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Old 12-19-2018, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Common Pen Turning Problems

I've been asked to do a pen turning demo, but instead of just the process (which has been covered), they've asked me to focus on common pen turning mistakes. I've been turning for many years so I've probably solved most of my problems such as the wood separating from the brass tube. What are common problems or mistakes you've encountered or viewed that would need addressing? Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Getting a blank perfectly squared up with the tube
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Old 12-19-2018, 02:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh my goodness how much time do you have?? What area are you wanting to focus on. Prepping blank to mount on lathe------turning blank with proper technique and tools----using bushings or turning between centers for better fit----- finishing---- Every aspect of pen making can have problems and as we do more and more we overlook these because we know about them now. That is an open ended question.
John T.

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Old 12-19-2018, 02:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Over turning
Under turning
Radial scratches
Chip out
Sanding / cutting the bushings reduces size
Sanding the bushing and dragging metal dust onto the blank
Acrylic that is not opaque
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Old 12-19-2018, 07:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Splitting the blank after assembly.
Trimming a blank too short.
Forgetting to paint the blank/tube
Switching the blanks lengths on a two part pen
Having the CA glue dry before getting the blank all the way on a tube.
Not getting rid of all the radial scratches

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Old 12-19-2018, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dull tools thinking they are "sharp enough".

Slightly dulling skew/scraper and then pressing too hard to make up the difference.

Not understanding the differences between soft woods, hard woods and casting resin. EACH turns differently and requires minor changes in the approach.

Not squaring the ends to the tubes.

Not using calipers

Spritzing accelerator on the fingers while in contact with CA.
Hank Lee

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Old 12-19-2018, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Drilling the upper barrel (say at 12.5 mm), then drilling the lower barrel without changing bits. This only happens on the finest blanks.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Glueing a tube in the blank with gorilla glue and finding out the next day that I forgot to tape the end of the blank to prevent to tube from trying to escape.
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Old 12-19-2018, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My current most common mistake is being too aggressive with the barrel trimmer, thus making the barrel too short.
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Start with this- Take a handful of twenty dollar bills, take the group into the restroom and flush the bills. My last venture to Woodcraft cost me almost $200 with pen blanks and kits on sale. The good news is that my wife picked them out. She keeps asking when I'm going to get a cheap hobby.
Seriously, the previous posts hit on some things that I see come up on the forum on a regular basis. They are not anything major but are small things that can pop up from time to time. Have a good demo. Let us know how it turned (no pun here) out.
To err is human; To really mess it up, you need a computer.
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