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Forum topic by Arlin Eastman posted 08-26-2020 03:29 AM 1508 views 0 times favorited 52 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3892 days


08-26-2020 03:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question alder bubinga cocobolo purpleheart maple zebrawood walnut padauk lathe turning

What Pens do you like turning the most?

Click pen or Twist pen”

What Pens do you like that feel good in your hand?

What Woods do you like best?

What Acrylics do you like best?

———————————————————-

Pen turned

For me I would like to try anything but Slimline since I have not done any other ones.

Click pen

Although I like a good twist pen, I still like the click pens. I guess since that is all I used in the military which was the skill craft black pens. If your fingers have nothing to do they can always click the pen. lol

Feels Good

On pens that feel good in my hand is a slimline that has thick barrels for my hand and long enough to balance right. I have not had any other pens to try yet but hope to in the future.

Woods I like Best

I received some Cocobolo that Looks terrific and can not wait to have a pen to put it on. Something like a two tone Cigar pen. My all around favorite is Big Leaf Maple Burl so making pens from them would be very nice to and just Maple or Poplar or even Aspen are great for dying which I like doing as well.

Acrylics I like best

I really love the stars and bars flag a lot. Then it is the Pearlessence acrylics and the camo pen blanks and even tho not considered acrylic I love to make pens out of deer antler.

Talking of Deer Antler I have 6 deer heads in the garage now that are 6 to 10 point and I will cut some up if anyone would like to trade for some nice pen blanks!!!!!

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.


52 replies so far

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

785 posts in 3265 days


#1 posted 08-26-2020 03:56 AM

I have turned probably a hundred pens or so and probably a dozen different styles. Don’t really like making any of them but they are quick and just something for my wife to add at the craft shows.

Twist pen as click pens just always seam less refined. I do use a lot of click pens as they move quickly as a low cost pen option at the shows.

Most pens are close enough to balanced that they are comfortable to use. I don’t like thicker pens. I do a lot writing at work more than the average person by far. How a pen writes is much more important to me. It needs to be smooth, glide, well and ink consistent in delivery. Huge difference between the low dollar pens and high dollar pens in performance.

Woods I like best… hard to narrow that one down but hard to beat walnut burl as just always a classy looking pen. I have used probably 30 woods species on pens.

Acrylics.. Don’t use much for pens but only thing I use on seam rippers and have turned more of them than pens. I like the lava brights, aqua bright, and rhino blanks. Pearls and swirls mainly.

I don’t like themed pens as see them as gimmicky. Have not turned any and passed on orders when asked to do them. Just not my thing. Also turn sleek streamlined designs. Not into strange curves but have turned odd designs on pens for those with disabilities.

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Woodmaster1

1880 posts in 3917 days


#2 posted 08-26-2020 12:33 PM

Bolt action pens are my favorite. Pen state has several style varieties To choose from. I have a tub of wood to use for pen blanks. I just finished two with cocobolo and one with redheart yesterday.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27229 posts in 4436 days


#3 posted 08-26-2020 12:57 PM

I like Brazilian rosewood and African Blackwood on pens…and most other hand tools!

Cheer,Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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ibewjon

2745 posts in 4124 days


#4 posted 08-26-2020 01:00 PM

Walnut is nice, but corn cob is unique to most people. I do cob pens for farmers from what was grown on their own farm. I also like to use wood from the person’s property. I made some pens from a neighbors backyard tree that had the kids swings. One of those is at the Pentagon in his son’s office. People like pens made from trees their husband or wife or parents planted. I definitely like twist pens.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

20614 posts in 2469 days


#5 posted 08-26-2020 01:00 PM

I haven’t turned a lot of pens but of the ones I have made, I’m a fan of the Vertex Kits from PSI.

I’m like Travis, I don’t like cheap pens and I use one a lot at work where I have to document a lot of stuff in ink. So, I like rollerballs instead of click or twist pens. Which is why I chose the Vertex initially to make myself a work pen with some desert Ironwood.

After using it for a while, I’m happy with the performance but the pen is too long and heavy to be comfortably carried in a shirt pocket and it’s just not ergonomic for my big mitts. So I’m currently on the prowl for a different rollerball kit to try.

When I got the rollerball kit though, I decided to also get the Vertex pencil kit to make a matched set. I like that kit a lot. I wish it had a better lead pointer in the cap but I use a desktop pointer anyway. I made myself a second one of the pencils to use in the shop too because I liked it so much. So far, it’s my favorite pencil kit.

I haven’t used the Vertex click pen but it did make for a danged nice matched set I made for a guy that commissioned them for a birthday gift.

As far as woods, I’m a big fan of Cocobolo and Desert Ironwood. They both turn extremely well and polish up to a glass-like finish easily. But, while it’s not always as friendly to turn, I agree with Travis about Walnut burl :-)

I haven’t turned much acrylic but I do like it for some pieces.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

785 posts in 3265 days


#6 posted 08-26-2020 01:04 PM

I have done some polyclay pens also. watched a few tutorials on how to make different floral cane and made a few simple designs. You can buy them already made but I wanted to learn something new.

View lew's profile

lew

13482 posts in 5086 days


#7 posted 08-26-2020 02:03 PM

Great discussion!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1453 posts in 1447 days


#8 posted 08-26-2020 02:59 PM

What Pens do you like turning the most?
I’ve turned a bunch of sierra styles and cigar styles. Personally though, I’m starting to really like the capped pens. My “cheap” kit that’s quickly becoming a favorite is the Virage with the mid-tier being the

Click pen or Twist pen”
Twist I guess… But i’m starting to lean more and more on the 2 body kits with removable tops.

What Pens do you like that feel good in your hand?
Huge fan of this kit for upper mid grade. I do have an $80 fountain kit though that i’ll be putting on Cocobolo Burl. That’s going to be really expensive.

What Woods do you like best?
Burls. I love burls. Cocobolo is beautiful, but the one pen blank burl of that I got cost $80 (going on the Dayacom Imperial kit). Bocote is nice. I’ve done some cool hybrids also with pine cones and cholla.

What Acrylics do you like best?
Alumilite Clear Slow I pretty much use exclusively for my castings.

-- https://www.2dogswhiskey.com/ 10% off all products with code LJ10 https://www.facebook.com/2DogsWhiskey/ https://www.instagram.com/2dogswhiskey/

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RichBolduc

1453 posts in 1447 days


#9 posted 08-26-2020 03:34 PM

Couple of pics off my phone.

The blue is a blue dye stabilized burl hybrid blank I made. Blue and black pigments from Divine Island and Stone’s Pen Blanks cast in Alumilite Clear Slow with aluminum honeycomb on a Virage Fountain Pen

Dayacom Statesman in stabilized Black Ash Burl

Pine Cones in Sangria Purple, Light Purple and White with a Elegant Monarch with Cross Band Black Titanium / Platinum

Blue & Grey with Stabilized Cholla on a Elegant Beauty Chrome and Satin Chrome

Flame Box Elder Burl on a Virage Twist

Sweet Gum Pod is fun too.

-- https://www.2dogswhiskey.com/ 10% off all products with code LJ10 https://www.facebook.com/2DogsWhiskey/ https://www.instagram.com/2dogswhiskey/

View SMP's profile

SMP

5049 posts in 1236 days


#10 posted 08-26-2020 03:55 PM

I haven’t made any pens myself. But have gotten some as gifts and seen others people make. I can’t stand the cheap kits, like from rockler etc. I’d personally rather use a cheap plastic pen. I’ve only seen nicer ones in stores where they are going for $75 plus, so i have never actually used one. As for wood, i like turning ironwood and cocobolo. One finish I have been wanting to try but too cheap is Odies oil.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3892 days


#11 posted 08-26-2020 04:21 PM

Ken

That pen and key chain are great!!

Rich

Those pens and blanks look great and love the look of how you cast them. :>) The very last one is stunning along with the pen kit!!!!! What is the pen kit called? If they are not to much maybe when I sell some of my stuff I can buy several of them.

I see you turned a Fountain Pen, but I have never used one nor think I could make one. Even tho I turned over 5000 pens with the guys and gals and kids they have been slimline which I can do in my sleep.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3892 days


#12 posted 08-26-2020 04:37 PM

Another question here

Does anyone use a dial caliper to measure the ends of the pens even if the bushing are there???

I used to do that a lot when starting out but have not thought about it in a while, however bushings get ground down my either the tools or sandpaper so end up smaller then original. Also I have seen some kits were the nib and top cap are just off by a few thousands and leaves either a protruding edge or just down from the edge, both of which I do not like.

I just make a key chain that was to low and it matched the bushings and not thinking since they were old wore out bushings it made the key chain look bad so I punched out the end and turned off the piece of wood and put on another one.

I even messed up pen blank just threw them away being disgusted with myself for wasting the antler even tho I have plenty of it from all the sheds and dead dear around here.

Sometimes I have to remember I can only do so much and my head and back get to be to much to handle. :(

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View RichBolduc's profile

RichBolduc

1453 posts in 1447 days


#13 posted 08-26-2020 04:45 PM

That kit is an Elegant Beauty in Chrome and Gun Meta.

Fountain pens are fun. The Cocobolo Burl and Imperial kit i’ll be asking $325 for is a fountain pen. Writing with them is kind of interesting. I have Kojent fountain kit at home I may keep for myself.

Rich


Rich

Those pens and blanks look great and love the look of how you cast them. :>) The very last one is stunning along with the pen kit!!!!! What is the pen kit called? If they are not to much maybe when I sell some of my stuff I can buy several of them.

I see you turned a Fountain Pen, but I have never used one nor think I could make one. Even tho I turned over 5000 pens with the guys and gals and kids they have been slimline which I can do in my sleep.

- Arlin Eastman


-- https://www.2dogswhiskey.com/ 10% off all products with code LJ10 https://www.facebook.com/2DogsWhiskey/ https://www.instagram.com/2dogswhiskey/

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 3892 days


#14 posted 08-26-2020 04:53 PM


I haven’t made any pens myself. But have gotten some as gifts and seen others people make. I can’t stand the cheap kits, like from rockler etc. I’d personally rather use a cheap plastic pen. I’ve only seen nicer ones in stores where they are going for $75 plus, so i have never actually used one. As for wood, i like turning ironwood and cocobolo. One finish I have been wanting to try but too cheap is Odies oil.

- SMP

I agree with you. I love the looks of a good pen and would love to turn a high end pen. But selling them would maybe hard to sell around here since I can not afford to make one for myself but thinking of someone else enjoying it would make me feel great too.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View pottz's profile

pottz

22241 posts in 2315 days


#15 posted 08-26-2020 05:01 PM

i do not do any click pens,they just say cheap to me.id say my fav is probably the majestic,i think is an elegant pen.fav wood is most any kind of burl wood,i like desert ironwood and cocobolo a lot.dont care for acrylic’s much,have done some in snake skin and deer antler.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

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