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Old 10-09-2012, 11:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 584
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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, 11:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Ashland, WI, USA.
Posts: 356
Photos: 3


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, 11:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 715
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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, 12:10 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: 407 East Cottonwood Drive, Cottonwood AZ
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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.

ZIP IT Please
Western Creations Forge and Woodworking
Isaiah 58:6

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Old 10-09-2012, 12:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Stittsville, ON
Posts: 192
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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

Treasures from the Ark - Writing Instruments and Wooden Arts
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Page Arizona
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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.

Last edited by Haynie; 10-09-2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Hit the wrong button
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Paso Robles, CA
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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, 01:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Temple Texas
Posts: 379
Photos: 21


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.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 1,728
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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.
Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to hide the bodies of the people I had to kill because they ****ed me off.

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Old 10-09-2012, 01:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Photos: 49


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.

Central Arkansas IAP Chapter Member
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