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Old 12-09-2009, 11:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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I also use a hand drill in a vise.

I go as fast as possible and make very short light cuts. as soon asa I see chips fly I pull off. Gorilla glue on the tubes also helped me out with this problem.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Try to use the barrel trimmer in a cordless drill. Do it by hand, thats what I do. I can control it better that way. Also make sure your not trimming a ton of material to square the blank. Simply ensure the blank is really close to the brass tube size to eliminate having to remove too much material when squaring off the blank.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i use my drill press also, and really think at least a big part of the prob is the speed. Crank that bad boy on up a bit more.. 1500 or so.

Also, if you are taking enough material to "bite" the tube, you may be getting a bit too aggressive. You want to ever so barely touch the tube with the mill. Alot of people say: If you have shiny brass, you went too far.
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Put thin CA on both ends BEFORE you trim. Then, again, after you trim successfully. Wait at least two hours, or use an accelerator on the thin CA.
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WildcatHollow View Post
The trimmer makes very little headway, and eventually with any kind of pressure at all, I split the blank lengthwise
Toby; The other suggestions are good ones.
Inspect the blank and tube, did the glue separate from the tube, or the blank? Is the glue spread over the entire glue surface?

If there isn't any glue on the brass tube, make sure you "scuff" the brass tube with sandpaper so the glue stick well. As glue, use Polyurethane (Gorilla) glue or thick superglue. Epoxy is also a good choice.

Superglue doesn't fill gaps very well under any circumstances, so superglue needs to have a close fit between the hole and tube.

If there are gaps in the glue, try to use more glue. I block the one tube end with wax, or play-dough. Put a dollop of glue inside the blank, and spread glue on the outside of the brass tube at the end you will insert into the blank. Insert the tube with a twisting, sliding motion. Glue should push out the other end. Use paper under where you are working and don't do this over the dining room table. DAMHIKT!
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've been having a similar problem with some acrylic blanks recently. I use the 4-blade barrel trimmer in my hand drill. I think I was probably just pushing too hard against the blank as I trimmed. Probably better to do lighter, easier cuts, even if it takes longer.
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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a TWO BLADE trimmer? That doesn't even sound like a good idea. I wasn't happy
with the four blade, so I went to a six. Two blades just sounds like there's little
possibility of holding it straight onto the tube. At least with four ,you're more likely
to hold it square..
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NewLondon88 View Post
a TWO BLADE trimmer? That doesn't even sound like a good idea. I wasn't happy
with the four blade, so I went to a six. Two blades just sounds like there's little
possibility of holding it straight onto the tube. At least with four ,you're more likely
to hold it square..
While I agree that a two-edge mill sounds like a recipe for disaster, it should still give a square edge (if it doesn't esplode). After all, the shaft is going to ensure that the cut edge is square to the tube.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The problem I see with a two blade cutter is that it would try to take to much of a bite with those two teeth. Four blade would require less pressure per tooth with that thinking. As well 6 blade would be even less. But actually using the cutter heads I have not found this to be the case for me at least. I get the consistently best results with a 4 blade head I get more tear out with a 6 blade so I am not completely sure just what all is coming into play. I do trim at a low speed and am careful to increase pressure slowly until the blades start cutting. Also keep in mind the mill is not a drill bit and will not cut all that fast at best.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Additional Information

I used Titebond Polyurethane Liquid Glue which recommends using water as an accelerator. I sprayed a little water into the drill hole. I had already scuffed the tube with 240 grit sandpaper. I coated the tube with glue, and spread it evenly over the tube with my fingers. I had latex gloves on, and I was working over a sheet of waxed freezer paper. The tube was on a tube insertion tool, and I inserted into the blank with a twisting and sliding motion.

I was examining the tube and the exploded blank and the surfaces seem to be very evenly coated from end to end.

By, the way, I studied all the material here and on YouTube, in addition to reading "Turning Pens and Pencils" before buying any tools or equipment or attempting my first pen.

I'm very grateful for all the information that's been put into the public domain. Thank you for sharing.


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