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Thread: Pen Kits (parts) ??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Lake City, Florida
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    498

    Pen Kits (parts) ??

    I'm sure this has been asked many times, but searching V-bulletin has never worked well for me, so I'll ask (again?).........

    • Where do you buy your pen kits?
    • Who has the best kits?
    • Who has the best deals?
    • Does anyone buy bulk parts rather than kits? If so, who do you buy parts from?


    BTW -- my first ever pen, I think I'm hooked

    Thanks, Tony
    Last edited by Tony Falotico; 02-12-2007 at 10:23 AM.

    Tony, BCE '75

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,582
    Pens are great, are they not, such instant gratification!

    I buy mine from Lee Valley, not the best pricing, but I usually buy other stuff at the same time, as it is the shipping that does me in.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
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    2,434
    Tony, I have bought my pen kits from woodcraft. 7mm european style has been the one I've used the most. As far as best deals...don't know, they are reasonably close and price isn't bad in my opinion.

    Recently I had a customer order 10 pens so I bought 10 kits....he told me a few days ago he wants another 10...maybe even 20, so I'll be bulk buying kits since I have yet another customer that also wants 10 to start out with.

    The only bulk parts I have bought is the brass tubes.....just in case I have a problem, which I have had several come apart on me. I can have another one together quickly and back to turning.


    Nice pen...yep you are hooked.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Elwell Mi
    Posts
    12
    Try arizona Silhouette or craft supply USA. they both have web sites that you can check out. Bill at AS is a turner who knows wood and will set you up with good stuff.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,697
    Most of mine now come from Craft Supply. I can reccomend Bear Tooth Woods as well. Nice guy and frequently has some great specials.
    http://www.beartoothwoods.com/catalog/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    83

    Pen Kits...

    Hello Tony,

    I turn mostly high end pens ($100.00 - $3,500.00+) and I use Craft Supplies pen kits exclusively. I've tried several others and have not found that the plating is as good as what CS sells. I only turn the Platinum (Rhodium) and the 22K Cobalt Gold these days and I have never had a pen come back due to plating issues (my pens carry a lifetime warranty).

    Also, some of the other kits require more cumbersome setups than the CS kits. So for me, the CS kits work out best. I'm sure some of the other kits may work well, but I'm a "If it's not broken, don't fix it" kind of guy. Good luck to you and best wishes in all of your woodturning endeavors!

    P.S. I'm working on getting some solid Gold and solid Platinum pen kits cast for my high end clients. This will allow me to offer the metal parts in solid precious metal and allow more creativity with the barrel materials. None of the pen kit sellers will offer solid gold/platinum kits, so I've had to find a casting company on my own...
    Better Woodturning and Finishing Through Chemistry...

    Steve Russell
    Eurowood Werks Studio
    Professional Studio Woodturner

  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    29,079
    Tony, I've had good success with Berea pen kits, but I prefer to buy them from Arizona Silhouette, because their service seems faster and friendlier. They also tend to toss in a nice pen blank in the package on every order. (It's effective promo...I've bought a bunch of stabilized blanks after trying their freebies.) I've not tried the Craft Supplies kits yet (although based on Steve's ringing endorsement, I'll likely give them a spin when I need to stock up next).
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Tony, I've had good success with Berea pen kits, but I prefer to buy them from Arizona Silhouette, because their service seems faster and friendlier. They also tend to toss in a nice pen blank in the package on every order. (It's effective promo...I've bought a bunch of stabilized blanks after trying their freebies.) I've not tried the Craft Supplies kits yet (although based on Steve's ringing endorsement, I'll likely give them a spin when I need to stock up next).
    AS kits are really Berea, they are a reseller.
    Both companies are OK as long as you don't criticize them, then the trouble can start.
    Craft Supplies has been around a long time and are consistent. As said, some of their pricing policies and shipping charges are (occasionally) higher than I would like but, in the long run, very reliable and responsive to customer issues.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Craft Supplies has been around a long time and are consistent. As said, some of their pricing policies and shipping charges are (occasionally) higher than I would like but, in the long run, very reliable and responsive to customer issues.
    I have to agree about CSUSA. I bought a plexiglass pen display from them and when I got it, it was scratched. I called and wanted to return it for an exchange. They said not to bother to return it and sent me another one. I placed one order with them and one of the items was backordered. I got a postcard from the sales rep (Amber) thanking me for my order and apologizing for the delay. THAT is great service.

    That said, I get my kits directly from Berea. Just call and order what you want - talk to Jim - they charge a flat rate for shipping ($4.00, IIRC), no matter how big the order or how much the package weighs.

    Nancy
    Nancy Laird
    dandnspecialties@msn.com
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!


    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    AS kits are really Berea, they are a reseller.
    Both companies are OK as long as you don't criticize them, then the trouble can start...
    I know AS sells Berea kits...just didn't make that perfectly clear in my post. I ordered directly only one time from Berea, via phone. I was brand new to pen turning, and was told that the folks at Berea would help me out with selection and advice. Well, the lady that answered the phone was not only unhelpful, it seemed like my phone call was a major imposition on her day. I felt sorry for her and vowed then and there to never bother her again. (Life's too short to do business with bitchy people.) I think Berea has good quality kits, I just prefer to buy Berea kits from someone else. Regarding Berea's flat $4.00 shipping...I think AS surpasses that with comparably priced shipping, and they throw in a free pen blank (worth $4 - $5) to boot. Plus, they are a thousand miles closer to SoCal, so I get my order faster.

    I do still intend to give CS a try in the future, but the AS folks have taken really good care of me.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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