Add Pen Inventory.

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magpens

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
13,276
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
It depends on which pen kits you really WANT to make.

In order to determine that, you will need to buy a small number (one or two) of a few kits that you are really interested in.

After that, you can order more of the ones that you REALLY, REALLY like.

May I suggest the Berea Super Button Click ..... available from ... www.bereahardwoods.com ... not a cheap kit, but a very nice pen.

You just have to shop around .... not easy .... not cheap either .... but I don't know what else to suggest .... but don't go for the cheapest.
 
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alanemorrison

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
1,018
Location
N Ireland
Didnt mean to be facetious Michael, just looking for a cheap laugh.
My advice is to get a few tubes of your favourite kit and turn away until you are happy with the result. The ones that you like you can turn into pens and the other practice ones you can start again with. You don't need to make a pen with every blank that you turn.
 

Madman1978

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
93
Location
Springfield
I will be getting a Facebook page going this week I hope
I want to be able to post some finished items but I will also have some things for custom orders. Like the order, I just took in on a keychain.
Below is the logo I am considering.
 

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jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
14,463
Location
NJ, USA.
I will be getting a Facebook page going this week I hope
I want to be able to post some finished items but I will also have some things for custom orders. Like the order, I just took in on a keychain.
Below is the logo I am considering.
So you are leaving us as many do and join FB:)
 

goldendj

Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
55
Location
Virginia
I am sitting here looking at Kits and Blanks and etc . . .

My main question is how can I build some inventory?
I have the opposite problem. I've built a small inventory and now my wife says I have to sell or give away before making more
... Something about no man needs a hundred pens amd pencils ...
 

Madman1978

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
93
Location
Springfield
I have the opposite problem. I've built a small inventory and now my wife says I have to sell or give away before making more
... Something about no man needs a hundred pens amd pencils ...
Well, I am single so no one to complain about the pens here except the cat and dog!
 

Chasper

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
1,967
Location
Indiana
We've been selling pens at art shows, selling online, selling to wholesale customers, and doing custom orders for corporate gifts for 10-12 years. For several years we were doing 25+ shows, building inventory has been non-stop. . . until March/April 2020. We haven't been to a show since the end of January and don't expect to attend shows for at least another 5-7 months. The current problem is, how are we going to sell all of this inventory. We've drastically cut back production, but we still have much more tied up in inventory than needed.

However, we have learned a few things that have helped build inventory over the years.
1. Make pens in batches of the same style. When we make the best sellers like Sierras, Cigars, Streamilines, etc. we usually make 25-50 at once. Do each process for the entire batch, then move to the next process. Voice of experience: lathe time is one of the shorter processes, the several steps before and after the lathe is spinning and a tool is cutting, are considerable longer than lathe time.
2. Higher end pens like the junior series and even higher we make is smaller batches, but still in batches. Same with some of the move obscure pen component sets. But no matter what the pen type, it is rate to make a batch of less than 10 except for special orders.
3. Between centers bushings, good ones. I often go from one turning to the next without stopping the lathe. I have at least 3-4 sets of between center bushings for the sizes I use most. Good tight fitting bushings are needed to get the fit right the first time, stopping to measure takes way too much time.
4. Keep your lathe well tuned and your drill bits sharp. When you stop for maintenance get the work over with quickly and get back to making pans.
5. Sharpen several tools at once. I keep 3-4 of each of my favorite tools and bits, When they all get dull sharpen all of them. You won't get much production done with dull tools and you will lose time if you are frequently sharpening. When it comes to sharpening, perfect is the enemy of good. In a few seconds I can have a tool sharp enough to turn 10-12 pen sections before the tool gets dull. In 15 minutes I canuse a grinder, two stones and three stropes to get the tool so sharp I can turn 15-18 pen sections before it gets dull. Get the tools sharp enough and get back to work.
6. Learn what sells best, it may take you some time and experience to see what is selling. If you make 10 pens in 10 different colors or wood species, then go to a show and sell two of them. How do you know that those are your best sellers? At the next show you may sell 2-3 different colors and none of those that sold in the previous show. Or if you had made 5 each of the two that sold at the first show you may have sold all of them. Learn what sells best and make multiples of that. If you keep on making one each of everything you will never learn with sells best and you will spend a lot of time making pens that will not sell and being out of stock of the pens that should be your best sellers.
7. Two people can make more pens than one, we work together.

This picture is a batch of 80 custom pens we made a couple weeks ago. Less that a week total time and not working full time,
 

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Madman1978

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Messages
93
Location
Springfield
We've been selling pens at art shows, selling online, selling to wholesale customers, and doing custom orders for corporate gifts for 10-12 years. For several years we were doing 25+ shows, building inventory has been non-stop. . . until March/April 2020. We haven't been to a show since the end of January and don't expect to attend shows for at least another 5-7 months. The current problem is, how are we going to sell all of this inventory. We've drastically cut back production, but we still have much more tied up in inventory than needed.

However, we have learned a few things that have helped build inventory over the years.
1. Make pens in batches of the same style. When we make the best sellers like Sierras, Cigars, Streamilines, etc. we usually make 25-50 at once. Do each process for the entire batch, then move to the next process. Voice of experience: lathe time is one of the shorter processes, the several steps before and after the lathe is spinning and a tool is cutting, are considerable longer than lathe time.
2. Higher end pens like the junior series and even higher we make is smaller batches, but still in batches. Same with some of the move obscure pen component sets. But no matter what the pen type, it is rate to make a batch of less than 10 except for special orders.
3. Between centers bushings, good ones. I often go from one turning to the next without stopping the lathe. I have at least 3-4 sets of between center bushings for the sizes I use most. Good tight fitting bushings are needed to get the fit right the first time, stopping to measure takes way too much time.
4. Keep your lathe well tuned and your drill bits sharp. When you stop for maintenance get the work over with quickly and get back to making pans.
5. Sharpen several tools at once. I keep 3-4 of each of my favorite tools and bits, When they all get dull sharpen all of them. You won't get much production done with dull tools and you will lose time if you are frequently sharpening. When it comes to sharpening, perfect is the enemy of good. In a few seconds I can have a tool sharp enough to turn 10-12 pen sections before the tool gets dull. In 15 minutes I canuse a grinder, two stones and three stropes to get the tool so sharp I can turn 15-18 pen sections before it gets dull. Get the tools sharp enough and get back to work.
6. Learn what sells best, it may take you some time and experience to see what is selling. If you make 10 pens in 10 different colors or wood species, then go to a show and sell two of them. How do you know that those are your best sellers? At the next show you may sell 2-3 different colors and none of those that sold in the previous show. Or if you had made 5 each of the two that sold at the first show you may have sold all of them. Learn what sells best and make multiples of that. If you keep on making one each of everything you will never learn with sells best and you will spend a lot of time making pens that will not sell and being out of stock of the pens that should be your best sellers.
7. Two people can make more pens than one, we work together.

This picture is a batch of 80 custom pens we made a couple weeks ago. Less that a week total time and not working full time,
That is quite sound advice. Thank you
 

henry1164

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
95
Location
Webster, NY
Chasper - Some of the most comprehensive information that I've seen on this site for those who might do ANY selling. Sound advice! Thanks for taking the time to do this.
 
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