And Here I Thought Trap Shooting Was Expensive

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DrD

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A couple of conversations got me to thinking about this past-time of pen turning. Pen turning is not for the feint of heart or the light of pocket book. It's quite deceptive in that it is really expensive. You've got tools: lathe(s), chucks, live centers, dead centers, mandrels, cutting tools, drill press or chucks for lathe, band saw/cut-off saw, blades, replacement blades for cutting tools, sharpening tools, stones, gadgets to get the right edge when sharpening, pen assembly tools, pen dis-assembly tools, fountain pen tuning paraphernalia, buffers, buffing wheels, buffing compounds, and more just for the tools. Then there are pen kits, drill bits, turning bushings, finishing bushings, blanks - many/most of which are more expensive than the kits themselves - dry sandpapers, wet sandpapers, sanding oils, glues, finishing materials and supplies - of multiple kinds for oily wood, non-oily wood, plastics, ceramics, etc, polishing materials and supplies, boxes to keep the pens you've turned, egads! Try amortizing all that into the cost of a pen. It's kinda like duck hunting - the actual cost of a pound of mallard meat is expressed in the hundreds of dollars.
If it's not too late, turn and run away as fast as you can, take up exotic car collecting, anything will be less expensive.
Just my rant of the morning.
 
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WriteON

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Good rant. Too deep to run on this end. What gets me is when people question a pen or any turned items price. When I show something to someone they say..Oh you should sell those. I reply would you pay $75-$100 for it. Well how much does a pen cost to make. Reply..Several thousand.

I'm in way too deep as far as getting a return. (but I'm not looking make $$). I just bought a Midi Festool with attachments and BlueTooth transmitter. The only thing that keeps me from buying more equipment is space. This hobby is a runaway train. No light is sight. No finish line. I'm sorry I got started. I'm sorry I met you guys. I should have stayed in school. But seriously we love it don't we.
 
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It's addictive but what a great hobby/business. When I show most people what I make the usual first question is "How do you make these"? After going through a brief description most still don't have a clue. But...they usually like them and I'm able to cover my costs and put a little back in my pocket. I'll be doing this as long as I can...I hope.
 

DrD

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Good rant. Too deep to run on this end. What gets me is when people question a pen or any turned items price. When I show something to someone they say..Oh you should sell those. I reply would pay $75-$100 for it. Well how much does a pen cost to make. Reply..Several thousand.

I'm in way too deep as far as getting a return. (but I'm not looking make $$). I just bought a Midi Festool with attachments and BlueTooth transmitter. The only thing that keeps me from buying more equipment is space. This hobby is a runaway train. No light is sight. No finish line. I'm sorry I got started. I'm sorry I met you guys. I should have stayed in school. But seriously we love it don't we.
Is the Midi your 1st Festool? Festools are like pen turning - 2 MFT/3s, CT26, multiple hoses, TS75, Kapex, jig saw, 2 routers, planer, 5 sanders, multiple guide rails, Domino, and on and on and on.
 

DrD

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Yeah, I guess there are some things really more expensive than pen turning after all. I didn't buy all my Festools at once, I spread it out over about 4 months right before I retired.
 

monophoto

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Saratoga Springs, NY
A couple of conversations got me to thinking about this past-time of pen turning. Pen turning is not for the feint of heart or the light of pocket book. It's quite deceptive in that it is really expensive. You've got tools: lathe(s), chucks, live centers, dead centers, mandrels, cutting tools, drill press or chucks for lathe, band saw/cut-off saw, blades, replacement blades for cutting tools, sharpening tools, stones, gadgets to get the right edge when sharpening, pen assembly tools, pen dis-assembly tools, fountain pen tuning paraphernalia, buffers, buffing wheels, buffing compounds, and more just for the tools. Then there are pen kits, drill bits, turning bushings, finishing bushings, blanks - many/most of which are more expensive than the kits themselves - dry sandpapers, wet sandpapers, sanding oils, glues, finishing materials and supplies - of multiple kinds for oily wood, non-oily wood, plastics, ceramics, etc, polishing materials and supplies, boxes to keep the pens you've turned, egads! Try amortizing all that into the cost of a pen. It's kinda like duck hunting - the actual cost of a pound of mallard meat is expressed in the hundreds of dollars.
If it's not too late, turn and run away as fast as you can, take up exotic car collecting, anything will be less expensive.
Just my rant of the morning.

The difference between the man and the boy is the price of his toy.
 
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Buckmark13

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Trap shooting is expensive, or at least that's what my wife says everytime I go. Good thing she doesn't know what a nice over-under costs.

And it's a really good thing she doesn't know anything at all about woodworking!!
 

Woodchipper

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My wife keeps asking when I'm going to get a heap hobby. I have concluded there isn't one. Penturning is loads of fun. I find myself looking at this website and challenging myself to make different things other than the plain vanilla pens.
Guns are like cars...whatever you can afford. Buckmark13, my grandson is learning to shoot skeet. I told my son I found a nice Kreighoff San Remo grade, four gauge set for $75K. I shot competitive skeet and trap. My wife felt it was better than wondering where I was each evening or weekend.
 
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DrD

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My wife keeps asking when I'm going to get a heap hobby. I have concluded there isn't one. Penturning is loads of fun. I find myself looking at this website and challenging myself to make different things other than the plain vanilla pens.
Guns are like cars...whatever you can afford. Buckmark13, my grandson is learning to shoot skeet. I told my son I found a nice Kreighoff San Remo grade, four gauge set for $75K. I shot competitive skeet and trap. My wife felt it was better than wondering where I was each evening or weekend.
My first 4 gauge set for skeet was not a Kreighoff San Remo - cost then was only ~ $7000, but my first serious trap gun was a Kreighoff Vandalia Grade.
 

bsshog40

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DrD, you covered everything I've thought over before. Lol But it's too late to turn back now. I have other hobbies also and I do enjoy turning. Would like to get better at it. Not much wood in my area, so it gets to be a hassle to have to buy wood online. But it's also a calming hobby.
 
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DrD

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DrD, you covered everything I've thought over before. Lol But it's too late to turn back now. I have other hobbies also and I do enjoy turning. Would like to get better at it. Not much wood in my area, so it gets to be a hassle to have to buy wood online. But it's also a calming hobby.
I was out your way once, and darned if I remember seeing a tree, let alone a shrub. I do remember a stretch of interstate where there was NO speed limit. Guy offered me a job out there; had a wife and 4 school-aged boys. Wife made that decision for me. Oh well.
 

leehljp

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Quote of the Decade on IAP:

DrD: If it's not too late, turn and run away as fast as you can, take up exotic car collecting, anything will be less expensive.
Just my rant of the morning.
 
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greenacres2

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Well Dr. Don....it's like this....yep, there's no 12-step program (unless you count buffing out a finish!!) Compared to a nice set of golf clubs, greens fees once a week, consumables (like balls--which must raise the water level in ponds more than global warming could dream of.)--pen turning is not so bad. I've been able to sell a few pens (without amortizing the tooling, i might have done okay--and i did get a little savings on the tooling)

Beyond a few sales, we've been able to give some very nice gifts--and made some hearts soar by the spontaneous nature. We've also raised a little money for some charity auctions--usually significantly more than i'd have sold for.

For me, it's been an opportunity to contribute to the art world...not my art, but by stripping away a tree's "scuffs of life" and putting a natural shine on a piece of olive wood--we get to let Creation reflect the beauty that we take for granted every day--and even grumble about when the leaves fall.

Or...i could have bought a Jaguar!! :>)
earl
 
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DrD

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Yeap - wife used to tell me daily I'd have the best golf game money could buy - still have 2 pro sets of clubs I'd like to get rid of. But, you are correct, the priceless look on someone's face when you out of the blue gift them a pen they have been admiring, or thesatisfaction of looking at a completed pen knowing you had a little to do with the creation of something so beautiful. - How about an AMG or a couple of Jags?
 

leehljp

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I was in Dogwood Canyon in Missouri (SW of Branson) a couple of weeks ago. Beautiful! All the Trout fishing one could want. Private land, no fishing license needed. Owned by Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro. It sure sounded good. Pay $5.00 a pound for the Trout. Well that is just the start; entrance fee, horses, other things. Not really that expensive but much more than "$5.00 a pound". After the our guide said "only $5.00 a pound" I thought like you guys did.

That was a great trip and I will be going back with some grandsons!
 
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Sly Dog

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I understand how expensive this pursuit (it’s more than a hobby to me) is and can be, but when you think about the return in satisfaction and joy making a beautiful pen is, and how appreciative most people are to buy or receive a pen that was handcrafted by you, well, I can’t think of too many better uses of one’s spare dough. Who last thanked you for shooting skeet or playing golf (except, perhaps, your spouse 😉)?

The best part is that it doesn’t take a lot of money to start and find out if you really like it. I started with an old Ryobi mini lathe that someone gave me. Pretty soon I was watching YouTube videos about pen turning in the wee hours of the night. After a few slimline pens turned from cheap wooden blanks I was hooked. Now I’m about go on vacation for a bit and I’ll be Jones-ing to make blanks and pens after a couple of days away from my little shop. Don’t tell me the cure, ‘cause I don’t wanna know. 😀
 

JimB

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Like Sly Dog I started out slow. Jet mini and a few tools and kits to see if I would like it. Most of what we buy are 'wants' not 'needs' so the cost starts to sky rocket. I rarely turn pens anymore but wait until you venture into turning others things like I have. Captured hollowing systems, threading jig, specialty tools, 2 sharpening systems, much, much bigger lathe (PM3520B), multiple chucks, and a host of other stuff. From there you can venture into artistic bowls and platters etc and start buying, carvers, wood burners, coloring stuff, incorporating glass and other man made materials. The list keeps going and the areas you can explore could make this the only hobby you will ever need.

Enjoy your money while you still have some!
 

DrD

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Well JimB, I like the sound of your new direction. It is a direction that I cannot take for a whole pot full of reasons, chief among them is my shop is not wired for 220v. So I am spared that temptation
 

JimB

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Well JimB, I like the sound of your new direction. It is a direction that I cannot take for a whole pot full of reasons, chief among them is my shop is not wired for 220v. So I am spared that temptation
Don’t let that stop you. My shop wasn’t wired for it either and I don’t know anything about wiring so I had to get help. Turns out the wiring was easier then getting a 600 pound lathe, piece by piece, into my basement shop.
 

sbwertz

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I used to shoot trap. Fun. Arthritis in my neck keeps me from shooting anything with a recoil, and I can't pull a bow any more. I was AZ ladies field champion in my heyday. Loved archery. I still shoot the 22s. My grandsons are both really good shots. I gave them most of my long arms, and all the larger caliber handguns. I just recovered an Iver Johnson .32 S&W 5 shot revolver that was stolen 13 years ago in a burglary. It was recovered in South Carolina and I picked it up on my way to CT to visit my son and his boys. Gave it to them. Tiny thing...looks like a toy!
 
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Woodchipper

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Any looked into crap shooting? Now that's expensive!
WTG, Sharon. Congrats a bit late. I recall a small town in SE AZ that was built around a trap club instead of a golf club, private airstrip, etc. Was featured in the ATA magazine years ago.
 
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