Is it just me ?

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BULLWINKLE

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The newly added kits I see in the catalogs sent to me see to be gaudier and gaudier. I know that, like anything else, taste is subjective. For the life of me, I can’t understand why these companies don’t strive for more classic designs and better quality instead of l promoting hideous pen kits. They should also be working towards better finishes. It’s getting harder to find rhodium which holds up great. Still, prices keep going up on mediocre kits. What’s your opinion ?
 
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Drewby108

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I can't remember the brand, but I saw "elephant" and got really excited to do a pen for my gf with her favorite animal. That was until I saw the kit. *Most* of the kit was fine as it was, but the clip had a huge elephant head soldered onto it, making it ugly as sin. Really a shame, because I won't buy a kit that I then have to make my own parts for.
 

ed4copies

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Why? Because they sell. Manufacturers don't make kits to suit their own tastes, they continue to market the kits that sell and discontinue the ones that don't--pretty simple.

As for rhodium, it is currently $14,000+ per ounce. Five years ago, it was $1150, a 12 x increase. So, very few buyers would pay this type of inflation.

Want more info on rhodium, you can find it here: https://www.moneymetals.com/rhodium-price
 

BULLWINKLE

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I can't remember the brand, but I saw "elephant" and got really excited to do a pen for my gf with her favorite animal. That was until I saw the kit. *Most* of the kit was fine as it was, but the clip had a huge elephant head soldered onto it, making it ugly as sin. Really a shame, because I won't buy a kit that I then have to make my own parts for.
I understand. They should keep it simple and classy, not ugly or cheap looking. Especially since pens are being used less and less with more correspondence being done online. Pens will eventually go the way of rotary dial phones. I think eventually they will only be sought by collectors. I know it’s heresy to say that here but I think it’s inevitable.
 

Kenny Durrant

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I think the same way Dave. When I first started I had to try every new kit that came out. It didn’t take long before I had a ton of kits and bushings. That’s my thought as a pen turner. I decided that I’d pick a few of the kits that met my expectations and stick with those. BUT like ED mentioned they sell. If your turning pens to make money you need to have as big a selection possible to give every person a chance to like and buy one. So for that market suppliers need to come up with something new to stay ahead of the competition. No research has gone into this, it’s just MHO.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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I understand. They should keep it simple and classy, not ugly or cheap looking. Especially since pens are being used less and less with more correspondence being done online. Pens will eventually go the way of rotary dial phones. I think eventually they will only be sought by collectors. I know it’s heresy to say that here but I think it’s inevitable.
A couple of my thoughts on your thoughts. First I always said that these gaudy pens are just gimmick pens but as mentioned they are sellers. I remember there was just one rifle pen kit and being guns are so popular there are now so many. They even have granade and tank shaped pen kits. Bullet pens were all the rage and still are. I still make some myself. PSI is the leader in these type pens and there was a member here that worked for PSI and told us he was an inventor for some of these and this was the way of the future. Can not remember the name or how far back the conversation went. I am sure someone maybe able to find it. This was back when the ever popular pen kit computer blanks was copied. Then along came the Gatlin gun copy and from there it took off. If the kits sell that is all the vendors care about. Now some of these actually have made me come around to try because I can add my touch of unique blanks to them.

The other point you made about pens going away. That will never happen and in fact it is proven that they are making a comeback. People still love giving unique pens as gifts. My opinions only.
 

BULLWINKLE

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A couple of my thoughts on your thoughts. First I always said that these gaudy pens are just gimmick pens but as mentioned they are sellers. I remember there was just one rifle pen kit and being guns are so popular there are now so many. They even have granade and tank shaped pen kits. Bullet pens were all the rage and still are. I still make some myself. PSI is the leader in these type pens and there was a member here that worked for PSI and told us he was an inventor for some of these and this was the way of the future. Can not remember the name or how far back the conversation went. I am sure someone maybe able to find it. This was back when the ever popular pen kit computer blanks was copied. Then along came the Gatlin gun copy and from there it took off. If the kits sell that is all the vendors care about. Now some of these actually have made me come around to try because I can add my touch of unique blanks to them.

The other point you made about pens going away. That will never happen and in fact it is proven that they are making a comeback. People still love giving unique pens as gifts. My opinions only.
You are right. It’s what sells, and that’s ok. I don’t mind gaudy but I wish they would include new classics designs. As for pens going away, I really hope I am wrong. I enjoy making pens and using them. They do make great gifts. I’ve given away many.
I have thought about going kitless to have more control over the final pen but I am going to need to research it. I’m not sure how to do it, as I’ve always made from kits.
 

jttheclockman

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You are right. It’s what sells, and that’s ok. I don’t mind gaudy but I wish they would include new classics designs. As for pens going away, I really hope I am wrong. I enjoy making pens and using them. They do make great gifts. I’ve given away many.
I have thought about going kitless to have more control over the final pen but I am going to need to research it. I’m not sure how to do it, as I’ve always made from kits.
New classic designs are out there. You need to check the bank account first. Look at Dayacom kits and you will see awesome kits. They in my opinion are the best pen vendor with quality kits. Look at the list of vendors in the library and you will see other vendors that sell kits you do not see many of. To me the kits are a small portion of a classy pen. It is all about the blanks to me and matching them to kits that will sell pens. As far as making kitless pens, good luck. Lots of info here.
 

wouldentu2?

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I get the PSI catalog and am amazed at the variety of kits in this alone and if I sold pens I am sure the variety would be tempting. I make pens for the Woodcraft Turn for Troops thru the Milwaukee Area Woodturners club and that's enough. Now if Woodcraft wanted to supply some of those Rhodium pens ...
 

BULLWINKLE

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New classic designs are out there. You need to check the bank account first. Look at Dayacom kits and you will see awesome kits. They in my opinion are the best pen vendor with quality kits. Look at the list of vendors in the library and you will see other vendors that sell kits you do not see many of. To me the kits are a small portion of a classy pen. It is all about the blanks to me and matching them to kits that will sell pens. As far as making kitless pens, good luck. Lots of info here.
JT , thanks. I was not aware of these other vendors. I’ve bought mostly from PSI, a few from Rockler and some from Woodcraft which I think are renamed PSI products.
 
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