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Old 10-09-2012, 03:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
alamocdc's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Posts: 7,977
Photos: 232


I fell in love with woodworking when I took wood shop in high school. Especially the lathe. Made furniture for the house off and on for 30 years using rudimentary tools and LOML bought me a cheap wood lathe for my birthday back in 2003. Our youngest son had made pens for the both of us while in junior high several years earlier and she knew I wanted to get into it. Discovered that nobody made any attachments that would fit the off threads, so I sold that lathe and bought another. Didn't take long for me to upgrade again, and then again. I love turning! Anything! Found IAP early in 2005 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Billy B.
San Antonio, TX
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first." - Ronald Reagan
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:53 PM   #22 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: South Africa Walkerville
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I have been collecting pens for many years. One day I bought a hand made Majestic roller ball. I asked the seller if he would make me a matching fountain pen. He stringed me along for about a year and I thought to myself "how difficult can this be" I have two metal lathes and milling machines in my work shop at home. I ordered a few kits from a local supplier and started turning pens on my metal lathe. I am still happily turning.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #23 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Annesley Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire
Posts: 573
Photos: 31


Took early retirement and about 18 months ago decided I needed a bit of a hobby to keep me from doing the things that needed doing to the house and garden. Had very fond memories of making bowls and platters at school so spent 50 on an old Coronet lathe on Ebay and made some bowls......and didn;t really enjoy it. Whilst looking for inspiration saw a few videos on youtube of pen making. Bought a few kits and that was it....hook line and sinker!
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Riding, VA
Posts: 1,414
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I used to make a lot of military shadow boxes. One time I was asked to make a shadow box in the shape of a ships helm. Well the shadow box needed spindles for handles and I did not have a lathe at the time. So I bought a lathe and soon figured out I needed lots of practice to make the spindles I needed. I found another way to make the needed spindles (Router) because I just was not very good with lathe just yet. I eventually figured I should look up some more videos or something so I could learn to use the lathe and I discovered pen turning. I was soon hooked on the instant gratification of pen making.
If I could make a living out of my wood shop, I would quit my day job immediately!
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:29 PM   #25 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hogtown, Florida (Gainesville)
Posts: 577
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My Grandfather owned an office supply store for 50 years, and when he passed, I came across a box of vintage NOS pens, and got into collecting and using them. I also have been wetshaving for about 10 years, and wanted to make my own brushes.
While I was researching badger brush knots, I saw several sites for penmaking supplies, and thought I would like to do that and I stewed on the idea for a couple of years.
I know one of the members here from another forum, and he sold me his old lathe last month, and I've been hooked ever since.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:25 PM   #26 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sachse Tx. 75048
Posts: 971
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Several years ago at my wifes family reunion her uncle brought in a handful of plain twist pens. He said they were easy to make and gave me a couple of cataloges to get me started. After my first one I was hooked. I do taxidermy and have tropical fish for a few of my other hobbies. Once I saw the snake skin blanks the fever went wild. I was able to combine several hobbies into one so the penturning is going crazy.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio, USA.
Posts: 7,935
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My mother had given me a wood pen for a birthday in the early 90s. I decided that I wanted to have a pen made from every species of tree in the world. Well, the refill leaked and messed up my car's interior so I put the pen in a bag and forgot about it.

About eight years ago I met a guy at church who made pens and my old dreams of making pens revived. I found a local woodturning club with a pen turning demo, visited it and they said if I joined the club for $20, I could borrow a lathe and chuck. I signed up and took a lathe home. My church friend showed me some things and loaned me a couple of tools.

I found this site and another pen site and asked for mentors. Billy (alamocdc) volunteered and invited me to his shop - I was there for almost eight hours (I had NO idea it was that long) and made my first pen! (And Mrs. Billy even fed me!)

Another member - Alan - hosted me, too, and shared his knowledge and a good part of his Saturday.

With the help of those three true gentlemen, Troy, Billy and Alan, I used my borrowed lathe and tools and sold enough pens to buy my own Jet 1014. Since then, the Jet has become a buffer, got a Delta and now a metal lathe - with plans to make my own parts. I now have dozens of friends around the world who live here at the IAP. What an interesting six years!

Non Impedite Raditioni Cogitationis.
(Unencumbered by the thought process.)
Tom and Ray Magliozzi
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:37 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Eatonton, Georgia
Posts: 6,384
Photos: 93


I started out making pool ques. After numerous screw ups, I sometimes had enough material left to make a mini pen:)
Andy Little
entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. The popular interpretation of this principle is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. -Occam's Razor
Common sense isn't always such a common thing.
If it ain't broke.......then a little duct tape won't hurt it!
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:25 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Marshalltown,Ia
Posts: 4,218
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I took woodworking class in school when I was in Jr.High. Made a foot stool and turned some spindles for it. Also made a lamp and a book rack. And small cabinet. My mom still has my foot stool I made. Shop classes were my best courses in school. Then years ago I order a P.S.I. catalog and thought I would like to make pens but didn't really have the money. About 4 years ago I bought small H.F. lathe on e-bay for about $40.00 I know it costed more money to ship it then the lathe. Had for about year before I made a pen. Now I'm hooked and loving yet.
Craig Lorence
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:42 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 861
Photos: 49


I went to a craft show with my wife and came across a vendor selling wooden pens. I really liked them, but not the price. Not being new to a lathe, I told my wife I could make one. I later found an ad in Wood magazine and called Penn State for a catalog. This was pre-Internet and email, so learning was on my own.

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John U - Charlotte, NC
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