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A Question For Pen Turners

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Forum topic by lew posted 03-06-2010 02:56 AM 2859 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lew

11336 posts in 3217 days


03-06-2010 02:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question turning pen bushings

With little thought to the possibility of no turning back, I allowed myself to be talked into turning some pens. (I won’t mention the name of the convincor here but she shares this home and sometimes feeds the dog).

Anyway, the first batch of kits/parts came from Woodcraft. (We were there when I was pushed over the precipice). I bought several slim line kits, the drill bit, barrel trimmer, mandrel and bushings. Later “we” decided “we” wanted a different style of pen to give to even more folks. This time the search lead to Craft Supplies USA for the kit/parts. Well I had the mandrel and bit, but this style of pen required a different bushing set. Which I bought. OK, another birthday just around the corner, so “we” decided on yet another style of pen. This time from Penn State Industries. More kits, drill bits and again a different bushing.

Between Craft Supplies, Woodcraft, Penn State and who knows how many others- there has to be hundreds of different styles of pens. Many look the same from one catalog to another but their names are not common. So here is the question, is there a chart showing interchangeability of manufacturers? Maybe at least the exact dimensions of their bushings so the customer could check their pen making parts for one that would work. It seems a waste of money to have duplicate parts especially the bushing which will probably last forever.

Any thoughts/information would be appreciated.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.


12 replies so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12642 posts in 3559 days


#1 posted 03-06-2010 03:02 AM

I do not worry about buying bushings. I keep the instructions and bushings and kits in a ziplock bag so that I do not have to figure it out when I want to turn a particular type of pen. Relative to bushings they can wear out if they get too much sanding during finishing…

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View yarydoc's profile

yarydoc

417 posts in 2606 days


#2 posted 03-06-2010 03:08 AM

Lew check out http://www.penturners.org/ . Its free to join and the library has a list along with a lot of how to videos. If you are having trouble theres a lot of nice people that will help.

-- Ray , Florence Alabama

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Karson

35035 posts in 3862 days


#3 posted 03-06-2010 03:42 AM

Welcome to the slippery slide. As Wayne said the bushing wear out and the tolerances that were there in the beginning are gone because of sanding etc. So keep a log of your parts and maybe even mingle some of them in making unique pens.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5510 posts in 3538 days


#4 posted 03-06-2010 04:19 AM

great question Lew…dont know the answer but I think the suggestions above are a good place to start…I have barely ventured past slimline but want to get into the european pens next…of course I have a boat to build…so that may be a while. Welcome to the penturning world…I blame Wayne for getting me hooked.

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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tooldad

660 posts in 3176 days


#5 posted 03-06-2010 04:34 AM

The craft supplies vendor at the wood show told my bluntly. If you buy PSI kits, buy PSI bushings. If you buy craft supplies, get their bushings.

PSI calls them by 7mm, 8mm, 10mm pens

Craft Supplies calls them by generic sizes. I have been using PSI due to the nature of the PO process since I buy for the woodshop class.

However I do love their carbide tip chisel from Craft Supplies. Going to buy a couple more for the kids. Most of my kids my not take up turning as a hobby at all or at least for years to come. That carbide chisel saves me a lot of time sharpening since I dont’ have to. The vendor says is will easily do 300 pens before it needs to be replaced. We have used it for about 30 and it is good as new.

Good Luck

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3862 days


#6 posted 03-06-2010 05:13 AM

I got the Carbide turning tool. A great tool to use. David use it at the Craft Supplies booth and he had no problems with his first pen.

So I figured it would be good to buy.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Padre's profile

Padre

930 posts in 2950 days


#7 posted 03-06-2010 06:20 AM

Many of the slimline parts are interchangeable. The nibs, barrels, cartridges, etc., all will fit from kit to kit, as long as you stick to the same size tube, ie: 7mm, 8mm, etc.

When you get into some of the higher end kits, there the interchangeability ends. Each kit has a unique length/width/height ratio.

As far as the bushing go, I have used PSI bushings on Woodcraft kits, and I have used other bushings on PSI kits. If they fit and if they do the job, then use them.

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3788 days


#8 posted 03-06-2010 06:48 AM

There has been a good write up re: taking your pens to the next level, published as an ongoing series in Woodturning Design magazine (I think) Kurt Herzog (sp) wrote the articles. His suggestion was to use the bushings to get close to the final measurements, but to then use your calipers to check for the final size against the actual pen parts.

I too have only bought the “proper” bushings from each vendor when trying a new style of pen, and have had to replace some as they inevitably will shrink a bit regardless of how carefully you sand/finish.

I also have a couple of mandrels from at least two of your suppliers, for the mini lathe, as well as the shopsmith, and the bushings fit interchangeably on those as well.

as an aside – I had been having trouble with my parts turning just a tad off center – the result of cranking down to tight and causing the mandrel to flex slightly. My latest pens – taking a page out of Barry Gross’s book – I’ve shortened down the adjustable mandrels to turn only one barrel at a time. This has mostly worked, but not perfectly. I was putting off getting some of the collet chucks, but now I see a new morse taper fitting for the tail stock, where the mandrel and slide right in, and the wood is held tightly, rather than the mandrel. I think Penn State catalog has those? for considerably cheaper than the collets at Craft Supplies that would ultimately have done the same thing..

Welcome to the addiction!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Kerux's profile

Kerux

812 posts in 3345 days


#9 posted 03-06-2010 07:09 AM

Go to the IAP site. Somewhere there is a guide chart for that.

-- http://caledoniachurchofchrist.yolasite.com/

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3862 days


#10 posted 03-06-2010 07:24 AM

Scott I just got that Mandrel a week ago. The #2MT is in stock the #1MT is not yet available.

It works great. I found that you need to put about 1 1/2” in the tail stock to minimize any wobble,

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View brunob's profile

brunob

2277 posts in 3631 days


#11 posted 03-06-2010 07:27 AM

I turn quite a few pens. I use only the standard bushing. I make a go/no go gauge for each part of each pen. The gauge I make has one slot a little big so I know when to start sanding. Most of the specialty bushings are of little value.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View lew's profile

lew

11336 posts in 3217 days


#12 posted 03-06-2010 05:28 PM

Thanks everyone for all of the comments, ideas and links. I really appreciate your help.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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