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Advanced Pen Making Kit-less construction; designs and challenges beyond those normally associated with kit pens.

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Old 08-11-2017, 12:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 5
Photos: 0

Default Parts for kitless pen (Complete newbie)

Hey, so I'm a complete newbie with lathes-I haven't even used one yet. I have one on the way, should be here tomorrow. This is my wood lathe if you're curious. I've done a lot of research but all for nothing. There are SO many different parts I need in order to turn a kitless pen. This is where I need your help. For those who have made kitless pens before, what parts do I need? Please assume I have absolutely nothing but the wood lathe I linked above. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

PS: I'm not going to dive right into making pens. Since I have no experience at all, I DO plan on initially getting some safety lessons and whatnot, and then some experience by making spindles and whatnot, as suggested by more experienced turners around my area.
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Old 08-11-2017, 11:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
stuckinohio's Avatar
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 1,507
Photos: 3


Not sure how others feel, but I would suggest making some regular pens, as well as other turned items on the lathe.

You will need:
a 4 jaw chuck as the bare minimum. A collet chuck better suits the needs of a kitless pen maker.
HSS or carbide tools
drill chuck
a large assortment of drill bits, taps and dies
Lots of reading articles and watching you tube videos

read these articles

Next, watch this video, along with the rest of his videos
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
magpens's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Photos: 72


Lewis is right. . Make a few kit pens first. . But forget about the slimline pen kits; they won't give you much satisfaction when starting.
Sure they are cheap, but they are not easy for beginners.

I would suggest you start by making several of each of the following kits in the order given:

1) 30 Caliber Bolt Action
2) Sierra twist or equivalent - there are a lot of "equivalents" so ask someone about them.
3) Jr. Gent or similar or another Jr. Series pen kit - again, do some research and ask someone.

Explore the pen kits offered by a few vendors such as ExoticBlanks and Beartoothwoods.
You need some interactive customer support and those vendors will give it, whereas the biggest vendor in your home state will not. .
They do have some good products but you need to have some experience behind you in order to recognize them.
Read the Cheers and Jeers Forum on this website.

As Lewis said, a self-centering headstock chuck would be very useful.
A Jacobs chuck for the tailstock is essential.

I recommend for starters a carbide cutting tool with a round carbide insert (12mm or so). .

Spend some time in tool stores looking, talking, and listening. . And don't be swayed by everything you hear. . Confirm it here.

Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

Last edited by magpens; 08-12-2017 at 12:54 AM.
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