I have always wondered why...

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KenB259

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magpens

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You never see a segmented pen in any of the pen making catalogs or at any pen supplies website. About the closest I’ve seen is the inlay blanks you can purchase. Inquiring minds want to know.
I don’t mean blanks, I mean on the kits they are trying to sell. They never show a completed pen with a segmented blank.
I think it is simply a matter of the cost of displaying your product in the cheapest way possible.
If you are trying to sell a pen kit, you will have difficulty selling if all you do is show the kit parts in a baggie.
So you have to dress up the kit and show a sample pen made with the kit using some sort of blank.
To keep the cost down (and the time involved in making a sample pen) you'll probably chose to show with a very basic blank.
The most basic blank probably is an AA blank and the finishing would be fairly easy and straight-forward.
If you make up a sample pen with a segmented blank, that would cost more because segmented blanks cost more than AA.
Plus, most segmented blanks are wood and you would have to take extra time to finish the wood blank with CA, or whatever.
You want to make it look as nice as possible, after all !
 

mark james

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Excellent question Ken. I suspect that that is because many (e.g - Wood128) sold by exotics, and occasionally directly on IAP, are one-offs. We don't typically make 20-40-100+ segmented blanks of the same design, so if one is turned, there may not typically be another to match it.

There are probably other reasons. I have seen a few vender photos, and typically they are still prey to "user errors" like not centering the ends, and using a kit with a natural taper between bushings that will also leave a taper in the design. Folks would get REAL TESTY if their turned blank is of less quality than a picture. Is this fair, no, but it is reality.

These are some blanks constructed by Wood128 that I tinkered with just to show some of the needed modifications I thought logical and attractive. Similar blanks are available. Can others take similar blanks and do this - of course. But I would say a bit of experience with segmenting would be helpful.

As a further example, the kit "Blingless Roman Harvest" ava at times from Timberbits is a very advanced kit. They actually say that if you need instructions (which they do not provide), then you should not try the kit! Thus, they have few sales and the kit has gone in and out of availability for several years. The difficulty is too high for the vast majority. The same with adapting one-off segmented blanks at times.

IMG_0626.jpg
 
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Dieseldoc

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I agree with Ken, really what we are looking for is kit that enhance the segmented blank. Good example is on Wood128 pen, how would they look on different kit. I also think about this often when matching a kit to a blank.
 

jttheclockman

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I agree with Ken, really what we are looking for is kit that enhance the segmented blank. Good example is on Wood128 pen, how would they look on different kit. I also think about this often when matching a kit to a blank.
To me this is all part of being an artisan as opposed to a penturner. Matching kit to blank.
 

jttheclockman

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The problem with segmented blanks and the photos are a prime example. The blank was made to fit that kit. I agree segmenters do not make many of the same type segmented blank unless they are laser cut. To make for various kits would be a huge undertaking. Many of my segmented blanks and I do not sell any are blanks that can be adapted to many kits if the artisan wants to copy the design. I am working on one now that I am making one of a kind but various designs can be derived from it and changed and used on various kits. Many times when a larger kit is used can change the look of a design as opposed to it being put on a thinner kit and vice-versa.
 

magpens

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@mark james

Mark, you make some good points !! .

You also make some "good" pens, my friend !!

In fact, the ones you show above are more than "good" ..... they are EXCELLENT !!!! . Thanks for showing these !!!

Of course, I know very well that you do some OUTSTANDING segmented blanks of your own design and making, too !!!!

All are VERY GOOD indeed and the subject for recognition and praise also.

But on the subject of the OP, you do make some GOOD points and thanks for your insight and contribution to this thread !!
 

Larryreitz

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All good points, but, are we overthinking it? If you are using a picture to sell something do you really want to use an element that upstages the product you are selling? Look at Mark's post and your attention is drawn to the excellent and highly artistic blanks, not the hardware, and the catalog is there to sell you hardware. Just my thoughts.
 

KenB259

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I think it is simply a matter of the cost of displaying your product in the cheapest way possible.
If you are trying to sell a pen kit, you will have difficulty selling if all you do is show the kit parts in a baggie.
So you have to dress up the kit and show a sample pen made with the kit using some sort of blank.
To keep the cost down (and the time involved in making a sample pen) you'll probably chose to show with a very basic blank.
The most basic blank probably is an AA blank and the finishing would be fairly easy and straight-forward.
If you make up a sample pen with a segmented blank, that would cost more because segmented blanks cost more than AA.
Plus, most segmented blanks are wood and you would have to take extra time to finish the wood blank with CA, or whatever.
You want to make it look as nice as possible, after all !
I agree it would be a little more costly to use a segmented blank and take a picture of it, but you would only need to do that once. I would think it would draw a persons eye more than some if the pictures venders use. Maybe the thought is that they don’t want to detract from the actual pen hardware. It was just curious to me.


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KenB259

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All good points, but, are we overthinking it? If you are using a picture to sell something do you really want to use an element that upstages the product you are selling? Look at Mark's post and your attention is drawn to the excellent and highly artistic blanks, not the hardware, and the catalog is there to sell you hardware. Just my thoughts.
I think this is the reason.


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howsitwork

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And is it effected by the rotation of the earth relative to the blank? Should people in the southern hemisphere apply it,left to right rather than right to left assuming anti-clockwise lathe rotation 🤣
 

jttheclockman

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Ok I think we solved this one. Now we need to decide on the “correct” way to apply a CA finish. 🤣


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Have someone else do it.;)


Not quite buying the selling hardware thing. That catalog is or can be selling blanks as well. If you put the segmented blank on a kit then you are showing an example of what it could look like. All catalogs and web sites do this that sell both blanks and kits. The thing is there are not as many segmenters around these days and with the work that goes into them they would have to be costly blanks. Again this is a good time to bring it up again, segmented blanks is definitely for the more experienced turners. The blank needs to be centered most of the time and making them to sell like this is not always easy. Inlay or laser cut blanks are designed for certain kits and drilled for them. Now you could do the drilling for the buyer I guess taking away that crucial part. But Now you are getting closer to people who make blanks that are cut and finished and all you do is slap a kit on it. I never could understand that. Why not just sell the entire pen.

Interesting concept Ken. I have the feeling you are looking into selling your segmented blanks from your interest in a few questions. I believe you can do well if you can keep up with demand. I know when I ran into Ted Sachs on FB and invited him here to show off his beautiful thread tying blanks he was a huge hit. His work stands out till this day. He has not been here in a long time but the last I heard he was making his blanks and selling through a popular vendor. Weather he is still or not i do not know. But when he started that he told me it was a thrill and the demand got quite high. Not sure if he is still doing it he feels the same. Lots of work and time go into those as well. Thus the high $$
https://www.penturners.org/threads/thread-wrapped-blanks-i-m-working-on-now.145934/#post-1902553
 
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wood128

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Excellent question Ken. I suspect that that is because many (e.g - Wood128) sold by exotics, and occasionally directly on IAP, are one-offs. We don't typically make 20-40-100+ segmented blanks of the same design, so if one is turned, there may not typically be another to match it.

There are probably other reasons. I have seen a few vender photos, and typically they are still prey to "user errors" like not centering the ends, and using a kit with a natural taper between bushings that will also leave a taper in the design. Folks would get REAL TESTY if their turned blank is of less quality than a picture. Is this fair, no, but it is reality.

These are some blanks constructed by Wood128 that I tinkered with just to show some of the needed modifications I thought logical and attractive. Similar blanks are available. Can others take similar blanks and do this - of course. But I would say a bit of experience with segmenting would be helpful.

As a further example, the kit "Blingless Roman Harvest" ava at times from Timberbits is a very advanced kit. They actually say that if you need instructions (which they do not provide), then you should not try the kit! Thus, they have few sales and the kit has gone in and out of availability for several years. The difficulty is too high for the vast majority. The same with adapting one-off segmented blanks at times.

View attachment 243403
Hi Mark. What a surprise !! You have a beautiful collection of pens ........mostly made from my segmented blanks. Super job !!!!! You should also post a picture of many of your chevron blank pens. Much fun for us OLD FOLKS !! By the way, my segmented construction blank designs ( sold mostly on www.exoticblanks.com ) are by no means patented , etc. I would be more than happy to share details on how to make your own. Some are very easy to make, and others are more difficult . Thanks again for sharing .
 
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