Almost forgot to actually mention the new toy – been playing with it too much (not using it – haven’t graduated that far yet!) Playing with, reading about, and watching the supplied DVD.

It has gears, handles, gears, a guilloche attachment, more gears and a gearbox.  And it’s for woodworking!

Have you guessed what it is yet?

How about some imagery?

Yeah – more gears!

But does it give you an idea?  That wheel with holes in it is a bit of a give-away.

How about this view:

What do you mean “still no idea!”

But you see this is the tool, and it is cool, but perhaps you need to see what it can do, to know why. (And as I show these, I discover there are very few images on the results of this tool on the web!)

Yes, the new toy (uh, tool) is a Beall Pen Wizard from Carrolls Woodcraft.

It is a type of ornamental lathe, using a high speed rotary tool to produce all manner of pens, with wavy patterns, helices, knurlings, facets, and combinations of these.

You may not want every pen to have an element such as this, or perhaps you do – they make for distinctive pens, and can produce stunning subtle details as well as major features.

Now I obviously haven’t had enough time to actually use the Pen Wizard, let alone take my own photos, but this looks to b an impressive tool, and one that is actually larger, and more robust than I was expecting.  The amount of variety is impressive too – someone calculated there are 600 different combinations.  Not sure if that is true or not, but it does come with a number of alternate gears for different ratios, a reversing gear, and obviously the guilloche attachment with a number of different amplitude settings.

And that is without even considering the range of cutters that are available – straight cutters, flat-bottomed, cove end, laser point etc etc.

If you turn a lot of pens, it does get to the point where you are searching out more and more exotic timbers, or pen blanks, getting into segmented turnings etc to keep the hobby fresh.  With the Pen Wizard, you have not one extra string to the bow, but hundreds.  Choices choices!  And the novelty factor of these pens, when you show the pen off and they try to work out how you’ve done will be worth gold.

These are only imported into Australia by Carroll’s Woodcraft Supplies, so they are definitely the ones to contact if you are interested.  Cost is just under $400, which sounds expensive…..until you find you are selling the results occasionally.  It will only take a few pens to pay off the machine, and with only a few people making them, the novelty factor is high.

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