How to search for pens?

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Bope

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
48
Location
Western NY
How do people look for new pen kits? Penn State sends out a paper catalog that makes it very easy look through all the offerings to see if something strikes your fancy. Other than that you are having to look through reseller websites. Web site searches are great if you know what you want but I have yet to find any web site for any product that is as easy to browse as the poor forgotten paper catalog. Because of this I make mostly Penn State pens since I know very little about what else is available. I try to use resellers that are members here since Penn State does a good job at marketing but not so good at packing orders. So how do you search for new pens?
 
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magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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13,633
Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Be sure to check .... www.ExoticBlanks.com .... . You can subscribe.

There is no one way to do what you are asking. . You can subscribe to some vendor websites, and some of them send out "what's new" type notices.

Another good website to watch is .... www.BereaHardwoods.com .... . You can subscribe.

Also, .... www.BearToothWoods.com .... . Again, you can subscribe and receive weekly news.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
7,725
Location
Tunica, MS,
I think some of the more newer members may be better to answer this question overall for relating to you and your situation. I, and some of the other long timers watched the pen plethora develop from 20 to 30 pen styles into the explosion that it is today. Since I have this bit of background knowledge, I do go to websites about once every 3 to 4 months and just spend an hour or so looking at the pen styles. And since I have a a long background and know numerous pens, I can skip over reading about many.

That does not work for you, though. One thing that I have done and do now on occasion is that I have a database type of app in which I do a copy and paste of both information, web link and picture of the ones I like. And on occasion, when another style comes out that is very similar to a previous one, I may copy/paste the new one into the page with the similar one - which helps with reference as to which company has which pen. I have been doing this off and on for about 15 years now. For much of my database, it is taken from posts here on this site by individuals that make exceptional work. (Many New turners are as good as some old timers too.) It is great to go back and look through on occasion and find who has what, and how it looks through creative eyes of pen turners here.

I do agree with you that a catalog is so much more helpful.

One thing to look for in your search is the quality of pens. Many pens will look the same but the quality is different from different companies. Usually it is reflected in the price.
 
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walshjp17

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
3,127
Location
Weddington, NC
Go to the websites for your favorite pen kit vendor(s) and subscribe to their newsletters. You will receive emails which often depict new offerings. Also, check out Turner's Warehouse (www.turnerswarehouse.com), Classic Nib (www.classicnib.com) and as mentioned previously Exotic Blanks, Berea Hardwoods and Bear Tooth Woods. These vendors have their own special kits and are resellers for PSI and others. Turner's Warehouse also sells kits from a couple of British companies which are not available elsewhere on this side of the pond.
 

egnald

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
Messages
504
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Personally I get a lot of inspiration and information when members do their "Show Off Your Pens" posts. There is also a "Vendor Forums" area where you can find information from many of the suppliers that are members of IAP.
Best Regards,
Dave
 

studioseven

Member
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
552
Location
Wisconsin
Ditto what Dave said about show off your pens. I am always getting inspiration from someone posting pictures of a new kit or blank (sometimes both). Also sign up for the vendors newsletters. They will alert you to new products and sales also.

Seven
 

henry1164

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
117
Location
Webster, NY
Agree with Dave as well. Seeing the results of the fine labor that is put into a particular pen kit (please include that info with your pen post please) gives me all the info I need if I want to pursue any particular pen kit.
 

dgsearle

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
12
Location
Michigan
I personally don't get a lot of inspiration as yet from the "Show off your Pens" posts, but that is because pretty much every post I have seen thus far is well above my skill level. They look great, they just don't help me much at the moment.
What I do right now is look at my local Rockler store and on PSI, Amazon and WoodTurningz.com. I then use the IAP tube and bushing app to see what I have tooling for and what additional (if any) I need to buy. I am not trying to sell anything at this point so I have to watch my budget a bit. I try to head toward the kits that don't require me to buy anything new to be able to make them.
That being said, I am looking at other sites like Exotic and Berea to try to get a little better quality kits than what I have been getting to date.
 
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