Debate for Good Starting pen

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GuyOwen

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there doesn't seem to be a larger debate over a good starting pen for beginning pen turners and while there isn't a actual answer to the question we can at least find a pen that is close enough. I would say a good staring pen would be the Compson which can be found on penn state industries or other pen selling websites. it does come with around a 9$ price tag but price isn't everything. it uses 3/8 tube size with a click action and a Parker style refill. I have made a few Compson pens before and they are nice and easy. my second suggestion would be the Devin which is pretty much the same pen but uses a 10mm tube and a parker style refill. but has around a 7$ price tag which if price is what your concerned about is cheaper then the Compson and is the same pen with a different tube
 
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Kenny Durrant

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IMHO any single barrel pen with no special procedures, like tendons, is a good stater pen. You mentioned prices and the why most start with Slimlines. They’re low cost. Bad icky most all pens are turned the same. Glue in the tube trim the ends and turn to size. Not trying to start another debate but that’s the basics. With that mindset you can start with a more expensive kit and have a nice pen when your done. So unless you just really mess up the tube you can turn off the material and get another blank or the tubes are cheap so buy new tubes and start from new.
 

civilwartalk

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IMHO any single barrel pen with no special procedures, like tendons, is a good stater pen. You mentioned prices and the why most start with Slimlines. They’re low cost. Bad icky most all pens are turned the same. Glue in the tube trim the ends and turn to size. Not trying to start another debate but that’s the basics. With that mindset you can start with a more expensive kit and have a nice pen when your done. So unless you just really mess up the tube you can turn off the material and get another blank or the tubes are cheap so buy new tubes and start from new.
I think that if I was going to hand my son his first kit and blank, I'd give him a Sierra with an extra tube. If you have a long enough blank, you can turn two Sierra tubes from one blank, and so if the first one is a failure, you still have a 2nd shot for not much more money.

Never a slimline. To hard, too likely to be disappointed with the end result.
 

magpens

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My vote ... as in my previous thread ( link given below) ... is the 30 Caliber Bolt Action.

More expensive, but potentially more reward. . Probably the easiest of kits .... with "short" straight-sided barrel; catchy style demands applause.

 

GuyOwen

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My vote ... as in my previous thread ( link given below) ... is the 30 Caliber Bolt Action.

More expensive, but potentially more reward. . Probably the easiest of kits .... with "short" straight-sided barrel; catchy style demands applause.

me reading that thread is one reason i wanted to join and my reason for making my original post i wanted to throw in my 2 cents and try and spark more conversation
 

eharri446

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I like either the Glacia from ExoticBlanks or the Exceutive from PSI. Both have a single barrel and having it straight does not detract from it's style. The Glacia, does have a taper in it due to the hardware being different diameters at the ends.
 

leehljp

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This subject and thread comes up about twice every year!

And There are two primary thoughts:

1. Slimlines - Because: 1. it is overall the least expensive kit/components, 2. mistakes don't cost that much, 3. being somewhat more difficult than single barrel non-tenon pens, it is an excellent experience to get people up to speed and increase their skill level without a lot of cost.

2. Single barrel non-tenon pens such as the Sierra and Elegant Sierra for ease and quickness with reasonable prices in a very nice looking pen.

There are probably half a dozen other pens that are mentioned, but these are the two that tend to come to the top in each discussion. And the purpose that each is chosen is fairly equally divided = A. less expensive and skill developer - VS - B. Easy, quick to make, nice looks, quality pen.
 

egnald

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When I started, I started with Slimlines because of the cost. They were on sale at the time for about a dollar and a half. After only a couple of pens though I bought the larger Comfort center bands and a set of Comfort bushings so I could leave a little more blank on the tube without making them look so pregnant. My next venture was to Cigar style which is remains one of my favorite styles to date. The third was Euro styles like the PSI Designer series which also remains one of my favorite pens. I also followed with a lot of Sierras, Bolts, Jr. Gents, and a handful of "Themed" kits.

Knowing what I know now, my recommendation to a new pen maker would be an Alumilite blank because of how nicely Alumilite turns compared with the other acrylic (i.e. plastic) blanks and it avoids the need for developing some kind of wood finishing regimen.

As for the kit, I would recommend a single tube variety like the Stratus, Executive, Cosmopolitan, DuraClick EDC or Sierra/Gatsby type so there is only one tube/blank to contend with. However, I would recommend making the decision based on subjective reasons - not based strictly on cost or ease of assembly as I think it is just as important to build a style that they would be most happy with carrying around in their pocket.

Of course my oldest son had some guidance, but his first pen was a Acrylester blank using a Classic Elite 2 fountain pen kit. Certainly not the easiest turn, but he took his time with turning and it turned out great. I think all new turners kind of need to feel their way through things. For me, the satisfaction of making something to be proud of and enjoying the experience is priceless.

Regards,
Dave
 
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MPVic

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I think that if I was going to hand my son his first kit and blank, I'd give him a Sierra with an extra tube. If you have a long enough blank, you can turn two Sierra tubes from one blank, and so if the first one is a failure, you still have a 2nd shot for not much more money.

Never a slimline. To hard, too likely to be disappointed with the end result.
Hey Mike: I hate to think of how many folks may have been turned off with their first kit being a slimline. Sierra gets my vote too for beginners.
 

leehljp

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Hey Mike: I hate to think of how many folks may have been turned off with their first kit being a slimline. Sierra gets my vote too for beginners.
The other side of that coin is: "I thought pen making was simple. I have made half a dozen one tube pens and now I can't get the two piece pens coordinated or matching, or I put the tenon on the wrong one." . . . Then they quit. 😁😉

Honestly, even when I was just starting, slimlines were not that complicated so as to drive anyone away. CA was the big issue then and CA is now to many just starting.
 

egnald

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.... CA was the big issue then and CA is now to many just starting.
I agree completely, that's why I would recommend an Alumilite blank to start with - I think the easiest to turn of all of the acrylic (i.e. Plastic) blanks and no CA regimen to figure out; however, for those that are starting with wood blanks, although I have not tried it yet, from what I have been reading the GluBoost system, is one of the one of the best and easiest CA finishes on the market today so it would most likely be a good finish to start with. - Dave
 
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