Why Do They Do This To Us ? - New Kit Could be Much Better

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magpens

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I like trying new kits, so I bought some of the new Tanzo kits from Berea.

It makes a very attractive pen and the Berea website shows it off well.

The thing that gets me is the sizing of the single brass tube compared to the mating hardware.

The brass tube requires a 10mm hole ( = 0.3937") to be drilled in the blank.

The hole, therefore, is 0.394", near enough, while the finished blank where it meets and matches the hardware nib and center band is 0.456" (bushing outer diameter).

That means that at the ends of the finished blank, the blank wall thickness is 0.031" (or close to 3/4 of a millimeter). . That is extremely thin.

I cannot understand why Berea would design a new kit which results in such a thin finished blank wall thickness. . Yes, it is certainly doable, but it means that just about whatever acrylic blank (except jet black) which you might decide to use will require painting to prevent brass tube show-through. . It also means that many wood blanks are at risk of tear-out as you approach the required thin diameter in your turning.

This choice of wall thickness is entirely unnecessary in my opinion. . Berea could have designed for a 23/64" tube (0.359" hole) (0.048" wall), a 9 mm tube (0.354" hole) (0.052" wall), a 11/32" tube (0.344" hole) (0.056" wall), a 8 mm tube (0.315" hole) (0.070" wall), or other appropriate size, all of which will accommodate the Parker-style refill, and nearly all of which are commonly used in one kit or another. . Of these possible sizes, I would favor the 8 mm tube which is certainly very common in other kits and readily available as spare parts.

Can someone give me a good reason why an 8 mm tube would not be suitable ? . Am I missing something ? . A finished blank wall thickness of 0.070" would be much preferred over the poor choice of 0.031", IMHO.

An 8 mm tube would have been much superior because it leaves quite a bit of "meat" on the blank wall (0.070"), allowing the pen maker to do a little bit of creative turning, and eliminating the need to use paint on at least some acrylic blanks.

I just don't understand the reason why a pen kit designer would choose to make the finished blank wall thickness (at the ends) as small as 0.031" which is the case in this new kit design with the 10 mm tube.

I just don't understand why "they" do this to us when the rest of the kit design is so very attractive. . They are actually working against their own best interests and discouraging the adoption of this new kit.

Yes, there are other (older) kits with the same problem of thin ends on the finished blank. . Examples are the Sierra (wall thickness of about 0.040") and the Executive (wall thickness of about 0.032"), but I don't like them either and I avoid using them when I can.

It seems to me that some kit designers don't have much experience with actually making pens from the kits they design.
 
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magpens

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No, Curly, I am not analyzing whether they care about us or not.

I am "running under the presumption" that they design kits in order to sell those kits to pen turners with the end goal of making money for the companies they design for.

I can't see that this particular kit design will, in the longer term, meet such a goal as well as it could if it had been designed better.

And I am not picking on one particular company. . There are other companies that thrust products of "poor design", in my opinion, onto the market that targets pen turners.
 
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dogcatcher

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The designer has no clue, and the buyer for Berea also has no clue. The designer, or manufacturer looks at the pen and say it looks good, the buyer at Berea looks at the pen and says it looks good and should sell. Then some penmakers look at the pen, and say, wow that looks good and buys some, then turns one and suddenly gets buyers remorse.
 

thewishman

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The designer has no clue, and the buyer for Berea also has no clue. The designer, or manufacturer looks at the pen and say it looks good, the buyer at Berea looks at the pen and says it looks good and should sell. Then some penmakers look at the pen, and say, wow that looks good and buys some, then turns one and suddenly gets buyers remorse.
Berea designs its own pens. There may be other manufacturing reasons for the tube size, I'm not defending the decision.

I would LOVE to have more meat on all barrels, there would be many more opportunities for creative blanks.
 

magpens

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Chris,

If you can think of any manufacturing reasons (or other reasons) for designing this kit with the 10 mm brass tube, I would be all ears to hear ... please, and thanks.

And my same general comments could be applied to other kits as well.

There are quite a few kits that would deserve my same critique, including the Sierra and the Executive, both of which I mentioned above. . Now, both of the latter are older kits, and at the time they were designed there could very well have been criteria in play that don't apply now. . I can think of one pertaining to the Sierra, which is the size of the twist transmission available at the time the original Sierra was first introduced, some 25 or so years ago.

Bear in mind that people continue to design variants on the Sierra, retaining the same outer dimensions and retaining the same 27/64" brass tube, in spite of the fact that transmissions much smaller than the one in the original design are now available. There is no reason to not reduce the 27/64" tube diameter that I can see, other than tradition and maintaining some "compatibility" with the original design. . This compatibility would be with regard to the tube-in blanks which are available nowadays, blanks that are made by small, private vendors, largely. There are lots of people who make/cast blanks based on the 27/64" brass tube used in the original Sierra.

Functionally, there is no reason to stick with the 27/64" tube. And that is the concept I am talking about when it comes to new pen kit designs such as the Tanzo from Berea. . I think it is time to break with traditional thinking and design pen kits that are more practical and that allow pen turners more opportunity for creativity.
 
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duncsuss

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Well said, Mal.

Bear in mind that people continue to design variants on the Sierra, retaining the same outer dimensions and retaining the same 27/64" brass tube, in spite of the fact that transmissions much smaller than the one in the original design are now available ... [snip] there is no reason to stick with the 27/64" tube.
Smitty took this approach when he introduced the LeRoi v2, based on a 3/8" tube instead of the 27/64" original. Not a huge difference, but I welcomed the extra 3/128" wall thickness.
 

magpens

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Well said, Mal.

there is no reason to stick with the 27/64" tube.
Smitty took this approach when he introduced the LeRoi v2, based on a 3/8" tube instead of the 27/64" original. Not a huge difference, but I welcomed the extra 3/128" wall thickness.
Indeed the difference is Very Significant ... 3/128" = 0.023" ... an improvement (ie. increase) of 50% on wall thickness over the original Sierra !!!

We need more innovative design changes like Smitty's.
 
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thewishman

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Chris,

If you can think of any manufacturing reasons (or other reasons) for designing this kit with the 10 mm brass tube, I would be all ears to hear ... please, and thanks.

And my same general comments could be applied to other kits as well.

There are quite a few kits that would deserve my same critique, including the Sierra and the Executive, both of which I mentioned above. . Now, both of the latter are older kits, and at the time they were designed there could very well have been criteria in play that don't apply now. . I can think of one pertaining to the Sierra, which is the size of the twist transmission available at the time the original Sierra was first introduced, some 25 or so years ago.

Bear in mind that people continue to design variants on the Sierra, retaining the same outer dimensions and retaining the same 27/64" brass tube, in spite of the fact that transmissions much smaller than the one in the original design are now available. There is no reason to not reduce the 27/64" tube diameter that I can see, other than tradition and maintaining some "compatibility" with the original design. . This compatibility would be with regard to the tube-in blanks which are available nowadays, blanks that are made by small, private vendors, largely. There are lots of people who make/cast blanks based on the 27/64" brass tube used in the original Sierra.

Functionally, there is no reason to stick with the 27/64" tube. And that is the concept I am talking about when it comes to new pen kit designs such as the Tanzo from Berea. . I think it is time to break with traditional thinking and design pen kits that are more practical and that allow pen turners more opportunity for creativity.
Do you remember the stink about threading in the Jr.Gent a few years ago? If the Sierra was redone with different tube dimensions there would be mobs with pitchforks storming the Berea office.

I do not know why the kits are designed with certain dimensions, and I don't own stock in the company, I just responded with my thoughts.:)

Please contact Berea and talk with them.:) It's not a huge company: Pen Kit Making Supplies Berea HardWoods
 

rsieracki

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Some doing it that way somehow saved berea a penny is likely the answer...

ive bought the kit but havent tried one yet but now im dreading it
 

MiteyF

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The beauty of being a consumer is that you get the final say. Don't buy it, buy something else. Suddenly it's not a problem any more.
 
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