but had no interest in pens. Then I purhcased a new - second hand lathe PM3520A. The seller included lots of goodies including pen blanks, mandrels, tube trimmer etc. That was in the summer - now I have over 100 pens under my belt and countless 'orders' from friends and family for Christmas presents.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Worked with a friend several years ago that turned pens. I thought they were cool and thought it was something I wanted to do when I retired. In 2010 I received a good bonus at work and thought I would give this a try. Been turning pens ever sense.

Joe
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I was a cabinet maker by trade. A friend in the company where I worked turned bowls and some other cool things. I looked it up on the internet to see what was needed to turn and came across pens and loads of other cool stuff.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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It all started when I want to make a set of custom grips for a handgun. I started looking around for exotic woods. I stumbled across the IAP classified adds. I think that was around 2008. The site became one of my regular stops to shop for wood. Every time I logged in, I saw these fabulous pens, and I started reads a post here & there and one thing led to another. What started as a hobby making gun grips ( I think I made 5 sets of grips) has evolved to pen making. Once my lathe turned on, I haven't made a set of grips since.
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