so recently i bought several pen kits at a woodworking show from a vendor. the vendor was Pen Making Supplies, a Steebar company and turned several pens. upon putting them together, the tips where the wood meets the pen tip was all funky, it was lopsided, the wood was heavier on one side of the barrel than the other. I was furious that i just turned 3 pens and they all SUCKED. the gap is about a 32nd of an inch, so very noticeable since that's where the fingers go. I checked my mandrel, it's perfectly straight, doesn't even seem to be a hair off. I looked at the bushing and the hole wasn't centered in the steel itself. i was furious
. One pen also sticks out of the tip even when fully closed, it sticks out just enough that it'll draw on whatever it touches. the barrel wasn't trimmed to short either. I've also purchased a few pen kits from Lee Valley. I had a similar problem with the wood not meeting the pen tip, that time it was the pen tip itself, the metal was just poor quality and not centered.
So, that all being said and having got all my anger and frustration out, I really enjoy making these pens but would prefer to sell them rather than have to give them to family members as gifts, I know that they appreciate that, but i'm losing a bit of money by doing that. Any reccomendations as to where i should get my stuff from, i'm looking for quality, at a decent price. I don't want to spend 20 dollars on a pen kit but you get what i mean.