Thank you guys. I can always count on you for an ego boost! I've come to really appreciate the craftsmanship of the professional blank makers. I no longer begrudge them the $9 for their blanks because truthfully it's the blank that inspires me to find the best pen kit to complement it and then turn and finish it to reveal it's beauty. What's funny is that despite having turned hundreds of pens I still can't wait to finish each one!