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Pen commission - what's the going rate?

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Jensmith

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I been commisioned to turn a pen by a friend of my Dad's for a xmas present and I was wondering what the going rate would be for a slimline pen?

It would be for a wooden pen in a presentation box.

What do people normally charge?

Thanks,

Jennifer,
 

loz

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7 mil slim in a lined box, 25 euros min (approx 21 sterling todays rate ) - for your everyday wood or acrylics

thro in some 3 thousand year old bog oak, and double it............

Add a double size box, and a 7 mil matching clicking pencil. and charge 40 euros for the set. ( everyday woods )
 

Jensmith

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Thanks Loz, that's more than I thought.

What would you consider to be a nice attractive wood for a relative newbie. I've done quite a few pens now but would probably struggle with a difficult wood to turn.

I've mostly used Yew so far.
 

loz

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Hey Jen,

If you are doing ok with Yew on Pens, then you'll be fine with anything else !! I'm a little heavy handed with the old abrasives, and you know how Yew hates the heat !

Beech and Cherry turn like butter - very nice for simple slimlines, if a little plain. If you want simple though, use a plain wood with little grain, this saves you having to worry about lineup when assembled.

I personally love ( and use at work ) Wenge on any pen kit, and its nice to turn,

Whatever wood you use, experiment a little on finsh, and see what you like. I know BLO/CA is the rage at the moment, but FP alone is ok, or just a little waxing gives a result i feel much nicer to hold/use that either above.

For acrylics, sand as far as possible then use T-Cut for cars or Brasso as the final - this will leave a glass like result !
 

Pvt_Ryan

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I love santo palo (axi sell it) the smell from it is like nothing else (I think I spent more time sniffing the pen than i did writing with it).. My 1st successful pen was from it and was great right up until the missus put my shirt that had it in the pocket into the washing machine..
 

Jensmith

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Thanks guys.

I'll have a look at those suggestions.

The key for me was mgetting to grips with using the skew. Once I did that I managed to do better. My only issue is drilling the holes as that's caused me the most grief! Even buying the recommended drill bit still wasn't plain sailing but I now have a 4 jaw chuck so that might help quite a bit.

For finish I like FP with a bit of renaisence wax. My Granny uses her pen every day and a year later I was very impressed with how the FP finish has stood up to the usage so I am happy to carry on using that.
 

loz

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I have had every drilling issue under the sun, i removed most of them by simply using a pilot hole of a smaller dia than the final hole.

Takes a few seconds longer, but really helps.
 

Jensmith

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I will give that a try. My main problem was screaming from the drill. Possibly getting too hot.
 

loz

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Jensmith":1gf4c1vu said:
I will give that a try. My main problem was screaming from the drill. Possibly getting too hot.
Withdraw every inch and clear the shaving ! - That scream is the friction as the drill is jamming due to no space left in the hole.
 

Jensmith

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I did try that. It didn't stop it happening though so I was a bit lost for what to do. One suggestion I had was that because I was having to rough the blank down to fit in my 3 jaw chuck that I might be compressing the wood too much and that was making it harder to drill. Same sort of problem as not clearing the chips I guess.

I will try it with my new 4 jaw chuck and see if that helps since it won't be getting crushed hopefully.
 

Blister

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Jen

If you are going to price at £20 - £25 please use a decent quality pen kit

As the cheaper ones and cheap for a reason , I had some kits that were very poor , ended up binning them rather than have upset customers :wink:
 

Jensmith

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I have tried to always get good ones.

I'll Probably go to The Turners workshop (not to be confused with RF's similarly named shop). Is that who you're thinking of?
 

Blister

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Jensmith":gudhwbca said:
I have tried to always get good ones.

I'll Probably go to The Turners workshop (not to be confused with RF's similarly named shop). Is that who you're thinking of?

Yes they should be good along with Turners retreat / Axminster / Stiles and Bates

My cr-p ones come off -bay :(
 

NikNak

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Jen....


If i buy a relatively cheap slimline pen kit from ebay (less than £2), and make it from say spalted beech, i sell them (without box) for £7.50.



If it's bog oak it's a little more.... this pen & pencil set i did for £20




If i use a 'quality' kit to make a bigger pen, then the price goes from around £50 for a Classic (or Ladies) pen





to over £100 for a Gents fountain & rollerball set....




this corian set i did for £150....





I'm sure some will come back saying this is either cheap.... or, way too cheap.
But remember, i do this for a hobby..... not for a living, and it all helps towards my next chisel etc :D



Nick
 

Jensmith

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Wow! I wouldn't think they were cheap but then that's why I'm asking how much to charge!

Thanks very much Nick.

Lovely pens too.
 

L2wis

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Jensmith":3kvxphsb said:
Thanks guys.
For finish I like FP with a bit of renaisence wax.
Just reading down the thread and couldn't help but ask... is FP french polishing?
 

Jensmith

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Well, Friction Polish is a finish in it's own right. The heat caused by friction makes it harden and produce a shine on your piece.

You can use a BLO and (CA) superglue finish which other people prefer.
 

L2wis

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So you can but a product called friction polish? Do you have a link or picture if your friction polish?
 
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