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Thread: Pen costs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Pen costs?

    Just had a thought and its' quicker to ask than try to figure it out. What does it come to make a pen, materials only. Not counting wood? A decent kit, not a top of the line. Never turned pens and was just thinking that this could be a great door opener/promotional item for my business. Besides, it's something I have wanted to do anyway.

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  2. #2
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    Jeff, pen kits range in price--depending on where you get them--from $1.95 to $50.00 or more. This depends on the kit, the finish, and the supplier.

    Then you need a mandrel - size A (1) or B (2) for the lathe, bushings to fit each size of pen kit, turning tools, sandpaper, micromesh, finish, etc. etc. When people call it the vortex, they aren't kidding...you are limited only by your imagination and your budget.

    There are plenty of decent and nice kits in the $5 - 10.00 range. Blanks can be cheap or pricey, depending on the kind of wood you're turning. Of course, free is always best.

    If you know of someone who can do laser engraving on your pens, you can have your company logo or name engraved on the pens too. (Just be sure the engraving is done BEFORE the final finish, as the engraving process and clean-up can ruin a good pen finish.)

    Go for it! You'll abandon that old arn quickly if you get sucked in!!

    Nancy
    Last edited by Nancy Laird; 05-22-2007 at 10:18 PM.
    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Kits run from $1.50 to over $50.00. Slimlines, the popular style for beginners are the least expensive, $1.50 to about $3.00. What affects prices the most is the plating. Softest, cheapest and shortest lived is 24K gold. At the other end of the scale is titanium alloy. Those kits run from about $8.00 to $20.00. I have recently decided to not make pens with anything but Ti platings. I don't want gift recipients or customers disappointed when the plating wears off. Ti is lifetime. If you take a look at the pen I just posted, a Cigar style, it is black Ti plating. The kit was $8.00. BTW, in pricing, I do factor in wood even if I cut it myself. Minimum $5.00.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Laird View Post
    ........You'll abandon that old arn quickly if you get sucked in!!
    Now that's funny.

    Besides I have an old iron lathe and have turned for years. Just never turned pens.

    Frank, good points about the plating. Not worried about the cost of wood as it's free or will come from scraps from the flat work.

    So is it fair to say around $10 for a good kit?
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
    I wondered this myself. Ten months ago I was looking for a couple of good pens. I thought since smoking has gone out of vogue, nothing would be better to celebrate the birth of a child like that of a wooden pen. Wood and children have a lot in common as they are both renewable, distinctive, one of a kind and true gifts. Anyway that is my one man crusade, to have wooden pens given out instead of cigars at the birth of a child. At that time however I got a quote of 30 dollars a pen. I thought that was rather high. It seems now I might have been wrong.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I buy most of mine from Berea Hardwoods or Arizona Silhouette. Slimlines for Ti run $6 to $8 per kit. The other pen I turn from them is the El Grande. They run $11 & up for Ti. Fountain Pens are $13 & up. So with a chunk of nice wood at $2 to $7 a blank I have say $18 in a pen. I sell Fountain pen or Ink pen and pencil sets from $65 to $125. Slimlines I sell for $25 to $35 for a pen. I just sold 2 fountain pen and pencil sets for $125 a set. One was Koa and the other Gaboon Ebony. I have 2 more I am getting ready which will be Paduck and Bocote that will run $110 per set.

    Nancy give you some great advice on tools and equipment. Two mandrels, drill bits for each size of pen, bushings for each style of pen, pen blank holder to drill the blanks, etc. etc. etc. When I give pens away for promotion I use the $1.50 kit and free wood.

    By the way Penn State Industries has a free DVD on pen turning. It is pretty good. You might as well follow the rest of us and jump in with both feet.
    Last edited by Bernie Weishapl; 05-23-2007 at 01:32 AM.
    Bernie W.

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    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Now that's funny.

    Besides I have an old iron lathe and have turned for years. Just never turned pens.

    Frank, good points about the plating. Not worried about the cost of wood as it's free or will come from scraps from the flat work.

    So is it fair to say around $10 for a good kit?
    Jeff, a "good" kit is too broad a question. There are many styles. Within those styles are colors and platings to choose from. It depends on what you want to do. Many penturners are happy making slimlines from the cheapest kits. I don't sell as many as some folks but I do want to produce quality and will now only use the titanium or equivalent kits. The Cigar shown was $8.00. Larger pens, like the Gentleman cost up to $20.00. There are few premium styles that are in the $50.00 range. I suggest you get a catalog from Craft Supplies www.woodturnerscatalog.com and check out their offerings.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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