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GraiDawg

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Mar 16, 2019
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Hi guys, It may be a bit early for me as i have only been doing pen turning for a couple of years, but hey. I am probably going to be doing classes on pen turning in the near future.
I will probably have 2 classes one more of a demonstration, where i have each stage premade and a second longer class where the students do everything.
the classes would be a maximum size of 4 and wood isn't an issue, but what pen would you recommend? the idea being that they get to go home with the pen (obviously)
 
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qquake

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I know a lot of people start with the slimline, as did I. But I don't believe it's the best kit to start with. I think a larger body pen is easier and more forgiving. My recommendation would be the Executive. It's inexpensive, comes in several finishes, looks great, and only has one body to turn. I've turned a lot of them, and still do.
 

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qquake

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I would also recommend some sort of tight grained wood like walnut. Don't start with acrylic, it's harder to turn and requires some experience, in my opinion. You can use a simple finish like Danish oil, which is what I used on this one.
 

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Woodchipper

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Good suggestions. Good luck with the class. Four is plenty as you can devote more time to each person. Our local Woodcraft store offers pen turning classes- max of four, minimum age is nine (stable platform for the short kids), Slimline kit, CA finish as it seems to be the most common used. I agree with the single blank and Danish oil.
 

RobS

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100% AGREE on the executive!!!!

Olive wood, is super forgiving, smells great, looks great, and cuts like butter. It also doesn't tear out.
 

KLJ

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I don't really care for the Gatzby but one thing about those that would make them very simple is the nib end has a ring to finish to so you can just get close and it still will feel fine. Where a sierra you have to be more accurate to get a good fit.
Some people struggle with learning a CA finish. So they may appreciate that being a part of the class.
One thing about teaching others is when they are struggling, having to figure out what they are doing to cause the problem makes me realize how much we do that we don't think about it just seems to happen ( if that makes sense).
Hope all goes well for you.
 

qquake

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KLJ has a point about the Gatsby. Because of the ring, especially at the tip end, the final diameter isn't as critical. It does take a bigger drill bit, 27/64" vs. 3/8", but the thickness of the material after it's turned is slightly more with the Gatsby.
 

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GraiDawg

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lols, for some reason the site did not tell me i had any replies!
Anyway thanks for the replies, I'm not familiar with the Executive so I will have a look at that. Gatsby is basically a sierra type so that fitted with my thoughts.
Yes wood is preferable to acrylic and walnut is a great choice (lots of offcuts and "scrap" laying around)
finishes, well I would probably do both in demonstration class and let people decide in the "hands- on" one. depending on how quickly they wanted to get finished.
 

WriteON

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I agree a single body pen is easier & faster. I loved discovering them. However getting the hang of a Slimlime is a great base. Get started and it’ll sort itself out. I commend you for instructing. To teach is to learn. Wood and Danish oil is a perfect combo. Or EEE & Myland friction. Please start out with safety first. Danish oil,CA ... all of it is dangerous.... and a paper mask is worthless.
 
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