What should newbies know?

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Rymahoney

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
1
Location
MD
As a new member I'm having a hard time finding a thread on purchasing newbie lathes? So I think this is a great idea.
 

nativewooder

Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
1,193
Location
Fort Pierce, Fl 34982
#1 would be common sense. This is the premier site for making pens and purchasing necessary tools. Why would you look up other vendors when the best can be found by pressing the VENDOR at the top of the page.
 

ldb2000

Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
5,381
Location
Laurence Harbor, NJ, USA.
As you look around the site and see the amazing works of art being produced here remember that these people made that first slimline that looked no better then your first pen , they just never said "I could never make anything that beautiful" . Over the years I have heard that line from people and unfortunately in most cases they were right . When you tell yourself you could never do that you handicap yourself in the worst way , once you think you can't you won't ever push yourself to try and push the envelope , to think outside the box . Attitude is as important as tools maybe even more important .

I know this won't be a popular statement to some but "forget the tutorials" , they are good to get ideas from and learn techniques from but they won't teach you how to think . All tutorials do is teach you to copy what that person did , not why they did it . Use them wisely but think for yourself .

As far as tools are concerned , you DON'T need that shiny new metal lathe to make almost any pen you will see here . Metal lathes have their place but all woods , plastics and common metals (brass , aluminum , copper and even gold and silver) can be turned with SHARP tools on a jet mini wood lathe with an accuracy equal to any metal lathe , all it takes is the proper techniques . Take the money saved on that metal lathe and spend it on quality turning tools and a really good sharpening system . Then take the time to learn how to use them properly (practice makes perfect) .
As far as turning tools are concerned get a Quality skew and learn how to use it . The skew is the most versatile turning tool there is but has a steep learning curve . Once you have mastered it you can get a finished surface that don't even need sanding .

Safety is something that is often overlooked when turning small items like pens but should not be . A pen blank turning at 3000 rpms can be a very dangerous thing if it comes flying off the lathe . At the very least you should never turn your lathe on unless you are wearing a FULL face shield . You cant turn pens if you can't see because that blank exploded in your face and hurt your eyes . SAFETY IS JOB ONE !!!

Last is what to make . Most start with slimlines and they are a great place to start . They are actually harder to make correctly then cigar pens or other larger pens due to the extremely thin walls of blank material left after turning . They are also a great pen to modify and make your pen unique .
Most new pen turners are afraid to make fountain pens thinking that they are somehow harder to make , well they are not . A fountain pen kit is just as easy to make as a ballpoint kit , only the ink delivery system is different . The nib/feed/ink supply is premade and just screws on to the kits hardware just as the ballpoint refill screws into or is inserted into the kit and transmission .

I hope this helps someone become a better penmaker .
 

flyitfast

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
1,677
Location
San Antonio, TX 78247
The Library is a great place to start, but it would be a help if someone could find a woodturning club in their area. We have the list of IAP chapters which is a start, but if one is not close or very active, who do you turn to for mentoring or help. The AAW woodturning clubs are a wealth of turning information and may have pen turners to be of help.
Also, what really are the basic set of tools that a beginner needs to get started?
I have enjoyed the thread recently on "What would I have done if I knew what I know now?". That needs to be part of the Library. OOps! I see the previous post has a link to that thread..............
Thanks for starting this thread.
Gordon
 
Top Bottom