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Forum topic by SFLTim posted 209 days ago 589 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SFLTim

58 posts in 564 days


209 days ago

Looking for a recommendation for a starter kit for pen turning. I have a nice Grizzly lathe and tools. I need a kit that has the mandrel, and all the other stuff that comes along with building a few pens for Christmas projects. I have some great wood blanks already from some resawing of logs I’ve done over the past year.

There seem to be a lot of alternatives out there, and I hate having to sort thru them all. Does anyone have experience with a good kit they would recommend? Thanks.


9 replies so far

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TheDane

3627 posts in 2246 days


#1 posted 209 days ago

I have Penn State’s Maxi-Mandrel ( http://www.pennstateind.com/store/PKM-FLC.html ) ... been using it for over two years and have been very well satisfied.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Marcus

1040 posts in 602 days


#2 posted 208 days ago

I just started turning as well and use this mandrel, also from penn state

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/PKMS2SET.html

I really like it because I can use the mandrel for other items without adding a ton of spacers. Works great and I’ve been very pleased. I think you can still use the code DVD10 for $10 off $50 there. You can pick up some pen kits and bushings and be ready to go. Also, take a look at there yoyo kits, I would highly recommend these. Very simple to make and very popular with friends.

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gtbuzz

334 posts in 1024 days


#3 posted 208 days ago

I’ve also got that Maxi-Mandrel that TheDane mentioned and it’s quite nice. One thing I’d recommend to go along with it is the mandrel saver tailstock:

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/PKMSTS2.html

Sooner or later you’re likely to crank down on that tailstock too much (I’ve done it 2-3 times) and bend the shaft. If you happen to do that, your turnings come out slightly eccentric (not really all that noticeable though). After replacing the shaft on mine twice, I got that and hasn’t happened since, and it’s about the cost of two spare shafts.

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SFLTim

58 posts in 564 days


#4 posted 208 days ago

Thanks for the replies everyone. Looks like I should maybe just go with a good mandrel, the mandrel saver and go ahead and buy some pen kits rather than buy a “starter kit”. I’ve been turning for a little while, so I’m not a complete beginner. I have a Grizzly Lathe that’s only about a year old and works very well. I’m assuming the mandrels are universal and will fit most lathes. Is that correct? Thanks for all the good info! Happy Holidays, I’m off to turn some pens in the next week or so…..

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TheDane

3627 posts in 2246 days


#5 posted 208 days ago

Make sure to check the Morse taper you need … your Grizz probably requires a Morse Taper #2, but check before ordering.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Marcus

1040 posts in 602 days


#6 posted 208 days ago

The link I posted has both the mandrel and mandrel saver…it’d a pretty good deal from what i could find. I would guess Gerry is right and you have a mt #2, just check grizzlys website to make sure.

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SFLTim

58 posts in 564 days


#7 posted 207 days ago

Thanks. I checked and Grizzly uses the MT #2. I ordered the Maxi-Mandrel and Mandrel Saver along with some other accessories and a couple of pen kits. Marcus, thanks for the coupon reminder it saved me $10. I also got a barrel cutter because that seemed to be a highly recommended item.

I’m looking forward to this. I have several cured logs from the landscape business here in South Florida. Some cool tropical species like Mango, Sea Grape, Citrus, etc. I’ve resawed some and they have some really interesting grain patterns and spalting inside. I will post the results if they are worthy. LOL. LJ is a great forum to get sound advice and I appreciate all of your comments. Merry Christmas to all!

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Marcus

1040 posts in 602 days


#8 posted 207 days ago

Oops, can’t believe no one mentioned the barrel trimmer….definitely worth the $$$ for the convenience and time saving. Looking forward to seeing some pens from you.

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TheDane

3627 posts in 2246 days


#9 posted 207 days ago

SFLTim—Make sure your blanks are good and dry.

Turning wet/green pen blanks usually doesn’t turn out so good.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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