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Monday, November 25, 2013

Pens For Sale

These little boxes I make are fine for presenting a pen as a gift. In my shop I have a large display case that hold sixty pens. It is fine for showing them to people who visit my shop. The problem is I need a better way to show my pens away from the shop. I hate to admit it, but my pen sales have been dismal at best. If I am ever to sell more, I desperately need a way to take a few with me when I go to town and display them nicely.
I looked at various options. There are some real nice commercially available display cases and boxes. I always prefer making something myself though instead of using something that anyone can order and have.
So this is what I came up with. I routes slots in a slab of sycamore for the pens to set into. Then I wrapped that with a sapelle casing with slots for a piece of plexi-glass to fit into. Then I added a sapelle handle to the top to make it comfortable to carry.
The plexi-glass simply slides up to put pens in, or take them out.
Here is what it looks like loaded with pens.
I will start carrying this with me when I can. Hopefully it will improve my pen sales. If not, I am going to be forced to start writing a novel just to make a reason for having so many ink pens.
I made an extra case. I have a good friend that is also showing my pens around. Actually, that friend has sold more of my pens than I have. I guess I'm a better wood worker than I am a salesman.
The rest of today's post consists of pens I have turned the last couple of days.
Ms. Clause's care package that she sent had a piece of red palm in it. I have turned black palm before and really wanted to see the difference in appearance of the two. It was just a short piece, but that is all that is needed for a .50 Cal. pen.
This one, the pen kit and the wood, is also from that same package.
It is a Polaris kit with crepe myrtle for the wood.
Then it was time to dive into some kits that I ordered recently from Penn State.
No, it is not a broken pen. This is called a flip stylus pen.
Put the insert in one way and it is a pen.
Take it out and flip it over and it is a stylus.
I used a piece of olive wood for this pen. It was also in the Clause care package. I had never turned olive wood before and wanted to see how it looked. I think it went good with the gold and black hardware for this pen.
No, you are not seeing double. I had the kits from the care package to make a pen and pencil. Both were designer kits with the same brushed satin finish, so I decided to make it as matching set. This was something I had never done.
This set took a lot longer than I anticipated. First, I had done the designer kits before that do not require a tenon. These were not those kits. These you have to cut a tenon for the center band to fit onto. Then, when you slip it on, you have to have the upper barrel the proper diameter for it all to flow as one. What made this a tad harder than it should be was the fact that I did not have bushings for it. I could have waited until I place another order to Penn State and got the right bushings. However, I did not think of all this until I had already glued the brass tubes into the blanks and was ready to turn.
Oh well. A good set of dial calipers took some careful measuring, and often, but I got the job done without the bushings.
For the wood, each pen is maple with two rings of cherry and one opposing ring of walnut.
Until next time my friends, happy turning.

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