Complaints???

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jttheclockman

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If you were to have the ear of the big pen kit makers, what would be some of your biggest complaints???

If you want to get specific about certain kits that would be fine also. Do not use vendor names!!!!!!! This is for the guys making the kits today.

We always talk on this forum like we are a voice to be heard. This is getting discussed in other threads here as we speak. We feel we are an important gog in the pen making industry from what I keep reading. So lets have the voices heard.

Now lets not get confused with companies copying some blanks that have been shown here. That is a story or question for another day. This is for the kit makers. Thanks for replying.:)
 
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aggromere

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I use only a select number of kits and don't really have any complaints about them. The only thing I would ask is for more variety of quality kits. Not the ornate ones like jr. emperor or jr. majestic, something sleeker like the gent and jr gent. I would really like to see a twist version of jr gent where it is a one piece pen with two sleeves.

If you are trying to come up with a list of kits that were the most popular that would be an interesting pole to take. I actually like the cigar kits from AS and berea. Most are inexpensive, work well, look and feel nice.
 

HSTurning

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I have only made a few different kits but here is what I have to offer.
Sierra/ Wall Street transmission coming lose and sliding deep into the tube.
Bushing not matching parts. I bought a cigar and the matching bushing. The diffierence in the bushing vs. the pen parts was laughable.

As a side issue. Missing parts in kits. I have had a few kits with missing parts.
Let me think and see what else I can remember.
 

lazyguy

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There might be something along these lines already, I just haven’t found it yet. The way twist pens mates the upper and lower doesn’t always look very clean. The JR Gent ball point makes a nice pen in that respect but it would be nice to see a model like that only thinner. The Euro almost fits that bill but it would be nice to see a part on the top of the lower barrel that mates in a recess of the CB like the JR Gent and make the CB a press fit also.
 

Padre

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Replacement parts. If you screw up a nib, tip, transmission, etc., sometimes you have to sacrifice another whole kit just to get a replacement part.
 

toddlajoie

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Replacement parts. If you screw up a nib, tip, transmission, etc., sometimes you have to sacrifice another whole kit just to get a replacement part.
Spare parts!

and less discrepancy in plating costs. The difference in cost between plating
in 10k or rhodium is minuscule.

it would be nice if pen kits that were close in size would actually BE the same
size. We could swap components .. do some kit bashing!

Ditto and Ditto +.

While I think a lot of kits are drastically overpriced for the cost of creating them, I would still be happy to buy individual parts even if the sum total of putting a kit together out of separates added up to more than a kit. That would let us replace a damaged part without costing a kit and acquiring an inventory of non-damageable parts. It would also let us, for a premium, mix and match styles...

Bulk parts would be great too, rather than bulk kits. Being able to buy 100 center thread sets so you can make double closed pens without having to buy clips, caps and ends that you aren't going to use...
 

JimMc7

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+1 re the faulty design of Sierra twist transmission

Get rid of the black (nylon/Delrin/rubber?) band at the center of Cambridge pens -- particularly the Hybrids -- nice pen if that black band was either gone or plated.

Replace painted pen couplers on Barons with plated. I have several customers who prefer the size of the Baron vs Jr Gents but don't like the black painted couplers. Also, IME, the fit of Baron parts is a bit loose -- sometimes I can push a cap on w/o a press -- I always use Loctite on all Baron parts as a precaution.

Publish thread sizes for all pen components and sell taps/dies for those who want to customize a kit.
 

lwalden

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I would add that, for the capped pens (Rollerballs and Fountains), that it would be good to come up with a way to reduce the tendency to have the caps come off while being carried in one's shirt pocket. George (TexatDurango) came up with an aftermarket fix using black silicon sealer to lay down a small bead inside the centercoupler and smooth out with a q-tip, and others have posted about using o-rings (which look cheesy, especially on a high end pen), however I would much prefer to see a manufacturer supplied solution to this issue.
 

Rmartin

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I would like to see a high end series of kits with different styles but use the same bushings and drill bits. Also, the drill bits should be of a standard size. There is no good reason to have to use a 27/64 drill bit.
 

OKLAHOMAN

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+1 Yes, yes,yes!


I would add that, for the capped pens (Rollerballs and Fountains), that it would be good to come up with a way to reduce the tendency to have the caps come off while being carried in one's shirt pocket. George (TexatDurango) came up with an aftermarket fix using black silicon sealer to lay down a small bead inside the centercoupler and smooth out with a q-tip, and others have posted about using o-rings (which look cheesy, especially on a high end pen), however I would much prefer to see a manufacturer supplied solution to this issue.
 

Smitty37

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Parts....

Parts availability...I'd like it to be different but there are a lot of good reasons why this problem exists and the main one is the number of individual items a seller would have to stock to handle this issue. For instance, I carry about 20 different platings in slimlines --- there are 4 non-interchangeable parts in each finish. So that would be 80 items I would have to stock and track just to cover the dozen or so complaints I get per year about missing or damaged parts. Cheaper for me to just send a whole kit and let the buyer worry about what to do with the extra parts.
 

Smitty37

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General

I would like to see more standardization (i.e 7mm parts from one maker fit 7mm pens by all makers) and interchangeable parts, along with a way to identify which parts can be interchanged with other kits. Someone told me when I first started that you can't assume a slimline part from one maker will fit a slimline kit from another --- he was right...PSI even has different 7mm tubes for their own 7mm pens and pencils.
 

chriselle

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Parts availability...I'd like it to be different but there are a lot of good reasons why this problem exists and the main one is the number of individual items a seller would have to stock to handle this issue. For instance, I carry about 20 different platings in slimlines --- there are 4 non-interchangeable parts in each finish. So that would be 80 items I would have to stock and track just to cover the dozen or so complaints I get per year about missing or damaged parts. Cheaper for me to just send a whole kit and let the buyer worry about what to do with the extra parts.

The parts I'm talking about are couplers, threads, and front sections for the higher end kits. You're right though, anything other than the high end kits wouldn't make sense.
 

ed4copies

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Stan,

You realize if they made pieces available, they would sell fewer kits.

Car manufacturers don't sell fewer cars....or do they?

Dave

You replace tires, batteries, etc. So yes, they sell fewer cars than they would if you couldn't purchase these parts, but I always consider "cars" a terrible analogy.

Do you replace parts on your coffeemaker, or buy new---I know I buy about two a year (one at the office and one at home). I probably COULD buy the parts and fix it--but for $40???

The pen kit manufacturers make 2000 (pick a number) of each part. Now, as Smitty says, you want to be able to buy each individual part in every plating. Ties up a lot of cash for someone so your replacement cost can be lower and the manufacturers can make less money, overall.

Not a good marketing plan for the guy MAKING the product, who actually controls MOST of the variables in this industry.
 

Smitty37

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Buy

Stan,

You realize if they made pieces available, they would sell fewer kits.

Car manufacturers don't sell fewer cars....or do they?

Dave

You replace tires, batteries, etc. So yes, they sell fewer cars than they would if you couldn't purchase these parts, but I always consider "cars" a terrible analogy.

Do you replace parts on your coffeemaker, or buy new---I know I buy about two a year (one at the office and one at home). I probably COULD buy the parts and fix it--but for $40???

The pen kit manufacturers make 2000 (pick a number) of each part. Now, as Smitty says, you want to be able to buy each individual part in every plating. Ties up a lot of cash for someone so your replacement cost can be lower and the manufacturers can make less money, overall.

Not a good marketing plan for the guy MAKING the product, who actually controls MOST of the variables in this industry.

Rizheng actually sells the nibs, centerband, caps and clips for most of their slimline platings as well as tubes, transmissions and refills...I think aimed at a market that wants them to assemble their own kits. I think that even buying large numbers it would cost as much or more buying things this way than buying complete kits.
 

maxwell_smart007

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Do you replace parts on your coffeemaker, or buy new---I know I buy about two a year (one at the office and one at home). I probably COULD buy the parts and fix it--but for $40???

The pen kit manufacturers make 2000 (pick a number) of each part. Now, as Smitty says, you want to be able to buy each individual part in every plating. Ties up a lot of cash for someone so your replacement cost can be lower and the manufacturers can make less money, overall.

Not a good marketing plan for the guy MAKING the product, who actually controls MOST of the variables in this industry.

I just fixed my coffee maker...also took apart a fridge and replaced a blown capacitor....Fixed my microwave by buying a few canoe clips and a piece of micasheet...

It's my way of fighting back against the disposable culture - I buy the best that I can afford, and maintain it indefinitely! :)
 

ed4copies

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Well Andrew,

You're a very unusual young man (IME). I play cards with a group of young executives and the conversation is most interesting. REPAIR is not in their vocabulary, for the most part.

But, I am glad to hear you do these things, as the local trash will not pick up my old microwave, I'll send it to you!!!
 

jskeen

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I guess my only major issue is that nobody has managed to make a fountain pen the size of the euro or ft, but with the quality of a jr gent, ie plated metal male threads, and nylon female inserts, decent looking clip, and most importantly a standard nib in a 2 piece metal section and housing.
 

maxwell_smart007

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Well Andrew,

You're a very unusual young man (IME). I play cards with a group of young executives and the conversation is most interesting. REPAIR is not in their vocabulary, for the most part.

But, I am glad to hear you do these things, as the local trash will not pick up my old microwave, I'll send it to you!!!

Those young execs are missing out on the pride of knowing you fixed something, the joy of saving a piece of trash from the landfill, and the extreme satisfaction of knowing you've saved a boatload of money (especially knowing what things cost in the sticks here!) :)

You're probably right, Ed - I think I'm a remnant of an earlier time...

case in point: my wife and I will sit around and play trivial pursuit some evenings instead of watching tv. :) (and I don't have a cellphone either - my phone is hardwired to the wall and has a rotary dial! I wouldn't have an answering machine if I didn't need it for work)

If I have what you need, I'd be happy to send you the pieces to fix your microwave if you haven't replaced it already...
 
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chriselle

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Well Andrew,

You're a very unusual young man (IME). I play cards with a group of young executives and the conversation is most interesting. REPAIR is not in their vocabulary, for the most part.

But, I am glad to hear you do these things, as the local trash will not pick up my old microwave, I'll send it to you!!!

Those young execs are missing out on the pride of knowing you fixed something, the joy of saving a piece of trash from the landfill, and the extreme satisfaction of knowing you've saved a boatload of money (especially knowing what things cost in the sticks here!) :)

You're probably right, Ed - I think I'm a remnant of an earlier time...

case in point: my wife and I will sit around and play trivial pursuit some evenings instead of watching tv. :) (and I don't have a cellphone either - my phone is hardwired to the wall and has a rotary dial! I wouldn't have an answering machine if I didn't need it for work)

If I have what you need, I'd be happy to send you the pieces to fix your microwave if you haven't replaced it already...

Hey, even Maxwell Smart had a cell phone....:wink:
 

jttheclockman

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Having parts for all kits is a great idea. If these companies wouldn't have soooo many kits that are so redundant than it would be easier. Also like someone mentioned abit more uniformity with the kit parts would be nice so that interchanging parts is not out of the question. It is not that it is impossible it is that they choose not to.

I wish I knew how much markup is on these kits. These so called highend kits are rediculous in the pricing. They get the prices because we choose to buy them. But what is evident there has been a down turn in the purchase of these kits as evident by what some distributors are carrying.

Going green is what this century is all about and why not in the pen making industry also. We do it with our blanks so why not with pen kits??? Nothing wrong with that idea.
 

maxwell_smart007

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I wish I knew how much markup is on these kits. These so called highend kits are rediculous in the pricing. They get the prices because we choose to buy them. But what is evident there has been a down turn in the purchase of these kits as evident by what some distributors are carrying.

Unless you know of an alternative supplier - as in a pen kit manufacturing company with nothing to do - then knowing the markup isn't going to help much...

They make the product, prices are set, and we consumers either buy the product (so they make more), or we don't, so they lower the price and/or discontinue the item...

The price is set at what the market will bear.
 

Bellsy

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Stan,

You realize if they made pieces available, they would sell fewer kits.

Car manufacturers don't sell fewer cars....or do they?

Dave

You replace tires, batteries, etc. So yes, they sell fewer cars than they would if you couldn't purchase these parts, but I always consider "cars" a terrible analogy.

Do you replace parts on your coffeemaker, or buy new---I know I buy about two a year (one at the office and one at home). I probably COULD buy the parts and fix it--but for $40???

The pen kit manufacturers make 2000 (pick a number) of each part. Now, as Smitty says, you want to be able to buy each individual part in every plating. Ties up a lot of cash for someone so your replacement cost can be lower and the manufacturers can make less money, overall.

Not a good marketing plan for the guy MAKING the product, who actually controls MOST of the variables in this industry.

Terrible analogy or not, the fact is that you can buy almost anything to repair or fix a vehicle.

If I needed to fix my coffee maker, I would look into the problem before making a decision whether to fix it or replace it. Much like Andrew, I also fix what I can. The sad thing is that we are in a disposable society and a lot of people just toss it out. And why do they toss it out? Well my best guess would be that they have no idea what they are looking at in the first place. Not a fault of their own, but a fault of the society we have created and become a part of.

As for replacement parts that Smitty speaks of, it is a lot of cash, but I believe that it's not all of the parts that we are speaking about. There are a lot of parts that are frequent to being damaged due to design or the level of difficulty in which assembly is required. Some of the major components only need to be stocked. It is these products that will sell and still bring an income to the manufacturers.

Maybe the manufacturers need to build a better product and there would be a lot less complaints. If I damage a part, I try my best to repair it with an alternative solution before tearing into a new kit for parts. I also watch the forums for people who are cleaning out their shop of miscellaneous pen parts. Who knows, I might find some spare parts for that pen under the dust. As a last resort, ask in the forums and keep your fingers crossed.

If I had to make a complaint, it would be about the manufacturers who are allowed to sell cheap pen kits to unsuspecting buyers.

Dave
 

nava1uni

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Do you replace parts on your coffeemaker, or buy new---I know I buy about two a year (one at the office and one at home). I probably COULD buy the parts and fix it--but for $40???

The pen kit manufacturers make 2000 (pick a number) of each part. Now, as Smitty says, you want to be able to buy each individual part in every plating. Ties up a lot of cash for someone so your replacement cost can be lower and the manufacturers can make less money, overall.

Not a good marketing plan for the guy MAKING the product, who actually controls MOST of the variables in this industry.

I just fixed my coffee maker...also took apart a fridge and replaced a blown capacitor....Fixed my microwave by buying a few canoe clips and a piece of micasheet...

It's my way of fighting back against the disposable culture - I buy the best that I can afford, and maintain it indefinitely! :)

It is nice to read that you fix things. I fix everything that I can including our cars. I just repaired my garage heater with pieces from a heater I found for free on Craig's List. It is a satisfying feeling to know that I have kept something from the landfill. Keep it up.

As for pen kits I also wish that bushings could be used on more then one type of pen, threads were cleaner and that sections matched better.
 

1080Wayne

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"You're a very unusual young man (IME). I play cards with a group of young executives and the conversation is most interesting. REPAIR is not in their vocabulary, for the most part."

Unfortunately , you are correct , Ed . A son-in-law ( mechanical engineer) is getting a new fridge tomorrow because he doesn`t know how to troubleshoot the problem on the 5 yr old one . Another SIL`s ( computer expert ) response to any appliance problem is that `It`s only electronics - buy a new one . `

`I think I'm a remnant of an earlier time...`

Perhaps you are Andrew , maybe that`s why we like to have you around ! But the way the world turns , I suspect you may find yourself more in tune with your grandchildren`s thinking than Ed or I do with ours .
 

JohnU

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I agree with the standard measurements and not this odd stuff. I've had many requests for caps that push or snap on and off and not the usual threaded stuff. This last one is not a big deal but just my opinion but u like the cigar kits but that oversized tip bothers me everytime. I would like to see optional parts that allow you to customize the kits with options like buying a cigar tip that is the diameter of the bushing and not that wide jumbo tip or other clips.
 

Smitty37

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From where???

Having parts for all kits is a great idea. If these companies wouldn't have soooo many kits that are so redundant than it would be easier. Also like someone mentioned abit more uniformity with the kit parts would be nice so that interchanging parts is not out of the question. It is not that it is impossible it is that they choose not to.

I wish I knew how much markup is on these kits. These so called highend kits are rediculous in the pricing. They get the prices because we choose to buy them. But what is evident there has been a down turn in the purchase of these kits as evident by what some distributors are carrying.

Going green is what this century is all about and why not in the pen making industry also. We do it with our blanks so why not with pen kits??? Nothing wrong with that idea.

Who's markup....the factory's? The manufacturer of record i.e. Dayacoms? Or the folks you actually buy them from? With or without shipping included? Without revealing any concrete numbers I will tell you that it is a lot. But, be aware that the higher the price of the kit the smaller the impact of international and domestic shipping so high priced kits might well have a smaller mark-up than low priced kits. My supplier will ship me a $10.00 kit weighing one ounce for the same price he will ship me a $1.00 kit at the same weight.
 

Smitty37

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Repair vs Toss

The economics of our society are built around expensive labor and cheap materials.

When I was young (in the late 1940's) my mother and father bought a pop-up toaster paying about $18 dollars or so. Wages were about a dollar or so an hour...if a repair guy fixed something on it they might have a charge of $1.00 plus a few cents for the part, which the repair guy would probably have in stock, and they would have the toaster back in a day or two - well worth fixing. I also have a pop-up toaster, I paid about $ 30 for it...wages are about $20.00 or so an hour. If a repair guy fixes it it will cost about $20.00 plus the cost of the part...if he can get the part. The item might be of no use to you for weeks while he waits.
Not really much of a bargain.

Repair facilities want close to 1/3 of the cost (new) of my microwave just to come look at it. and nearly 25% of the new cost (per year) for "insurance" that will provide a free visit if it breaks. It's no mystery to me why we are a throw away society...it costs more to fix than to build new.
 
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soligen

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I'd like to see much more mix and match parts - especially clips.

I'd also like to see someone break the appearant assumption that slims are lower end. Yes, you can get them in better platings, but to me they appear to be the same lower end parts just with a different plating. I'd like higher end clips (cast) for slim pens. IMO the only 7mm clip thats worth while is the euro style, and to me that seems mid range). Also a supurb 7mm tranny - turns smooth with a very positive feel of snapping into the extended position.

Cigar pens with a smooth (no bands or ridges) nib section.
 
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