Pen Review: The Guardian

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PenWorks

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I saw PSI has come out with some new pen kits. I have seen and read some reviews on other models. I was still skeptical on ordering anything from them given the quality issue with some of their kits. But the Guardian pen intrigue me a little so I ordered a few kits.

Clearly this pen is a knock off of Michael's Fat boy line of pens. Penturners have been screaming in the past for a good quality click pen, so I thought this could be an answer.

Here is a picture of the original Fat Boy from Michael's Pens.
Very simple straight forward design, with a minimum of parts.
I sell this pen in my store. and although they don't fly off the shelf, I do sell a few as some folks like the size and the click aspect of the pen. Also, it is very well made.

20071227214020_guard_michaels_pen.jpg


Note that there are only 4 parts to this pen.
Tip, body, clicker, clip. Plus your refill & spring.

Now here is the pen kit of the Guardian.

2007122721427_guar_parts.jpg



Count em.... 20 parts! How can someone engineer a 4 part pen to 20 parts [:0] Sticking 10 lbs of crap into a 5 lb bag, comes to mind. :D The parts themself are not of good quality either. The tip and front cap are metal, but the ribbed tube is plastic which clearly has the plated plastic look. The rubber washers are not ribbed as shown in the instructions and a little chincy. The 3 part clicker is plastic and has the feel of plastic. They did make the clip metal.

I would have glady traded 15 of these cheap parts for one good click mechanism.

The pen making is really straight forward. You need one blank. If you cut it right, you can get one Guardian blank & one Sierra blank out of a Woodcraft resin. The final diamiter of the turned blank is .623 so you need a larger blank to make this pen. Simply drill a 8mm hole, glue your tube and turn to the required dimension of your pen parts. Now comes the tuff part....... READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ! [:eek:)] Clearly, you need to read where all these parts go. They are clearly marked in the instructions and go together well. Here is a picture of the instructions.

20071227215944_guar_instructions.jpg



I did not like the look of this pen do to the plastic front section, so I took another kit and made a single body pen out of it. I debated wether to use the rubber washers, but in the end decided not to, becuase that would be just one more part to ware out and need replaced. These are not the quality of washers used in the Fat Boy. Some "O" ring style washers ala Ed Davidson desings from the past would look good and could easly be replaced if worn out. But I chose just to ribbed the end. I knew Playing around with trying to make this a one piece design I would manage to loose and ruin some parts. Well the only thing I lost was the white plastic clicker fell out along the line and is somewhere on the floor in the shop. So I tore into another bag for parts. I like the look of the one piece design, but still can not get past the cheap clicker and will not sell these pens to the public. Here is a photo of the original Fat boy, the kit pen and my bashed kit.

200712272275_guard_3pens.jpg



My final thoughts on this kit is, yes, penturners need another click style pen, as there is a small market for it. No, this is not the click pen we wanted. I wonder who designs these pens? Why copy someone's work? Why not try to be original in your thinking? Why so many parts? I feel like they expected me to get value out of so many parts instead of offering 4 good parts. So there you have, the Guardian Pen kit. Coming to a local supply store near you :)
 
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ed4copies

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Racine, WI, USA.
Anthony,

Thanks for the review!!!

Saves me the trouble of making the pen.

However, I think you should be more grateful for ALL those parts!!!!! (Average cost about 40 cents per piece!!):D:D:D
 

PenWorks

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Although the clicker works fine and operates well. If it feels like plastic and is plastic, it will break like plastic. Once the clicker mechanism should break, I can see no way of replacing just the broken clicker to get the pen to work, without complete dissembly of the entire pen and couplers.
 

Rudy Vey

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Thanks Tony for the review! Another pen that will never come off my lathes. What were they smoking?? Seems like our suppliers lately offer quite some gaudy stuff - compare this to the pens on the dayacom site, what a difference....
 

PenWorks

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The first and last of the batch. Try it, you might like it.
If you turn these as a single body, you will have to turn them between centers with no bushings.
2007122834340_the_guarian.jpg
 

ashaw

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Phila, PA, USA.
Anthony
Good job on the pen. I agree on the parts. When I saw the pen I decided to go into that directions. Plus Michael and I do many shows together. Would not be a wise move to try and sell this pen along side of his. I know all to well the time and effort he has put into his pens.

Alan
 

karlkuehn

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Thanks for doing a great review, Anthony! Glad to know such an ugly pen is a pain to work with as well. I'll not be buying any of those for sure! You did as nice a job as I can imagine being done with them.

I agree about the Dayacom pens, I see that site and just drool over what they offer. I'd love to see someone distributing Dayacom stuff for a reasonable price, with a full catalog.
 

RonInSpringTX

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Nov 12, 2007
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Spring, TX.
Thanks Anthony, great review!! I'm sorry, but is it just me? I know I've not been a member here very long, but I've been turning a good while & I don't care if it has 4 parts, 20 parts or just 2 parts. I'd never turn something like this, it's just flat UGLY!!!!
Maybe if a customer saw one somewhere, & really wanted one, perhaps. Dunno, maybe it's just me!!!!
 

karlkuehn

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Hey, maybe you could rig one to where when you push the clicker, silicone caulk would come out. Now THAT would help the shape make a little more sense. You know, like when you're in the shower and notice that little spot in the corner that could use a little touch up bead...[:p]
 
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