My first pens - a French Goat Christmas for the coworkers in 22

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So, to spin this tale and quickly lathe a well rounded story, I need to point out that each Christmas I make my coworkers French Goat Toys and More Christmas trinkets. This year they received my pen endeavor.  All, I think my first pens, came out just fine.  The coolest thing was just clueing various scrap wood together and seeing how it came out. 

32 Comments

nice gifts goat toys, i do the same, every year i make something different.
everyone id like to say this is one of my good buddies from lj's that i invited and he quickly came to join us. so i hope you all give him a nice welcome. as you can see he's jumping right in participating which is what we need here.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

You have just started down a slippery slope.  Nice pens by the way, better than most for first pens in my opinion.  Most people, including myself made ones that looked like wasp bodies.  I did the pen thing several years ago, got so everything I looked at I thought I could use that in a pen... pinecones, feathers, bugs leaves... It was really a fun hobby... I did a lot with wine bottle corks.  but, yep it can take over.  Fun hobby and something that makes great gifts and conversation pieces.  Have a great time.. form there I want to cigar box guitars... still have a collection of cigar boxes.. another fun one.

Many tried to warn me, but I had to put my toe in the water.   
Nice! And has been mentioned, it’s a slippery slope. So grease up and enjoy the ride!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

well if ya really love makin em, you gotta find a way to sell em. face it there are only so many friends and gift occasions to get rid of em. but they sure are fun to make.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Welcome Frenchie

They (penning instruments) can become addictive once you graduate out of kindergarten.  You'll discover friends, you never knew existed, on the end of handout queues.

Sorry, but it's just this idiots perception about "slimlines"... I rate them somewhere on par with  sideways pictures {bet you though you left that behind with the old, but good,  LJ formast).

I'll reserve further penultimate comments till you eventually graduate to better (classier/expensiver) pens... hope you do... at least cigars.

PS. Thought the banding accents is a novel touch for novice pilot slimlines.  Would have expected them in the 2nd. or 3rd. batches.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

LBD - Cigars are bad for you.  Slimlines fit in virtually any uniform pocket. I have never really carried anything else.

 My entire woodworking existence is spent in Kindergarten - it’s a nice place.  

The bottom line is some like mustard on their dogs, some prefer ketchup, while others are fine with either or both.  Preference changes nothing. 

No - I did not think 🤔 I left sideways pictures behind. It was very much on my mind when I posted. 

Thanks for the welcome 🙏 
I used lots of slimline kits,  But I only used the transmittion, cartridge and clip... most my pens I made the bands and the tip and plug to hold the clip on.  Gee I have forgotten the terminology for the parts now.
That is one corner of woodworking I'll fight tooth/nail to avoid, looks like a drug habit that one can never shake off!

Some neat detailing you did and who wouldn't appreciate a pen that they can tell a co-worker "that's mine!" and have no second guessing as to truth.

Nice batch!
Nicely done and welcome to the club of turning pens. It is addictive as you were warned.

I always try to vary my project types as not to get bored in the shop.

Main Street to the Mountains

Great start with new projects. I often add wire burned-in bands to turnings but had never thought about doing it to pens. I also like the thin cross sections of contrasting wood.  Those two additions would help when there is no "fancy" grain in the wood itself. 
 I have made many over the last 25 years or so but did not want to get into selling. Friends love to get them as gifts. I usually have a few in reserve for a last minute gift. I do find that older folks like the "fatter" pens as their fingers are getting stiff with age. 
Pens are also one of the first projects I have had my grandsons make. 


i got way over board years back so had to take a break. got probably 50 made right now. used to sell them at work, did pretty well. sold about a 1000 bucks worth one xmas. im not done though just gotta ease back slowly !

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

The thing for me is a don’t make a lot of one thing. I just kind of dabble as projects come up. I will make a few pens here and then, or a few charcuterie boards, a baseball display case, etc etc.  
I am sort of just a hack. 

Go Zags!!!!

yeah if you just do some now and then for friends or gifts it will stay fun and you wont end up with 300 pens blanks like i have 🤣

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

I'm the same way, when I make my projects, I turn it into a production run and make at least 3, if they are smalls up to 10. I figure why not everything is set up. Then I keep rotating them through the process. Trying to build a small inventory of items.

Main Street to the Mountains


 French Goat Toys
LBD - Cigars are bad for you.  Slimlines fit in virtually any uniform pocket. I have never really carried anything else.

That is so true... however, far too many woodworkers bloat/distort their slimlines to the size of cricket bats... at least baseball bats have an acceptable shape... and you'd need bloody big pockets for them


 pottz
..... sold about a 1000 bucks worth one xmas. im not done though just gotta ease back slowly !

I'm no sales person, but my daughter is/was.  She made a fortune selling high end pens (Emperors, Majestics,, Imprerials) to solicitors, politicians, doctors, real-estate/car salesmen, (anyone that thought they were bloody important). Most didn't know how to use a fountain pen, but they loved the status symbol.
If you look closely, most formal documents (presidential and similar) are all signed with fountain pans... well they used to  be about 10 years ago, when mine were winners. 



If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

I don’t get how you actually drum up business to sell anything. Sure, I am aware of Etsy an such, but beyond that I don’t get it.  I guess I am not a salesman either, LBD. 
For those who have sold pens, do slimlines not sale or is the issue more about putting inappropriate shapes on them?

 French Goat Toys
 commented 1 minute ago
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I don’t get how you actually drum up business to sell anything. Sure, I am aware of Etsy an such, but beyond that I don’t get it.  I guess I am not a salesman either, LBD. 

Here in Aussieland (more specifically Victoria) we have 2 types of markets...
  1. Typically the Docklands market, where people want quality and are prepared to pay (though still appreciate a bargain).
  2. The cheapskate market like Carribean Gardens... where people want cheap,cheap, cheap... you need to keep your car unwashed just to enter... or rent-a-bomb.  I was offered $10 for 5 pens that was retailing for $60 each.  Took me a bit of effort not to blacken his eye (out of insult).

The daughter used to do door to door down Collins Street (or main drag of all the RF professionals in the Melbourne CBD).  Got a lot of rejects, but that 1 or 2 sale justified a days knocking.

Though this was done about 13 years ago... before Etsy and when people were human. 

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

well i sold a variety of different styles. now the ladies sure as hell dont want a fat ass pen so ya gotta ( lbd will disagree) have some slim line pens ! today the guys love those rifle style pens ! maybe the aussie woman are on the large size with big hands 😁

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.