Some history on pen turning?

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panamag8or

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I was wondering if some of the old timers could help with some info. When did the first pen kits come out? Does anyone have one of those pioneering pens to post a pic of? Just looking for a bit of history on our craft.
 
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bkersten

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In 1988 when my dad passed he had a WoodWorkers magazine that had
an article on an all wooden pen. Nothing but the spring, and refill were out of metal. Everything else was out of light/dark hardwoods. I started in 91/92 when the PSI booklet was around 20 pages or so, but not sure how long before that that kits were out. Wish I kept one of the original PSI booklets.
 

Dan Masshardt

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In 1988 when my dad passed he had a WoodWorkers magazine that had
an article on an all wooden pen. Nothing but the spring, and refill were out of metal. Everything else was out of light/dark hardwoods. I started in 91/92 when the PSI booklet was around 20 pages or so, but not sure how long before that that kits were out. Wish I kept one of the original PSI booklets.
It would be cool if someone does have one and could scan it for us to see.
 

Smitty37

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Interesting question. I bought my first hand turned pen in 2000 and thinking back is was probably a slimline kit, I never have heard when they first came out though.
 

Ed McDonnell

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Dayacom claims to have been making kits since 1987 and they began working with Craft Supplies in 1989. If you email them, they may be able to send you pictures of their original kits. Or maybe Craft Supplies would.

Ed
 

kovalcik

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I have a couple of pencil kits I bought from a Shop Smith store back in the (I think) mid 90s. The store was going out of business and did not have any of the accessories that were needed so I never made them. I should dig them out and see if I can make them work.
 

its_virgil

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If I recall correctly I think Russ Fairfield once told me he started making pens in the late 70's. I started in the mid 80's. Where is Ed when we need him? I think I will email Dick Sing and see what info I can gather.
Do a good turn daily!
Don
 
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Send a PM to OKLAHOMAN, hes the only one I know that might have been around when the first pen was made. HAHAHAHAHAHA, Had to zing ya Roy.
 

Lenny

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I seem to remember an article in an old issue of (?) Fine Woodworking or some other magazine of the time where the turner had experimented with turning a wooden pen (or pencil) by using parts from an existing pen(cil).
If I remember right the idea caught on and soon more people were looking to explore this area of turning. I believe Dale Nish was instrumental in making it happen. The article may have been written by Dick Sing. I know I have it somewhere...
 

Lenny

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From 'Turning Pens and Pencils' by Kip Christensen and Rex Burningham
The first commercially sold twist pen kits were introduced by craft Supplies LTD of the UK in 1989.
Dale Nish made them available to customers of CSUSA in 1990.
An article by Mr. Nish in American Woodturner in 1991 gave a big boost to the hobby.

Prior to this (early 80's) woodturner's had been experimenting with replacing the clear plastic of BICS with turned wood or taking apart mass produced pens and using the parts in their wood turned creations. Kitless isn't new but it has certainly been taken to new heights by some of the members here!
 

OKLAHOMAN

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Jason, back in the day all we did to make a pen was chase down a Goose and pull one of his flight feathers out and called it a Quill, no turning involved. :biggrin::wink::rolleyes:

Send a PM to OKLAHOMAN, hes the only one I know that might have been around when the first pen was made. HAHAHAHAHAHA, Had to zing ya Roy.
 

Smitty37

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Jason, back in the day all we did to make a pen was chase down a Goose and pull one of his flight feathers out and called it a Quill, no turning involved. :biggrin::wink::rolleyes:

Send a PM to OKLAHOMAN, hes the only one I know that might have been around when the first pen was made. HAHAHAHAHAHA, Had to zing ya Roy.
We did have to be careful about the angle at which we cut the nib though.....
 

fernhills

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I remember sometime in the early to mid 90`s is when i saw my first ever handmade wood pen. It was at Lehigh Valley woodworkers club, Bill Grumbine brought it in and i said to myself, i could never do something like that, how in the heck did he do that. Sooooo i got me a lathe. Carl
 

jeff

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If I recall correctly I think Russ Fairfield once told me he started making pens in the late 70's. I started in the mid 80's. Where is Ed when we need him? I think I will email Dick Sing and see what info I can gather.
Do a good turn daily!
Don
I read somewhere that Russ started turning pens on a drill press with a sharpened screwdriver. The earliest I recall seeing ads for "wooden pen kits" was the late 80s.
 

GDGeorge

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I first started dating my wife, met her family, and discovered my Father-in-Law's catalogs in Fall of 1989. I remember kits. I think they were in Rockler, Woodcraft, and Berea Hardwoods. I bought a Verti-lathe and adapted it to a small drill press as some point there and I think my first kits were from Woodcraft.
 

roswanson

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Hi all, this is my first post. I started making pencils in 1978, I used the Pentel mechanical pencil and replaced the barrel with a wooden one. Lenny, you have a good memory, Wood Magazine had a small article on my pencil turning in the April 1987 issue. I doubt I was the first to make pencils, but I still enjoy turning pens and pencils to this day. I use mostly the kits that are available but still make the originals. I like to collect wood and I make a pencil out of the different woods I collect to display the wood. I believe the kits became available around 1989. I look forward to participating in this organization.
 
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