My 1st pen, kitless...

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NT_2112

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Nov 6, 2019
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147
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Rochester, NY
Finishing my 1st kitless pen today. Actually, my 1st pen kitless or otherwise. :)

I ordered a buffing wheel and will remove the remaining scratches and buff it to a nice shine on Monday.

I used a Bock Fountain Pen Nib- M #5.

I know I need ALOT of work on the details. I should have made the cap about 1/2" shorter.

I made my own mandrels as well as thread caps to reinforce the outer threads while tapping the inner threads on the pen section.

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I'm hoping the next one turns out better.
 

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PenHog

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Jul 6, 2019
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Mississippi
I like it. It's orders of magnitude better than my first kitless.

A gentle suggestion, in case it helps: you might aim to make your section thicker, to match the width of the threaded portion. Also, depending on what die you used, you may wish to reduce the number of turns needed to screw on the cap. Just my 2 cents.
 

FGarbrecht

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Aug 22, 2019
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NY
Great 1st try! I suspect you're going to need something slightly more aggressive than a buffing wheel to get those tool marks out (I speak from experience). Anyway, impressive start :)
 

J_B

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Jan 14, 2013
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Location
Shelbyville, KY
WNY,
Great work! I hope my upcoming first try comes close you to yours.

JB
_____________________________________________________________________________________________
I like it. It's orders of magnitude better than my first kitless.

A gentle suggestion, in case it helps: you might aim to make your section thicker, to match the width of the threaded portion. Also, depending on what die you used, you may wish to reduce the number of turns needed to screw on the cap. Just my 2 cents.

PenHog,
I am going to try my hand at a kitless. What is a good number of turns to shoot for and is a good die to accomplish that?

Thanks
jb
 

PenHog

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Jul 6, 2019
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Location
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Hi JB,

Cool, I say go for it! :)

A couple disclaimers: (1) there are many other people here who could give you better advice than me, I just started turning in May, and (2) the answer is probably a matter of taste. That said:

-- I like 2 to 3 turns. The first (non-total-crap) kitless I made was a rollerball, which I still use, but requires about about 7 turns of the cap. It gets on my nerves, but I keep it for sentimental reasons, and it's the only kitless pen I own.

-- I just checked my garage and I'm using a 1/2-24 taper tap and a corresponding die from the Machine Shop Discount Supply; I can't seem to find my receipt, but it wasn't too pricey. I don't think this is the optimal tap/die set to use. If you use a triple lead tap/die set, then you can have larger threaded areas without the excessive number of turns, but that equipment is a little pricier. If you're interested, check out A Turner's Warehouse to see pricing.

I don't want to derail this thread too much more. But some quick things:

-- I suggest looking at RJBWoodTurner's videos on turning the body of a kitless pen (and he does the section and cap too). Great intro to making a kitless, I think. Also, a tonne of helpful info is available on this site, mostly concentrated in the library and in the advanced pen-making section.

-- I'd treat your first few kitless efforts as experiments. You'll likely make mistakes or sub-optimal choices, and learn from them. Also, take a look at what the pros are doing, people who have been doing this for awhile, including (but exhaustively) posters like Teodor, jalbert, wizard, and a bunch of others, and Renee at Scriptorium Pens has a lot of images of her work which is terrific.

-- Don't worry too much about the threading; it's intimidating, but probably not the hardest part of kitless. Order of operations matters a lot more, I find. It seems there are many ways to make a good pen, and you'll settle on your own method (which itself may change) after awhile.

Feel free to message me on this site if you want to chat more.
 

NT_2112

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Nov 6, 2019
Messages
147
Location
Rochester, NY
Great information, thanks.

Everyone, I appreciate the feedback thank you.

My next step is to figure out what taps I need for Chinese nibs. I got a bunch of these from Aliexpress for $2 a piece.

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Hoping I can figure out what tap works with them. While I like the Bock nibs, the pricing is a little high for a hobbist. :)
 

Penultimate

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Aug 22, 2010
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Location
Bartlett, IL 60103
Greetings,
Good luck going down the kitless rabbit hole. It’s a lot of fun.
I like your South Bend lathe.
Figuring out thread sizes is easy with a mic and sets of metric and inch thread gages.
I find for some of the #5 nibs that a 1/4 -50 works perfectly. I found mine on eBay.
Good luck


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