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Old 07-05-2017, 06:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I agree with StudioSeven. Start with lower cost pen kits and lower end pen blanks. Practice, Practice. Our local high school offer night school in all sorts of subjects including wood turning. many active retirement communities have fully outfitted wood shops and I'm sure a resident would be happy to mentor you as you begin you pen turning journey. Good luck.


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Old 07-05-2017, 07:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I think I could do it with less than $200. Not the best of equipment, but enough to get by with. The cheap HF lathe is $80, their cheap chisels are $20. A drill chuck, $15. Kit less $10. Wood $10, drill bits another $20, CA for finish $5. A tap for the spindle threads, used $10. Miscellaneous unknowns $30

Use the tap to make a collet chuck out of scrap hardwood. Turn the blanks between centers to be held in the homemade collet chuck, use the drill chuck to drill the blanks.

Turn between centers using the drill chuck with a turned plug as the driver and the live center with a plug cap to fit the tube. To square the ends, make a sander out of the faceplate, use the drill chuck with a drill bit in the tailstock to hold the blank.

The kicker, you will have to know how to use your lathe to its max with as little as possible.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Lathe $300-$400, grinder $80, collet chuck $50, collets $20, various HSS bits $75, taps and dies $ 100-125, for tooling I recommend cheap tools, $50-75 in grits and polish, for cutting can buy long HSS machine lathe blank tips and cutters and make handles from wood or derlin, as some kitless materials like ebonite are hard on tools, constant reshaping, can also take HSS drill bit blanks or Allen keys and grind to make smaller detail work tools


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Old 07-07-2017, 06:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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You need to have some way to sharpen your tools. The sharper, the better.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchipper View Post
You need to have some way to sharpen your tools. The sharper, the better.
Sandpaper. It takes time, but the expense is very little.

On edit, make a few faceplate sanding discs, and use them for the sharpening. Scraps of wood, drill and tap to attach to the lathe.

Last edited by dogcatcher; 07-07-2017 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Default Cost to turning pens

I bought the benchtop lathe from Harbor Freight and use the 20% off coupon. I think I paid $160 for it. Bought a set of chisels from Penn State for about 80. I then bought some pen kits and got started. However one of the biggest expenses not mentioned is a way to sharpen your chisels. That is one of the most important things is sharpening your chisels correctly. In my opinion.
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Old 07-07-2017, 04:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodchipper View Post
You need to have some way to sharpen your tools. The sharper, the better.


Agree slow speed grinder is essential , when I cut ebonite sometimes sharpen 3 and 4 times during a project


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Old 07-07-2017, 05:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Getting started is not as expensive as we sometimes make it out to be. It is when we suddenly realize how we can "improve" different aspects, and then one new item by one, each month by month we suddenly have spent 3 or 4 or more times the original investment within 6 months to a year. THEN we see the BEAUTIFUL pens on the front page and realize that we need more experience - which will mean 30 to 50 or more pens under our belt just for the experience alone.

Patience is important in keeping expenses down and bringing experience up in the first 6 months to a year.
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