I must love trouble

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WriteON

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Aug 21, 2013
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2,749
Location
Boynton Beach ,Fl. - BlueBell, Pa.
He we go again. The ability & consistency to not say no. A neighbor I hardly know has asked would I sell him a pen and how much. I explained it's a hobby not a business. Nothing is for sale ..that I use the pens for personal gifts and fund raisers. That being the case said let's talk. The pen is being purchased as a gift for a friend. I asked about the hobbies and interest. Dragon pen was requested. Said I can do one. Now it's can it be a fountain. I replied it is available however these pens are not fabulous...cannot be adjusted and if he does not like it then what?. Anyway I let myself into this after I thought I was cured. Not sure how I'm going to proceed but next time a request comes up I'm taking the 5th or saying I'm sorry...no speak English. If I follow through I'm letting the buyer order and pay for the components...not charging to turn/assemble. I hate myself sometimes.
 
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WriteON

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Aug 21, 2013
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2,749
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Boynton Beach ,Fl. - BlueBell, Pa.
Frank; Don't stop doing that. The desire to help others is what separates us from the animals. If it makes you happy, keep on doing that.
Thanks for the support….. deep down inside I love every minute of it. I'm having a blast with turning. Never gets old. Day is not long enough. Good fun is hard to find. And being an IAP member bumps it up.
 

WriteON

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Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
2,749
Location
Boynton Beach ,Fl. - BlueBell, Pa.
I turn down all custom orders... I make what I like and if you like it, I'm willing to sell it, but I won't make anything to order.... it has never turned out well for me and tends to make a fun hobby a job... I retired so I wouldn't have a job.
I did 2 custom orders and learned real fast. These were no charge gifts. One was fountain pen to a lifetime friend. I asked for feedback...He said it is not a good writer. Like Tellico said...pick from stock. The other situation that comes up is.... Gift or sell a pen cheap and the person wants 5 more. I'm done with that. I start to shake my head no before the person finishes talking. The worst was a T shape bottle stopper/opener. Made one and the persons wife wanted 5 more for holiday gifts. I charged for kits only. They kept breaking. I replaced out of pocket a kit or two. Also had the worst time assembling as the blanks kept bursting during pressing. Last year I turned down 2 requests for holiday gifts from family members. One asked for 5 of the this and other the same, Said like to but can't. Said I cannot meet any deadlines and will not start what I cannot finish. The other day I referred someone to etsy. Said I see stuff for $35 that should sell for $75. Told them to jump on it.
 

carlmorrell

Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
577
Location
Cary, NC
The last time I made a pen by request, I made exactly what he asked for. It was a bolt action with a Navy Seals logo. He saw the logo on the website I bought it from. I had known the guy for several years. I did not ask for the money up front. He did not like it, so I was out the money. I did take the blank off and reuse the kit. Anyone want an already turned seal team 5 blank? I have not made a pen in a long time, burn out. But if I do ever take another commission, I want cash up front.
 

penicillin

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
674
You make pens only as gifts for your family and friends. I get that - it is what I do.

A neighbor you hardly know wants you to make a pen for him. Except it isn't for him. He wants to give it as a gift to some other friend. He pressures you into it. After he pressures you into it, he gets very specific and soon it turns into a custom order for money. I would have said no from the start.

At this point, I would call him back, apologize profusely, and tell him that you can't do it, so sorry. You are not used to making pens for others for sale. ... And you don't want to take on the stress of worrying about quality or if something goes wrong. It is not your thing.

If he is your friend, he will understand. If he gets angry or abusive, then you didn't want him as a "friend" anyway. What friend pressures you into making an artisan quality product for someone you don't know, that you don't want to do in the first place?
 

howsitwork

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Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
1,680
Location
Thirsk
Make what you like making and if they want to buy it as a gift fine. Making to others desires ( often badly expressed ) leads to heartache and disappointment all round IMHO.

I did a couple of acrylic fountain pens for my sons. Good friend saw and asked for 3 for his 3 sons. I did agree and showed him the blanks and he said yet make em like yours. So I did and everyone happy .

As has been said earlier in this thread I make em for me not as a job. Each to their own but enjoy your life doing this , although sometimes payback to finance new “ tools and toys” can be useful I do admit.🤷‍♂️
 

howsitwork

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Jul 9, 2016
Messages
1,680
Location
Thirsk
Oh and never ever disagree with SWMBO about whether. pen looks good or not. Silence is the best policy if you ask for an opinion take notice of the bits you feel are justified but KEEP QUIET , remember starvation is no ones friend and the cook is rarely wrong , just saying…..😇
 

WriteON

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Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
2,749
Location
Boynton Beach ,Fl. - BlueBell, Pa.
I had a custom made for me years ago and was disappointed. The guy tried his best and I’m sure he was insulted. I did take & pay for it
Situation #3. The kits are picked out. I tell the person to come over and we’ll pick out the blanks. He was indecisive. After an hour I felt like placing his ears between the head and tail stock and ……..
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
2,616
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I try to stay away from custom work as much as possible, in pens and other turned items. Knives are a different story though. I've been burned way too many times and I've learned. It's a hard call especially if it's a friend who's asking for the work. Any friend that asks me for something, within reason, get it for free or basically the cost of the pen kit and blank.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
2,616
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
The last time I made a pen by request, I made exactly what he asked for. It was a bolt action with a Navy Seals logo. He saw the logo on the website I bought it from. I had known the guy for several years. I did not ask for the money up front. He did not like it, so I was out the money. I did take the blank off and reuse the kit. Anyone want an already turned seal team 5 blank? I have not made a pen in a long time, burn out. But if I do ever take another commission, I want cash up front.
Carl brought this up, not picking on you Carl at all, but I'd like to explain something to anyone who reads this. Carl mentioned the Navy "Seals" logo on a bolt action pen he made for someone I assumes is or was a Navy SEAL. When referring to an active duty or former Navy SEAL, all the letters in the word SEAL are to be capitalized. The term SEAL is an acronym (Sea, Air and Land) where as a Seal is an animal. The Logo you probably saw was probably a Trident that Navy SEALS earn and are awarded upon graduation from many months of training, some really tough and not so fun. Again, not picking on you Carl, just trying to right something. It's my own personal annoyance and isn't directed toward or at anyone. Thanks for understanding.
 

carlmorrell

Member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
577
Location
Cary, NC
Carl brought this up, not picking on you Carl at all, but I'd like to explain something to anyone who reads this. Carl mentioned the Navy "Seals" logo on a bolt action pen he made for someone I assumes is or was a Navy SEAL. When referring to an active duty or former Navy SEAL, all the letters in the word SEAL are to be capitalized. The term SEAL is an acronym (Sea, Air and Land) where as a Seal is an animal. The Logo you probably saw was probably a Trident that Navy SEALS earn and are awarded upon graduation from many months of training, some really tough and not so fun. Again, not picking on you Carl, just trying to right something. It's my own personal annoyance and isn't directed toward or at anyone. Thanks for understanding.
That's what I get for trying to offer input or advice. There is always someone to criticize. I should have known better. Even this forum has gotten nasty.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
2,616
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
That's what I get for trying to offer input or advice. There is always someone to criticize. I should have known better. Even this forum has gotten nasty.
Sorry you took it as nasty Carl, it was not intended to be at all. I've brought this up with many other members and also a lot of vendors and all have been more than happy for the info. I was just trying to point out something. That was all. No nastiness was intended and I don't feel I was offensive to anyone in anyway. If you see it differently I'm sorry.
 

tomas

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2010
Messages
479
Location
Rio Rancho, NM
This is a poem I used a lot when I was writing computer apps, but it works equally well for custom orders.
Enjoy,
Tomas

The Night Before Implementation​

Twas the night before implementation and all through the house,
Not a program was working, not even a browse.
The programmers hung by their screens in despair,
with hopes that a miracle would soon be there.
The users were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of inquires danced in their heads.
When out in the hallway there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a super programmer with a six-pack of beer.
His resume glowed with experience so rare,
he turned out great code with a bit-pusher's flair.
More rapid than eagles, his programs they came,
and he cursed and muttered and called them by name.
On update! On add! On inquiry! On delete!
On batch jobs! On closing! On fuctions complete!
His eyes were glazed over, fingers nimble and lean,
from weekends and nights in front of the screen.
A wink of his eye, and a twitch of his head,
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
turning specs into code, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his fingers upon the "ENTER" key,
the system came up and worked pefectly.
The updates updated, the deletes they deleted,
the inquires inquired, and closings completed.
He tested each whistle, and tested each bell,
with nary an abend, and all had gone well.
The system was finished, the tests were concluded,
the users' last changes were even included.
And the user exclaimed with a snarl and a taunt,
"It's just what I asked for, but not what I want!"

--Author unknown.
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,364
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I have to make custom orders almost every time I turn....My blind students tell me what they want and we make it! Some of them order kits themselves and bring them to the center. I seldom get a chance to turn for myself. That is one thing about the pandemic...the center was closed and I had time to turn at home.
 
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