First pen turning mandrel

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Forum topic by RyanS posted 08-16-2014 05:42 PM 876 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 1608 days

08-16-2014 05:42 PM

Hi All,
I recently walked out of a woodshop liquidation sale with a box of spalted pen blanks for $5 (gloat). I’d like to turn some pens from them, but I don’t have a mandrel to do this with. Does anyone have a suggestion where I can get a good one, or are they all pretty much the same? Of course, I’d like to get a pretty inexpensive (not cheap) one. I’m not looking to make any $ or anything on pen sales, just gifts for friends and family.

I have an old penn state desktop lathe, with an MT1 taper and the small thread size (not the 3/4, but the smaller size, whatever that is). It’s virtually identical to the HF 95607. I’m in Fort Worth.

Thanks for any suggestions.

4 replies so far

View knotheadswoodshed's profile


201 posts in 1591 days

#1 posted 08-16-2014 07:19 PM

I have the PSI as well as the Whiteside version of this mandrel and it works great, I would also recommend the “mandrel saver”. the mandrel saver helps prevent bending the shaft due to overtightening.

the links below are for the PSI MT1

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities"

View RyanS's profile


25 posts in 1608 days

#2 posted 08-16-2014 08:25 PM

Thanks Randy,
How about this one? It has the mandrel and mandrel saver as a package.

Looks to be cheaper than the two purchased seperately, but I haven’t turned with a mandrel before, so there may be something special about the maxi-mandrel other than it allows the 7mm shaft to adjust length into the headstock? Looks like the mandrel saver already allows the shaft to pass through the tailstock to shorten the working length already, right?

View TheDane's profile


4930 posts in 3081 days

#3 posted 08-16-2014 10:06 PM

Just a note on PSI’s ‘mandrel saver’ ... the bearing on mine has always been so noisy (high-pitched squeal) I had to wear ear plugs. This is actually the second one they shipped me. The first one was lost in shipment (tracking said it was at the local PO but it never showed up). The CS rep at PSI that I spoke with was a bit of a snot … told me when the first one showed up I would either have to pay for it or return it (more than a year later it still hasn’t showed up).

I recently bought a similar device from Packard Woodworks ( ). It is double the price of PSI’s product, but is very quiet and runs true.

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

View knotheadswoodshed's profile


201 posts in 1591 days

#4 posted 08-17-2014 01:54 PM

yes, that is correct.
the nice thing about the maxi-mandrel is being able to adjust the shaft length rather than using spacers.
that looks like a good deal, I have used the mandrel saver from PSI for over a year with no issues. (I have the MT2 versions).

While I haven’t had the bad experience that Gerry has had with PSI, I will say that their shipping times really do suck and I prefer to get most of my pen kits themselves from as they are really super folks to deal with, they ship right away and they always stick a piece or 2 of candy in my package :)

-- Randy - "I dont make mistakes, I make design change opportunities"

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