where to buy pen kits?

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Thread: where to buy pen kits?

  1. #1
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    where to buy pen kits?

    Am sitting here a little disappointed as i was hoping to be making my first pen this weekend. I ordered from Axminster power tools their starter kit complete with pen blanks etc to make my first 4 pens.
    Unfortunately when it arrived and i unpacked it on Friday night the kit was incomplete, missing the blanks and the twist pen kits.

    This got me thinking about where the more experienced members here get the kits from.
    Also whats a good, probably cheap, kit to hone my skills with before trying something more challenging?


     
     
  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddski View Post
    Am sitting here a little disappointed as i was hoping to be making my first pen this weekend. I ordered from Axminster power tools their starter kit complete with pen blanks etc to make my first 4 pens.
    Unfortunately when it arrived and i unpacked it on Friday night the kit was incomplete, missing the blanks and the twist pen kits.

    This got me thinking about where the more experienced members here get the kits from.
    Also whats a good, probably cheap, kit to hone my skills with before trying something more challenging?
    The good quality pen kits for me come from Phil at Beaufort ink, however you are looking to start and you don't want to spend a fortune on your first pen kits so there are a load of suppliers out there. When I started there weren't so many and I had the good fortune to be recommended turners workshop here Home | The Turners Workshop speak to Vince (he works shifts so you may not get him immediately ) but he was probably the first place to stock large quantities of pen kits. As a starter go for his Fancy 7mm kits and if you want to branch out then he will advise you honestly. You will see from his site that he has a huge variety but the nice thing is that he has time to talk when he is in his shop. If its too difficult to get him, you are in Kent so you can get to Stiles and Bates Stiles & Bates and whilst they are a general turning shop they also have pen kits so it would be worth talking to them and depending on where you are in Kent you may be able to get to them easily .

    I trust you have taken Axminster to task.... dont forget to ask them for a wee compensation for their failings they have a few recently like getting price of their band saws wrong on their emails and their catalogues etc.

    What ever have fun.
    Enjoy Life you only get it once and there is no Apprenticeship

     
     
  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre View Post

    I trust you have taken Axminster to task.... dont forget to ask them for a wee compensation for their failings they have a few recently like getting price of their band saws wrong on their emails and their catalogues etc.

    What ever have fun.
    thanks for you reply and will look into all those. i have emailed axminster but their phones etc are currently unmanned outside of normal office hours. i am sure i will get what i am owed just wanted to start my new hobby today.

     
     
  4. #4
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    Dissapointment understandable however that would be the least problem over here, Trust things look up for you ,did you E Mail?

    Peter.
    Nil Desperandum

     
     
  5. #5
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    I spread the love, I use Turner's workshop, Beaufort ink, Stiles and Bates, Taylor's Mirfield, Pen kits and Bitz. Oh and Turner's Retreat, Arizona silhouette (US), Exotic Blanks(US), Woodcraft(AU) there are more too
    As to asking Axi for compo.....good luck!!
    I spotted one of their e bay auctions was miss priced they were selling a table saw for 35 not 350 BIN they had 10 available so I rang and told them, "oh I'll get right onto that" no thanks or owt. But if I did want one they would do 10%off!! now that's customer service!!
    I only open my mouth...to change feet...
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  6. #6
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    Hi Ewan, I tend to go to Beaufort inks for my stuff. Blanks Ill go to turners workshop - V happy with both.
    Measure Twice, cut once, then force it to fit.

     
     
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    I agree with @Pierre and @flexi top marks for Beaufort ink quality kits and after sales support.

    There are quite a lot of suppliers out there now a days, but one thing I would say is ask for where the pen kits are manufactured.

    It is recognised throughout that the Taiwan pen kits are a better quality than the kits made in China.

    To start your journey I would stick to the slimline kits until you get the hang of turning pens. That way you don't get disappointed with the outcome if you end up damaging an expensive kit.

    It all depends if you happy with importing kits from Australia, USA or Taiwan. there are suppliers but the latter two you will end up paying import taxes and handling fees. There are a lot of good UK suppliers tho.

    Slimline kits then vince at turners workshop or Davegee at penkitz and bitz.


    Dan at Taylor Mirfiled is also another good supply of pen kits. not too expensive and usually stocks slimline kits, another one for good after sales support.
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  8. #8
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    What the others said Ewan, I'm lucky as Vince at The Turners Workshop is only 20 minutes away and we have an Axminster shop though I make few pens these days. Slimlines are cheap to start and versatile so you can play with shapes but if you want a really simple pen to cut your teeth on I'd say a Sierra type is a good choice as it's a single blank and has a reasonably quality feel and better refil especially if you buy the latter from Phil.
    I'd recommend you buy a cheap set of transfer punches so you can disassemble a pen if you make a mess of it, or if you're feeling flush look at Phil's new pen press which does both.
    Bob

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett)

     
     
  9. #9
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    Thanks for the good advice, will defiantly be looking into these sites. I too a quite lucky that i have an Axminster shop 15mins away from me, as i like to look at what i am buying. I think i will try and get to Stiles and Bates in Dover when they get to re-open.
    slimline pen kits seem to be the way to start off thanks for that too.

     
     
  10. #10
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    If you can turn a good slimline you can pretty much turn most things, slims maybe cheap but it doesn't mean their easy......Stiles is a great place to visit, not vast on kits but they do have some fantastic wood if you know where to look and no where near as expensive as Axi
    I only open my mouth...to change feet...
    www.turningmatters.co.uk

     
     

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