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Annoying differences to pen kits…

Don’t you hate it when you go to the store to buy supplies for something only to discover you don’t have everything you need several hours later and that same store is already closed for the day?

My nearest Woodcraft is about 35 miles away. It is rare for me to make a trip there and leave without at least a few pen kits. Often I will be there for something else entirely, but always end up with a few pen supplies. It is getting to the time of year where I start to turn out the pens in great numbers preparing for holiday craft shows and client gifts.

When I turned to the inventory today to make a few pencils (see my previous post) I found a Euro style pencil that looked pretty nice. I also have some beautiful Buckeye burl that I though would make a pretty slick pencil. I cut the blank, drilled the hole, and glued in the brass tube. Ready to start, I threaded it onto the mandrel only to discover that this particular style needs it’s very own bushings. My 3 other sets of Euro style bushings were not sufficient.

This really annoys me because it is not the first time this has happened and probably won’t be the last. I buy pen kits from a variety of manufacturers. Sometimes one manufacturer is the only supplier of a particular style. Sometimes they are on sale somewhere. Regardless, you will notice that each manufacturer makes sure there are subtle differences so that each time you buy a style from them you need to make sure you have the matching bushing.

So when you set out to make that special pen or pencil and get to the exciting part when you are just about to turn on the lathe… bummer I don’t have all the parts I need! Leaving me with just a pile of parts.


I guess I can’t blame the pen manufacturers and I certainly understand the need for a different bushing when the profile is different. I just wish that there could be a little more standardization in this industry. Oh well, I don’t want to whine, but at least take this as a public service announcement and check to make sure you have the bushings you need for the kit you are buying.

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