Category Archives: pens

The 4 “Rs”! Resolve, Renew, Reorganize, Restart.

Hobbled but a Resolve to Move

How can I resolve to move ahead? Do you know what the word “hobbled” means?  1.  walk in an awkward way, typically because of pain from an injury, (“he was hobbling around on crutches”).  2. or to tie or strap together (the legs of a horse or other animal) to prevent it from straying.

Since shortly after Christmas I have been slowed down considerably because of knee and hip pain. It’s caused by arthiritus and subsequent muscle entropy. Ouch! I had to take steps to resolve my circumstances.

In addition to professional medical diagnosis and treatment, I have been trying all kinds of home remedies. Self designed work arounds sometimes help, but test the patience of my life partner.

Pray, Praise and give thanks to Renew!

I would be remiss if I didn’t  mention how it is that I believe that I am able to maintain the activities of daily living. I resolve to do the various things I do to make good use of my skills, opportunities, and the time I have been alloted.

Without any preaching here, I am prompted to point out to all reading this that self examination is first. What is more, clearing the deck spiritually is  the beginning. I feel, too, exercising my Chrisitan faith and living accordingly is the beginning. I had to measure my committment and my resolve to act on what I believe.

Two Powerful Words: Get Organized.

Before having to slow down and pay attention more closely I lived differently.  My attutude was that of self sufficiency. For example, I kept track of everything in my mind, knowing my inentory,  the location of the things that I have right down to the smallest items. If you were to ask: “where are the 1/2″ wood screws I had left over from a project?” I’d answer: “They are in a box, on the 2nd shelf in my wood shop on the left hand side of the room. They are together with other wood screws in a beige colored shoe box.”

What I’ve come up with is encapsulated in the two words: ‘get organized’. So that’s what I ve been doing the months of January and February.  To save steps and climbing up and down the ladder or step stool I took the time to think through the accessibiity of items on the basis of frequency of use. The thins I use more often are eye level and below, whereas the other less frequently used are up high or down lower in shelf or storage position. It’s helped a lot and saved me many steps and enhanced my planning of projects from start to finish.

Read, Read, Read!

My process has been to read up on as many related articles, ideas, and examples of how others have undertaken the same phases of adjustment.  To make haste slowly I have decided to take things a little bit at a time. This is my resolve. To explain and to share what I’ve learned and or relearned I plan to write a few blog posts and hopefully somoone else might benefit.  As an example I keyed in the words: woodshop organization ideas and came up with about 586,000 responses.

As an example I have now put all the kits, bits, and bushings for a certain pen in an inexpensive plastic shoe box and labeled each so that when I have an order for a certain pen I have everything I need in one place.

I’ve done the same for blanks.

Another suggestion I came upon was to have a kit layout board for each pen I was working on.

It’s a simple piece of board with two “v” grooves inserted to hold the various parts of the kit. For me it has been a time saver.

 

 



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The World is Changing, Is That Change Real?

 

Frederick A. Kogler

To anyone aware, the question of our world changing looms big! Just pause for a moment and sense your surroundings. It has to be obvious that things are different today than ever before. What’s really happening? Change is everywhere around us. It’s more than political redirection. It’s more than provincialism being replaced by globalism. Yes, it’s more than ice melting and freezing. From the simplest of perspectives one will have to agree that there is nothing the same as it used to be.

Change is all around us.

You can pick almost any activity, place, or preceding era and see that change is real. The notion that history repeats itself is passe. The “tried and the true” may have served as some sort of axiomatic benchmark in the past.  In each case, however, the fluid circumstances for experimentation and the criteria assumed to render judgements were never static. The fantasies of such notions were tolerated only because of shorter life spans and the speed with which communication took place. That’s all changed.

As I write these words I’m using a computer. From what I understand it uses assigned combinations of X’s and O’s to convey the thoughts I have. Rheinhold in his book, Tools for Thought:The History and Future of Mind-expanding Technology, Simon & Schuster 1985, writes about this while explaining the impact of micro-computers on the future(his future is our here and now).

How does change impact my life?

To answer my thematic question I’ve pondered the tools I use in my public ministry and the hobby, the turning of pens.

A sportsman grouping of pens

Both my Mac and my favorite pens are used for the same reason, word-processing. One process is a calculated tapping on a keyboard. The other is the disciplined art of drawing letters and numbers clearly enough to convey a message.

Consider these changes

Dramatic changes in writing have happened in a short period of time. Who would have ever thought I would be able to speak the words of this blog and have them appear on the monitor in front of me? (check out ReadingMadeEZ for more details: http://www.mpextserver.com).

I try to discipline myself to keeping current in the areas of electronic communications, politics, and the matters of religion.  A side bar to these is the impact that they might have on the aging of our world. Statistically the dramatic changes in global aging http://www.helpage.org/resources/ageing-data/global-ageing-statistics/ give an insight to the importance of each of the above as they relate to seniors throughout the world.

My wife and I belong to the cohort of “Old old”. We have, in part, committed our time, talents, and resources  to keeping up with the changing world that spins around us.

There are three categories for older adults’ ages, “young old”, “old old” and “oldest old” (Papalia et al., 2009). Young old is suggested as the age from 65 to 74; old old is suggested as the age from 75 to 84 whereas oldest old is suggested as the age of 85 and the above. https://www.ukessays.com/essays/sociology/three-categories-to-aging.php.

This blog’s thread lays the groundwork for discussions of one of Thomas Friedman’s 3 exponential changes occurring today: IT and its impact on marketing or the sharing of ideas.  Our discussion will be on how to deal with those changes. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 



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Pens… A Seasonal Sportsman Series by Pens by Fred

Take note of these special pens! In our part of the country its time for taking to the woods. Make sure you plan your trip, check your gear and make a list. Its the safest way to go! Many men and women don their bright orange and head to their favorite hunting spot. (448,007 deer hunting licenses bought in Minnesota -2015). They are armed with rifles and a list of things that seems endless. Many don’t keep track of things as they should and wish they had done so.  Make that list and review it. Even though we have smart phones, I still rely on 3×5 note cards with a spiral binding and my trusty hunter’s pen.

Write with Class

30 Cal lever action antler ballpoint pens
30 Cal lever action antler ballpoint pens

One commonality among hunters is that most (both men and women) are true sportsmen.  They respect one another, and they are careful about how they go about the seasonal harvesting of big game. They review and follow the rules.  Not everyone can get out every year, so we have created something very special to remind them of their sport and give them a practical instrument to help them dream of bagging that big one! Its a series of pens that take on the shape of either a bolt action or lever action deer hunting rifle. Beautiful enough for the top of your desk, yet rugged enough to be taken into the field to keep those important notes.

Using Pens to Hunt with A Vision And Purpose

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Bolt action pens in camo, antler and bone are available. A fly fishing sample is pictured too.

Deer hunting in our family, and in many others, is considered a rite of passage. Its that time  of the year when, the young teenage son or daughter joins the adult hunters of the family for their first hunt! Getting that first “buck” is an awesome experience that is rarely, if ever forgotten. It’s really special!  To help remember the memorable we have created a Seasonal Series of Pens that make suitable gifts and “trophies” for the hunter whether  he or she is young or old. We encourage our youngsters to use their special pens to keep a journal from year to year.

If you’d like to get one  of our pens for yourself or for your favorite hunter send me a note at <kogler@comcast.net> for availability, style, cost and shipping. I custom make each pen. If you have your own antler, bone, horn, or wood I would be honored to make a pen for you. Just let me know what you have in mind, give me the time to do the job perfectly and I’m sure we can work something out. Special orders take a little extra time and cost a little more… thanks for your understanding.

A Few Sample Pens

antler-bolt
Bolt Action Deer antler body and buck rack clip

This really fine piece has a buck clip, bolt mechanism and the appearance of real ordinance.

The antler is from a white tail deer trail in Northern Minnesota.

Check the products drop down list above to get individual details and different views on this and many others we offer to sporting enthusiasts. And as always hunt safely, respect the rights of others, and take good care of your equipment. (FAK)Pens by Fred <kogler@comcast.net>

30 Cal. lever action deer antler pen
30 Cal. lever action deer antler pen

Here is the companion pen to the bolt action version. Its rugged, handsome, and hefty enough to carry in your pocket.  In addition, in its presentation box, it makes a superb gift and showy desk pen. Included in the presentation box is a brief description of the White Tail deer of Northern Minnesota.

 



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Rainy Day Turning – Sorting, cleaning, divesting!

Weather or Whether not?

Reorganization and rainy day! Right now its raining “cats and dogs.”  Lightning and thunder punctuate my train of thought, and I don’t feel much like making anything.

As I continue to develop my wood turning library of

6 pens 5.11.16
Custom six – rainy day output

things to put into production, I have gathered lots of tools, kit parts, jigs and accessories. You might say I have a closet full of wardrobe pieces that have been crying out for organization and storage. this is the tedious process best suited for a rainy day in my part of the world!

 

Rainy Day, not! This is the “real” problem…

One of the things that has kept me from properly working at this process is the failure on my part to develop and implement a procedure to follow to make it easy enough to fit into my work ethic.  I commonly divide my week into segments in which I do certain things. Each day begins with prayer time and personal study time before breakfast.

Monday is usually church review day.

My video devotions are done on a weekly
basis every Tuesday morning.

Wednesday is class day when I teach several classes beginning at 9:00AM and wrapping it up with my last class ending around 7:15 PM.

3 bolt action antlers
Bolt action – antler bodies

Thursday is turning day, shop time, or general putz. Currently I’m making strides on fulfilling commissions and organizing my shop supplies.  Recently I completed an order for 27 spin tops and have one more order of 9 to complete. Here are a few things I’ve been working on. I will donate one of these to a non-profit fund raiser. I like to see the expressions of surprise and satisfaction on the faces of those who receive one of my pens as a gift.

Friday-Saturday are study days.

Currently I’m trying to locate a dye that will mix with stabilization and allow cedar oil stabilization while at the same time coloring the wood I want to turn. If anyone has a suggestion or can point me to some examples of how to dye woods while stabilizing it let me know.

The next few weeks I will be working in my north-woods shop designing and making a little table to place in the studio in Marcell, MN. I’ve studied a few Karl Larssen paintings and found one I think fits pretty well. I’ll post a photo of the finished product soon.

Time for supper… I can’t forget that!

 

 



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Fulfilling an Order

boldt Act copperI like doing antler pens that represent the .30 cal. take down means. The reasons are many. In my part of the world white tail deer are abundant and if not harvested destroy lots of browse, cause property damage, and are a major contributor to auto accidents. What is more, many are harvested and the sportsmen donate the highly preferred meat to many who would not otherwise have such delicacies on their tables.

The antlers themselves are easily obtained as they fall off each year and it is common to come upon them on deer trails in the woods. I do not buy them by the pound or otherwise as I feel this might tempt poachers to violate the principles of sportsmanship for a few extra “bucks.” (for give the pun).

3 boldts antler
Gun metal,copper,and bronze finishes

This order was generated by partnering in a craft sale several months ago. At that time I had made several of the same which sold out. I then had a client contact me for a custom order for Christmas gifts. Time passed and then most recently another client came forward through an email requesting that I make a set of 3 similar but different “bolt action deer pens” as she called them. She hoped that my prices had not gone up ($45 ea.). They have not! So we reached an agreement and I went into production. The results are pictured here.

The only finish on these real antler bodies is renaissance wax applied with soft paper towel and polished at a very high speed. They look and feel great.  I’ll put them in presentation boxes as part of my standard practice and they should be ready to go.  Have a great day, stay safe, and “God Bless!”



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Latest Seasonal Pen

I’m not a deer hunter anymore. Instead, to make pens like this one I use the antlers that I find on my walks along deer trails, or those that are brought to me by friends. The other day I heard a person comment about the senseless killing of such magnificent creatures just to get the antlers.  I tactfully asked for permission to explain that the antlers on male deer grow new every year. They are shed and fall to the ground for the tiny creatures to consume as food. Living in Minnesota and having many friends in Wisconsin I have no trouble buying or gathering suitable antler material.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
30 cal lever action deer antler ball point

My pens are not made from unused or poached animals. The very idea goes against my nature. Instead when I receive or discover an antler I always ask where the antlers came from.  Then I clean them, size them to fit the pen kit I use, and then polish the material to produce a lasting memory or very special writing instrument. The pen pictured is a fine example of a high end sportsman’s pen.



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From Plywood to Pen

Today I was in an experimental mood. Things had gone well during the first part of the week in spite of a major snow event in my part of the woods. Up to 12″ in the area! In Minnesota we have, however, grown used to such things, and so have the folks in the MHD. They have some of the biggest snow plows and best heavy equipment operators in the nation. So we simply let them do their thing and we get back on the roads in no time. Its a pretty impressive thing to see a phalanx of heavy duties moving along at almost the posted leaving behind them a slick but clean roadway. A little salt or brine and in a couple of hours we’re busy as bees again.DSC_0015

I was happy to get into my shop for my usual “Turning Time” right on schedule and pretty well caught up on the duties of the week. I had been thinking about a couple of variations to the usual pen blank prep, coloration, and a corroborative style to go along with my American made shop apron my youngest gave me recently. So, here’s what I came up with. I chose a Wall Street II kit from Woodcraft. For the blank I selected a piece of 11 ply balsamic birch plywood. I ripped several sticks 3/4″ x 3/4″ x 20.5″ and then chopped them into 5″ blanks. I drilled the blanks and super glued the burnished brass tubes in place. I squared the ends with a pen mill attached to my handheld drill and I was good to go. Turning plywood was something I’d thought about and so I increased the speed of my little JET, selected my razor sharp carbide tipped chisel and had at it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had no problems at all!

For the finishing process there were at least two things I wanted to do: give it some color; and give it a durable high gloss finish. I wanted to see if I could match it up with the shop apron fabric I wear, so I had to get some unnatural color into the process. For that I selected an interior Martha Stewart custom mix sampler that I picked up at Home Depot. The sanding process was the hardest part for me. Why? Because I’m so impatient! So I sanded for a while, then I took a lunch break with my oldest daughter. We talked about, taxes, travel plans, and the weather out East. The dow was up at noon, the plot was getting thicker on the soap she watches and after my lunch break I went back to the project and sanding. I hope the enclosed pictures give you an idea of how things turned out. If you have any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear from you. I carefully screen all the comments that are sent, however, so don’t just add something in the hopes of seeing your perspective…If its in the interest of the common good of fellow turners it’ll be posted and responded to for sure.DSC_0016



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Pens – the basic stuff

I suppose a library of printed books could be filled with a discussion about pens, pencils, and the many different forms of writing instruments used by mankind throughout the ages. In all the cases that I know they are an extension of the human hand that allows the user to make some kind of mark. Those markings are different than those made with a brush in that most pens have only one point at which they touch the surface upon which the mark is to be made and left behind. Brushes on the other hand have many bristles and together are used to carry the medium that is being used to make a mark. A fountain pen comes close by using the two parts of a nib between which the ink flows to make its mark.

From charcoal, cunieform styli, quills, lead pencils, and many other different forms and instruments loaded with or carrying some sort of stained liquid an individual was and is able to convey by pictures, doodles, or complex symbol set, the ideas their minds have conceived and learned to portray in some form of writing. It is fairly amazing how the human brain can be trained to transfer ideas to graphics or things that can be seen and understood by others. As a student of languages, whether it be singular or multiple, to be able to read and write is a very important part of education, socialization, communication and interpersonal interaction. Although the keypad upon which my fingers are pressing to write these words does that and much more, there is an enduring quality to hand writing that makes it preferred in so many contexts.

As a pen maker I try to imagine how and for what the writing instruments that I craft will be used and by whom they will become an extension. From the time that I have been able to write I have been aware that when you see my hand writing you see something unique and special. My signature is mine, my letters are easily distinguished from those of others, and the style itself tells a trained observer many things about me in addition to the word or marks I have written. This is mostly true for everyone.  At the same time I have always been aware of the differences in the pens and pencils that I have used because I am left handed and hold my hand in a way that is different from most of the other people that I have watched as they have left their mark. When I add my signature to something, I do it very carefully and with purpose.  Unless I agree to what is being signed or written I will not add my signature.

It is with that same care and attention to detail I like to believe that I make my pens and those pens I might make for others. I hope that the pens that come from my hands become an extension of that person’s self. That’s why I can call my pens "signature" pens. They are all unique and specially made to my standards and according to the ability that I have at this point in my life. If you should want one, please let me know and I will make one for you.



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