pen bushings

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Forum topic by Dan Hux posted 11-25-2010 05:17 PM 1239 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan Hux

577 posts in 3370 days

11-25-2010 05:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question maple lathe turning

I just got my mini lathe a few weeks ago and have enjoyed it alot. I picked up some bushings for a cigar pen from one of the more popular walk in woodworking stores here in Raleigh, NC.. The problem is I was working on a maple cigar pen when I noticed the wood kept getting dark gray bands. I thought it was my sandpaper so I quit, so I could give it some thought, because it didn’t happen on the slimline pens (maple, pecan or bamboo) I made in the last few days. I started again this morning with different paper, its happened again. I started paying better attention and noticed every time the paper touched one of the bushing, the dark gray bands started showing up on my wood. Is there anything I can do besides wrap tape around the bushings? Anybody run into this issue with silver looking bushings?



-- Dan Hux,,,,Raleigh, NC

5 replies so far

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3751 days

#1 posted 11-25-2010 08:58 PM

It’s probably the sand paper removing minute amounts of metal and that is being pulled back into the wood. I have not experienced this- only guessing here.

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

View Nic's profile


118 posts in 3468 days

#2 posted 12-04-2010 10:46 PM

I havent experienced this yet as a newer pen turner, but some of the forums i have read say to sand from the middle of the pen blank to the edge to avoid the metal from the bushings. Also to avoid using dark sandpapers used for metal work (aka the 600 grit wet sand paper that is black). Although i have used that sandpaper with no adverse affects. I usually turn darker wood though.

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3204 days

#3 posted 12-04-2010 11:13 PM

In addition to the problem you are having with getting small filings from the bushings embedded in your pen, you should avoid touching the bushings with sandpaper as much as possible because your bushings will soon be sanded down and rendered useless for sizing your pen blanks. I learned that the hard way myself!

View PurpLev's profile


8535 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 12-04-2010 11:35 PM

keep sandpaper away from metal would be the ultimate solution here.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2967 days

#5 posted 12-04-2010 11:35 PM

I’m just setting up my new lathe this weekend so I can’t contribute any first hand knowlege about turning yet, but having a jewelry store for over 25 years and polished a lot of metal, I can tell you the problem is most likely your metal. Some of the nastiest blackest stains come from the finest metals. Silver is terrible. Many fine jewelers won’t mess with silver because it is so nasty. Makes your hands black. A little trick you might try is to paint the outside of the bushing with clear fingernail polish. We call it masking. You will still need to start in the middle of the wood and work your way toward the bushing and try to keep off the bushing if you can, but the polish (lacquer) will help isolate the problem.

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