Difference between high quality pens and ok pens

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brailsmt

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I'm new to this. I think all my pens look awesome, because well, I made them. As I learn and practice, though, I'm not sure I know what things equate to actual quality as perceived by a practiced eye. I would like to focus developing those skills that lead to higher quality. This is a hobby, for now, but it doesn't need to stay that way and I'd like to produce items that are not just visually appealing, but also things that will stand up to a discerning eye.

So, what kinds of things are earmarks of high quality in a hand turned pen?

EDIT:. I've done some research in my own. Google mostly, and I've read several articles. I'm looking for the opinion of pen turners.on this board with more experience than me.
 
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Kenny Durrant

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I would start with the hardware. When I first started I gave most of my pens away. When I started selling a few one person said it was a nice pen but it felt kind of cheap. That's when I decided to spend a little more for the kits. Then I noticed the plating would show signs of wear after a short time of use. Then there's the blank. Where did it come from, is it hard to find or hard to work with. That is taking in consideration the turner is going to put in the time and effort to make sure the fit and finish is at its best as well.
 

magpens

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Hi Michael and welcome to IAP !

Point 1, buy your components and materials from the best vendors, not the biggest.

Point 2, search THIS SITE, for examples of what you appreciate as quality. . Bear in mind that there are many examples that don't even appear on this site, but if you first of all focus on the ones that do appear here you have a pretty good start.

Point 3, decide what you want to make ... fountain pens seem to command better prices and seem to appeal to "higher class" clients and seem to be a better milieu as examples of quality.

Point 4, keep your eyes on the kitless examples that you find as representations of quality. . Kit pens CAN be nice, but true quality comes without the constraints of kits.

Point 5, keep making pens and examining your own pens for signs of quality you admire.

These are just a few thoughts that popped up as I was thinking and typing.

Your question has a very large scope and won't be fully answered quickly.
 

dogcatcher

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Hit some of the craft and art shows in your area, look for ones that have woodturners. Look at the pens on display, I also suggest buying some every so often while on this excursion. Compare the other sellers pens and prices to what you have made. You will find that some that are pathetic, some good, some will dazzle you. You will see your own mistakes and perfect fits that are now escaping you.
 

leehljp

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CALIPERS. A good set, make that 2 sets of calipers. Measure, measure, measure. Enjoy the journey of MAKING a pen, not just getting to the end results.

After a dozen pens or so when I started, I cut up a piece of pine 2x4 into a dozen blanks or so and instead of make a pen, I focused on turning to size and measurement and on learning how to provide consistency in my finish.

The two items that helped the most were measuring fittings and then turning to size, stopping and measuring regularly. I also learned to turn to undersize by .005 or so and then build up my finish to make up for the over-turning. The finished finish - when the same size as the fittings - center band, nib end and clip end, - that makes for the beginning of perfection. Don't settle for "good enough". High quality is better than that.

One thing I failed to mention is - don't mind spending a little extra time in sanding with finer sandpaper. I turn to close to size and begin my sanding usually at 400. A good eye will see 400 grit scratches on some woods.

Another thing, if you use carbide scrapers, practice on hard woods or PR until you get very smooth turnings from the tool only. I do some segments that smear with sandpaper. I have learned to turn very smooth with the tool only, not needing to sand. There are several here that do not use sandpaper in some cases, choosing to turn to size with the skew or scraper and it is VERY smooth. These are techniques that come with experience and practice.
 
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Dehn0045

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IMHO high quality handmade pens are produced by makers with a reputation for making high quality pens. Some names that immediately come to mind from my time here on IAP: Skiprat, Toni, Bob in SF, manupropria, jttheclockman, wizard, leehljp, Mark James. Not an exhaustive list by any means, but some to get you started. There is a lot of variation in the pens produced by this group, some kits and some kitless, different materials, different finishes, some artistic and some technical. The things I think quality pens by these and other makers have in common are: durability, attention to detail, and visual appeal. Beyond that, as they say, the devil is in the details.
 

jttheclockman

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Here is an older post by a gentleman that contributed much here but has sadly passed. It has some interesting points just about the components themselves that speak to quality also.

http://www.penturners.org/forum/f14/what-high-end-70356/

My thoughts on your question is probably not going to answer it but it is food for thought as others have touched a few of the things already. So I may repeat them.

When you start talking quality it always starts with the turner. The more pens you turn the better you get or at least that is the theory but it is all up to the turner. Speed is not the answer. That is left to the business guys and there they have worked out an assembly line system.

The kits you choose and the platings on these kits is a good place to start. The price on the kits are a tell tale sign of quality because this business there are many vendors competing for your $$$. so the mark up is not great and you will find the price realtively same in the class of pen.

Next is the blank. It becomes an art to match the blank to the kit. Some blanks just go better with different kits. You can make blanks or buy from the many many many vendors that sell them and have to say they are not all quality. As you buy from these vendors you will accumulate a rolodex of what is quality and what is not. The more elaborate the blank such as custom made adds to the quality if they are done well.

Then there is you the turner. This is where the tire meets the road. You control the final outcome. Turning the shape and again this is a learning experience to not get too ellaborate especially with some of the kits that are highend. As mentioned a good set of calipers is crucial in this game. Never ever trust bushings to be exact size needed. Each kit can have more or less plating and throw off measurements. You do not want gaps where blank meets components. You do not want to feel ridges of transitions from blank to components. And finally the make or break part is the finish. You can do everything perfect and then apply a finish that is horrible. This is the first thing a person will notice when they pick up your pen. Sanding or not sanding becomes a matter of preferance and how much you do is up to you and you alone. using a top coat that withstands the test of time will help in your sales and final product.

And finally your attitude toward this hobby. If you enjoy what you are doing and want to do your best and improve then you are in the right place. ask questions here look through old threads and absorb the info that has been on display here for many years and continues to grow everyday and soon you too will be adding to this wealth of knowledge.

Good luck and happy turning.:):)
 

mredburn

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Fit and finish on the pen make the difference. Are your edges crisp and flush with the next part or piece if hardware? can you see light or gaps where they meet? Is one side flush and the other stick out or isnt far enough out? if you look along the pen barrel looking at a light can you see scratches or swirl marks in your finish? Does the reflected light make a hard crisp line on the pen or is it blurry? If your finish is supposed to be soft so that the pen doesnt have that plastic feel on wood then it wont have crisp lines. Dale Penkala at Opus Mechan has one of the best finishes on pens you will see. Notice the definition of the shop lights on the cap.

https://www.facebook.com/opusmechan/photos/a.645497455481402/2201044409926691/?type=3&eid=ARA4GuNWG50LunWOiMliCr2e1TwYNi-x5O0aTgyuCJql2Jj9JRchulXcvznXM-w4x0hx8RJSoECLcPdh&__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARCjOtTaQ0igGfJRnj1pE6Efj3SzfRTW330Aesx103T93TGZ9OYV4kQ9Vu40_Ty_TTpZ-bEyN1qSa9SFXLc0_Pq45BTM2HiVS8_RAHSKpkJjnJ1VtKL7QSRLbSlkdFpPeB6r7yYV-cqDr3jTOk4XWhwGx6brbIy56J0Krd33LxeZQDFggYjMKvDr0Daz2hlcti-KvuFpyjCrcZY-kI_9BnwIbpk2F2JtBLgQRODSG_eLRcBQBwL0O4OG2fVW1nu7QA9nxnApXvOPQqIJUSE2TugIttUVZKqwTeBOS149fFapiMIqjex8gmfeYTuFNZtDWr7RrdE6z4t8PNtJKjIaLh9q7g&__tn__=EEHH-R
 
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Talltim

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I agree with jttheclockman and others. What makes a high quality pen is combination of a lot of factors.

My idea of a high quality pen has evolved. Some of the pens that impressed me in the beginning of our pen turning no longer impress me.

With those that do impress me now, I have a much deeper appreciation for the skill and eye of the person that created them.


Sent from my iPhone using Penturners.org mobile app
 

brailsmt

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Thank you for the answers so far. I read that other thread that was linked, and I really wasn't wanting to open a can of worms. I will focus on the interface between blank and kit, the finish, and the initial parts. I'm nowhere near comfortable enough to think about kitless (I didn't even know it was a thing until I saw the kitless forum on here). Is there a vendor of pen kits that is generally known to have higher quality kits? I've been buying stuff from Woodcraft because they have a store locally and I'm impatient. I guess I don't really know anything about the pen kit market, yet.
 
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jttheclockman

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Thank you for the answers so far. I read that other thread that was linked, and I really wasn't wanting to open a can of worms. I will focus on the interface between blank and kit, the finish, and the initial parts. I'm nowhere near comfortable enough to think about kitless (I didn't even know it was a thing until I saw the kitless forum on here). Is there a vendor of pen kits that is generally known to have higher quality kits? I've been buying stuff from Woodcraft because they have a store locally and I'm impatient. I guess I don't really know anything about the pen kit market, yet.

There is no one vendor that carries all the kits out there. That would be impossible. The highest quality kits you can buy is from Dayacom hands down. http://www.dayacom.com.tw/ But they require an amount that is not possible to even consider ordering from them. We use to have and may again in the future have a group buy from them and we can lower the price with the volume. You will find this with just about all vendors so buy in bulk can save you money.

other sources for quality kits is Crafts Supply USA and Exotic blanks probably carries the largest selection from the different vendors so it may pay to shop there. Bear Tooth Woods also carries quality kits if you apply my other statement in previous posting.

If you want gizmo and gadget pen kits than PSI (Penn State Industries) is your company and have fun. To me the best kits they have that I do buy is the Majestic line. They are top quality for that company. You will hear alot about that company both good and bad.

The link I provided was not to get involved with all the drama within that thread. It was 9 years ago. But the idea was to point to what a quality kit can look like and what to look for. Within that thread the answers lie.

So lets see what you can do. Good luck.
 

anneb3

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Jumping in here with a personal opinion. Grin. If you just want a ball point to give some one go buy one at Target. But if you want to give someone a pen that really means something, make one that means something something to the recipient.

Ex. Mesuite from from my backyard
or something I picked up while traveling

A piece of maple stained with the stain I used to finish a piece of furniture that I am working on.

One using a kit that represents an item they are interested .
Gearshifts, guns crosses and so on

A thankyou gift.

That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

Cutting pecan from neighbors firewood pile pecan to show them that they don't have to burn it all.
 

Charlie_W

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As said, and I will say again.....fit and finish are key...calipers a must.
You may want to look into skipping the mandrel and using “Between Centers Bushings” or even just turn between centers only.
Tools should be sharp enough to shave with...learn to sharpen if needed.
Turn only one barrel at a time.
Allow for the thickness of your finish.
For practice, you can simply drill a 1/4” hole in free wood blanks and turn( no tube) to work on turning/sizing/finishing techniques.
For finish, there are many methods....find one you are comfortable with and master it.
Buy some black acrylic and turn some blanks. This will show you whether your sanding/wet sanding, polish, buffing is up to par. Black is like a mirror and will show the finest scratches. Eliminate rotational scratching near the end of the process. You can turn the blank round and finish...then turn it a tad smaller and finish again...do it again and again till you are down to the final size for your pen.

Again, fit and finish are everything....as long as you don’t have a mismatch between your pen components and blank choice.
Good luck and have fun!
 

ramaroodle

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The highest quality kits you can buy is from Dayacom hands down. DAYACOM INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD But they require an amount that is not possible to even consider ordering from them.
OK.. Since you brought it up....That is my question. Dayacom is in Taiwan! The only difference in their product and the one I can get from Ed @ Exotic Blanks (or anywhere else for that matter) is that their picture says "Dayacom" at the bottom. It is listed in their "High End" section. Plus, they don't list prices. I imagine that they are the ones that PSI and Ed get their supplies from in bulk but that is a moot point as I'm not buying 500 of them. Plus, I can call Ed and Darlene on the phone or order online and have it in 3 days! Or if there is a problem with a component I can call Ed and have another one in 3 days. Please tell me how Dayacom kits are of a higher quality.

Dayacom Jr. Aaron


Exotic Blanks Jr. Aaron


I don't have time to find PSI's version with a different name but they sell it also.

They are the same kit as far as I can tell.
 
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jttheclockman

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The highest quality kits you can buy is from Dayacom hands down. DAYACOM INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD But they require an amount that is not possible to even consider ordering from them.
OK.. Since you brought it up....That is my question. Dayacom is in Taiwan! The only difference in their product and the one I can get from Ed @ Exotic Blanks (or anywhere else for that matter) is that their picture says "Dayacom" at the bottom. It is listed in their "High End" section. Plus, they don't list prices. I imagine that they are the ones that PSI and Ed get their supplies from in bulk but that is a moot point as I'm not buying 500 of them. Plus, I can call Ed on the phone! Please tell me how their kits are of a higher quality.

Dayacom Jr. Aaron


Exotic Blanks Jr. Aaron


I don't have time to find PSI's version with a different name but they sell it also.

They are the same kit as far as I can tell.
Lets back the ship up here abit. Ed sells Dayacom products that he gets from them. Weather he changes names is none of my business. There are other vendors that sell Dayacom kits as well and they are able to buy in bulk because they sell them. Again what the profit margin is is none of my business.

PSI does not buy from Dayacom. You will not find any kits that Dayacom makes sold in PSI. At least not that I know of.

My point was if you buy from Dayacom there is a minimum sales amount or else they will not deal with you. Vendors like Exotics and others have tried to get them to set up a USA outlet but it did not happen so next best thing is they take on the burden of bringing some of their kits here at the cost of buying the bulk numbers they request. As a kit buyer I know I can not afford this.

As far as quality goes let others tell you their platings and components stand out in this market of many many kits available. Only maybe Timberbits can put something comparable because Dave has worked with the people over there to get kits designed for him. People like Ed and those at Crafts Supply USA can tell you the differences between the Chinese companies. They are not all the same.
 
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ramaroodle

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I'm sorry if I came across as confrontational. I'm not trying to give you a hard time but you gave me the impression that a kit ordered from Dayacom is of a higher quality when it is clearly the same kit. Maybe PSI was a bad example of a vendor who sells the same kit but I just found 3 others without looking really hard.

My point is that Dayacom probably gets their kits from the same folks as PSI. Dayacom and PSI are probably on par with each other when it comes to bulk purchases. Neither of them make the kits. They both buy from a bigger distributor or maybe even from the manufacturer. Who knows?

These 2 kits from Dayacom and PSI are the same 22KT kits and are both offered in rollerball and fountain pen kits.

 
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magpens

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Ramaroodle,

The kits you see on the Dayacom website are the exact same kits that Exotic Blanks sells. . CSUSA sells some Dayacom kits also. . Other vendors may also sell some Dayacom kits. . Sometimes the name gets changed. . Sometimes the vendor may not tell you he/she is selling a Dayacom kit. . But, I think it is true to say that Exotic Blanks does tell you, and also that they keep the same name. . In any case, you can't go wrong buying from Exotic Blanks. . Whatever they sell, they will tell you all you want to know about it, and they will stand behind everything they sell. . Dayacom kits often have the Dayacom name on the back side of the clip (where that is possible), and the plastic ziplock baggies they come in have the Dayacom name, plus the refills have the Dayacom name. . Dayacom kits are known to be of superior quality. . You can put a high degree of trust in their name and, as far as I know, there has never been a phoney kit marketed under their name.

EDIT: (because you and I were typing at the same time) The Majestic from PSI is NOT the same kit as the Major by Dayacom.

Also, I have always believed that Dayacom has a unique manufacturing source for their kits, which I have always thought is theirs alone.

PSI seems to source their products from a variety of sources; some sources are in Taiwan and some are in China. . I would be extremely suprised if PSI and Dayacom have a common source for anything.
 
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ramaroodle

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Ramaroodle,

The kits you see on the Dayacom website are the exact same kits that Exotic Blanks sells. . CSUSA sells some Dayacom kits also. . Other vendors may also sell some Dayacom kits. . Sometimes the name gets changed. . Sometimes the vendor may not tell you he/she is selling a Dayacom kit. . But, I think it is true to say that Exotic Blanks does tell you, and also that they keep the same name. . In any case, you can't go wrong buying from Exotic Blanks. . Whatever they sell, they will tell you all you want to know about it, and they will stand behind everything they sell. . Dayacom kits often have the Dayacom name on the back side of the clip (where that is possible), and the plastic ziplock baggies they come in have the Dayacom name, plus the refills have the Dayacom name. . Dayacom kits are known to be of superior quality. . You can put a high degree of trust in their name and, as far as I know, there has never been a phoney kit marketed under their name.

EDIT: (because you and I were typing at the same time) The Majestic from PSI is NOT the same kit as the Major by Dayacom. . The Major is also sold by William Wood-write in Canada and they use the name Napoleon for this kit, as far as I know.


Also, I have always believed that Dayacom has a unique manufacturing source for their kits, which I have always thought is theirs alone.

I'm sure you're right about them being different but they are similar. I just have a natural curiosity about who the "Great Pen Kit Manufacturer" in the sky is. Seems like the best kept secret next to the nuclear weapons codes.

It's not a Dayacom kit. It's a kit by "somebody". If I knew who that was I could make sure that's where my kits originated from. So for now, I know I can just call Ed and ask him. :)
 

magpens

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I, too, have a nagging desire to know where my purchases are originally sourced. . Like other things in life, we may never know !

Ed may not tell you the source of every kit he sells, but if it is Dayacom I am quite sure he will tell you. . Vendors do have their secrets too !

It would not surprise me if several US vendors have found a way to do "group buys" wholesale from Dayacom and/or other sources. . It that case, there may be a reason to not disclose the source even if it is Dayacom.

I think it is common knowledge, and I think it is true to say, that PSI designs all of their own products, and shops around for an appropriate manufacturer. . I believe they have operated in this "independent" manner since the inception of PSI. . Some of their products are copied by others but it is rare (if it ever happens) for those copied products to be available on the open market in the USA.

I can think of one such copied product, the PSI 30 Caliber Bolt Action pen kit, which I have seen in more than one copied version, but the copies are usually distinguished by being noticeably inferior to the PSI kit in one way or another. . Never have I seen such copies available from a US vendor, but then I don't know ever US vendor and I buy from only a few of them.

Now, if we briefly change the subject, but continue on the topic of copied products, I have seen copies of the Zen pen kit being sold on the open market in the USA. . I can't remember who the original designer/vendor of the Zen kit is but the copies are/were definitely of inferior quality. . I know that CSUSA sells the "original" Zen, and it seems to me that the source is Dayacom, but there may have been a name change.

EDIT: (again, we were typing simultaneously) . Please note my erroneous reference to the William Wood-write Napoleon pen kit. . It is NOT the same as the Dayacom Jr. Major that you pictured above. . There is, however, something along this line residing in my neural cortex from years gone by. . I have deleted my statement from my post but that statement still survives in your quote of me !!! . If you would care to do so, you could delete that sentence in your quote, please.

FURTHER EDIT: On further reflection, I believe I should have used the name Helix, instead of Napoleon, as being a renamed version of the Dayacom Jr. Marshall (not Jr. Major). . The Helix is no longer being sold by the Canadian vendor that I mentioned. FWIW, the Helix gets discussed in this IAP thread:

http://www.penturners.org/forum/f18/helix-kits-123014/
 
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ramaroodle

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I, too, have a nagging desire to know where my purchases are originally sourced. . Like other things in life, we may never know !

Ed may not tell you the source of every kit he sells, but if it is Dayacom I am quite sure he will tell you. . Vendors do have their secrets too !

It would not surprise me if several US vendors have found a way to do "group buys" wholesale from Dayacom and/or other sources. . It that case, there may be a reason to not disclose the source even if it is Dayacom.
Absolutely! Nor do I care where he gets his kits from. There is no risk of me going into the wholesale pen biz. I just like the idea that I can call Ed and ask him if it's a quality kit. I have to decide if I see value in it. I will never ask Ed for a discount as I see value in his service. He has to compete with folks like PSI so I imagine he has a very small margin. Actually, I don't care where the kits are sourced from as long as it's a quality kit. This has been good information.

So jttheclockman's info about the quality of the Dayacom kits is accurate. You just need to make sure you know that's the source and since they don't generally sell to the general public it makes it tough so I'm sticking with Ed or somebody like Tim at WoodnWhimsies vs PSI.

In real life I manage a Jag/Land Rover dealership. People will pay more for a car to buy from someone they trust.
 
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magpens

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The thing is ... if it's a Dayacom kit, you usually know that it is ... after you develop your eye for quality.

And even if there aren't any brand name markings on the pen itself, the refill, or the baggie, it STILL COULD BE ... but it is best to be wary. . Kit name won't necessarily tell you. . The Dayacom website might, but their picture quality/format is not the best for making comparisons. . So, yes ... it is really handy to have someone with expertise to ask.

With that "Zen" kit that I mentioned, it was just little irregularities in the shaping of the pattern details that tipped me off as well as the lack of the Dayacom name on the back side of the clip.

Of course, I guess it is possible that "knock-offs" could be of more or less "high quality" also !! . Sometimes, genuine high quality can be imitated with equally high quality, I suppose ... but that is rare, I would think.

"Long" term lack-of-durability can tell you, but then it's too late !!
 
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ramaroodle

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Yep. I'm certainly not gonna ask Ed everytime I order a blank from him. I'm just gonna have to trust his judgement. I'm good with that.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Didn't mean to come off snooty. I learned a lot.
 

jttheclockman

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There are various threads on this information here of the 2 different pen suppliers around. Like I said I know that Dave at Timberbits had sourced many kits from a different supplier and not sure if it is the one from Dayacom. He has been to China many times and knows the ins and outs. I see he has dropped a few of his prime line kits that only he carried and no one else. The Cambridge kit is a good example. That kit exists in many versions and which is the latest is anyone's guess. I will tell you this Ernie at Bear Tooth woods is a great guy also to work with and you can call him any time and he sells quality kits that are not money grabbers. PSI is good for the gizmo and gadget kits. If I can find some of the threads I will post a link. Maybe Ed will jump in and give you more info.

But again I stand behind the statement that Dayacom is the best quality on the market of kits being peddled today. Weather other vendors buy from them and change names is not my concern. At one time we had a few group buys from Dayacom and were able to reach their bulk pricing so it is possible to buy from them but you are better off going through dealers that carry the kits you like.
 

ramaroodle

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But again I stand behind the statement that Dayacom is the best quality on the market of kits being peddled today. Weather other vendors buy from them and change names is not my concern. At one time we had a few group buys from Dayacom and were able to reach their bulk pricing so it is possible to buy from them but you are better off going through dealers that carry the kits you like.
That's good enough for me. I have no doubt that Dayacom makes great quality kits based solely on your recommendation. Just never heard of them before today as I've only been making pens for a year. I guess my question is that once you know that how can you tell if the kit you are getting is a Dayacom? Are there folks out there who only sell Dayacom? Actually, as long as it's a quality kit I don't really care who makes them. Do they actually make any of their kits or are they a distributor for the pen kit Gods? That is strictly out of curiosity.

I just have this thing about being loyal, especially to the independent business guy which is why I like to find someone I trust and stick with them which is the philosophy you too seem to have.
 
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jttheclockman

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But again I stand behind the statement that Dayacom is the best quality on the market of kits being peddled today. Weather other vendors buy from them and change names is not my concern. At one time we had a few group buys from Dayacom and were able to reach their bulk pricing so it is possible to buy from them but you are better off going through dealers that carry the kits you like.
That's good enough for me. I have no doubt that Dayacom makes great quality kits based solely on your recommendation. Just never heard of them before today as I've only been making pens for a year. I guess my question is that once you know that how can you tell if the kit you are getting is a Dayacom? Are there folks out there who only sell Dayacom? Actually, as long as it's a quality kit I don't really care who makes them. Do they actually make any of their kits or are they a distributor for the pen kit Gods? That is strictly out of curiosity.

I just have this thing about being loyal, especially to the independent business guy which is why I like to find someone I trust and stick with them which is the philosophy you too seem to have.
There are no vendors that I know that strickly sell Dayacom kits. They are usually very expensive to deal with just one line. As I said in my previous post there were vendors here that tried to get a USA dealership set up to sell their kits but they never could work it out.

Again in this industry the kit names are changed to protect rights and things. So I am not sure how you can strickly tell other than comparing what you see on on Dayacom site and what other vendors sell.

As far as I know, Dayacom out source the parts ( to their specs)but does the packaging and shipping and controls the quality control this way. This is basically the same with the Berra line. I am not a vendor or a dealer of any kind so to answer you questions with certainty I can not do. You will always have kits that fall through the proverbial crack but that is where a vendor of reputation steps in and deals with it.
 

ramaroodle

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Feb 15, 2018
Messages
233
Location
Seattle
Understood and thanks for all of the input. I don't know any pen makers other than online which is why I love this site. I just never realized that 2 kits are not necessarily the same just because they look the same or maybe have the same name. I assumed (silly me in hindsight) that they were all made by the same Taiwanese company. I'm not looking for someone who sells Dayacom exclusively, just trying to figure out how to avoid buying substandard kits. The guys at Rockler say they get all their kits from PSI. That may not be a good thing. I don't buy kits from them very often anymore but it's just good info to have. I wonder who supplies Mont Blanc? :)

Thanks again and Happy Turning!
 
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Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
494
Location
Davis Oklahoma
Understood and thanks for all of the input. I don't know any pen makers other than online which is why I love this site. I just never realized that 2 kits are not necessarily the same just because they look the same or maybe have the same name. I assumed (silly me in hindsight) that they were all made by the same Taiwanese company. I'm not looking for someone who sells Dayacom exclusively, just trying to figure out how to avoid buying substandard kits. The guys at Rockler say they get all their kits from PSI. That may not be a good thing. I don't buy kits from them very often anymore but it's just good info to have. I wonder who supplies Mont Blanc? :)

Thanks again and Happy Turning!

Andy, If you go to Exotic Blanks, you can now filter by manufacturer. That's one of the newer things on their site that they've updated.
 

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
233
Location
Seattle
Understood and thanks for all of the input. I don't know any pen makers other than online which is why I love this site. I just never realized that 2 kits are not necessarily the same just because they look the same or maybe have the same name. I assumed (silly me in hindsight) that they were all made by the same Taiwanese company. I'm not looking for someone who sells Dayacom exclusively, just trying to figure out how to avoid buying substandard kits. The guys at Rockler say they get all their kits from PSI. That may not be a good thing. I don't buy kits from them very often anymore but it's just good info to have. I wonder who supplies Mont Blanc? :)

Thanks again and Happy Turning!

Andy, If you go to Exotic Blanks, you can now filter by manufacturer. That's one of the newer things on their site that they've updated.
Hey! Awesome! Thanks! That pretty much takes the guess work out of it.

Who are a few of the other manufacturers that are known for making good quality kits or ones I should steer clear of? (I know, I'm very needy)
 
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magpens

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Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
10,103
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Well, you guys, I hate to burst your balloon, but ...
... that method is only as good as the original data.

Try putting in the "at least one" box, the word "indigo"
and in the "category" box, the words "pen kit"
and in the "Manufacturer" box, the word "Dayacom"

and do the search. Nada, right ?

But in fact, Exotic Blanks does sell a Dayacom ballpoint pen kit named "indigo". . I have ordered and made 12 of them and they have "Dayacom" on the baggie, on the refill, and molded into the back of the pen clip.
 

ramaroodle

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
233
Location
Seattle
Well, you guys, I hate to burst your balloon, but ...
... that method is only as good as the original data.

Try putting in the "at least one" box, the word "indigo"
and in the "category" box, the words "pen kit"
and in the "Manufacturer" box, the word "Dayacom"

and do the search. Nada, right ?

But in fact, Exotic Blanks does sell a Dayacom ballpoint pen kit named "indigo". . I have ordered and made 12 of them and they have "Dayacom" on the baggie, on the refill, and molded into the back of the pen clip.
Well, I guess nothing is perfect but thanks to you guys, as a newbie I have far more knowledge than I had 24 hrs ago having no idea there was even a difference in quality between distributors. I can at least see the 67 Dayacom kits that pop up searching "pen kits" and "Dayacom". With a few more names of quality kit suppliers I'd probably end up with a few hundred choices which is more than enough for a hobbiest newbie like myself. I get 47 items when searching "Dayacom" & "fountain pen" even though some of them are rollerballs the item detail says they all have a fountain pen nib or conversion kit. Again, great info.
 
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Hoeppr1

Member
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
5
Location
Columbia, Missouri
The thing is ... if it's a Dayacom kit, you usually know that it is ... after you develop your eye for quality.

And even if there aren't any brand name markings on the pen itself, the refill, or the baggie, it STILL COULD BE ... but it is best to be wary. . Kit name won't necessarily tell you. . The Dayacom website might, but their picture quality/format is not the best for making comparisons. . So, yes ... it is really handy to have someone with expertise to ask.

With that "Zen" kit that I mentioned, it was just little irregularities in the shaping of the pattern details that tipped me off as well as the lack of the Dayacom name on the back side of the clip.

Of course, I guess it is possible that "knock-offs" could be of more or less "high quality" also !! . Sometimes, genuine high quality can be imitated with equally high quality, I suppose ... but that is rare, I would think.

"Long" term lack-of-durability can tell you, but then it's too late !!






Sent from my iPad using Penturners.org mobile app
 

brailsmt

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
102
Location
Kansas City, MO, USA
So, I have gone down the route of turning between centers. I find it forces me to consider the pen shape before turning, or at least plan the shape of the other blank while turning the first one. That was an interesting discovery from trying this out. At first I didn't like it, but now as I've done a few, it seems natural. I've also found that I prefer to finish the blanks using the mandrel after shaping them.

Anyway, I have run into to some problems due to my naivete. The first pen I tried, I naively just used the tubes and proceeded to expand the tubes with the 60 degree centers which actually extruded the tubes out of the blank. Then, I started using the bushings, and just mounting those between centers. That works fine, but makes them hard to fit onto the mandrel afterwards. The bushings also kind of defeat the purpose of using the calipers to measure for fit. So, I've been looking for, and not finding bushings that are undersized for the fitment. For those of you that turn between centers and use the calipers for measuring fit, how do you mount the blanks?
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,359
Location
NJ, USA.
According to this old post, Dayacom is the manufacturer and distribute their own products:

http://www.penturners.org/forum/f21/clarification-dayacom-74211/
And this is what I was referring to when I said there was an effort to get a vendor to try to sell kits without the huge amounts needed to make purchases. We tried here and it failed. There are a few dealers that carry some of Dayacom kits but they seem to run out and hard to reorder that quantity again so it is one of those tough situations for kits that are high quality but we can not meet their demands. They would make much more sales but refuse to do it this way. :):)
 
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