Turning Archive 2005

Beginner pen turning tools?

>So, I've had a hankering to try pen turning for quite a while and, after participating in a demo at the local Woodcraft, have decided to give it a go. Think I've figured out that the Jet Mini is the lathe of choice, which kits I'm interested in trying (probably the Americana or European from Craft Supplies USA), and that finishing for pens is just as confusing as finishing for flatwork ;-)

My big question at this point is what to buy in terms of pen turning tools. Any favorite brands or sets? I see lots of no-name sets with 3-5 tools for $40-60. Rockler has a 3-piece set from Crown on sale for $70 that seems interesting. Craft Supplies USA seems to have a number of different options (Henry Taylor, Robert Sorby, etc) in the $70-120 range.

I'd like to keep the budget around $100, if possible. That said, I'd rather spend a bit more and get decent tools than cut corners and end up frustrated. I don't have any experience sharpening turning tools, so having tools that are reasonably well setup "out of the box" would be a plus, I think.

I'd appreciate any advice you might have!

-- Scott

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