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Old 03-05-2019, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Default Computer Circuit Board Blank Trouble

Hi! I used to be a penturner but no longer have access to equipment so I was on here a couple months ago seeing if I could commission a pen for my husband's birthday. He asked for a red computer circuit board on a slimline pro click kit.

I bought an 8mm blank and the kit and someone turned it for me. In the process he let me know that there was an issue with the bushings/kit fitting inside the tube. The outer diameter was 8mm, not the inner diameter. He was able to sand the tube down until the bushings fit. The clip had to be sanded down as well. Because of this, he was able to get the ends of the kit in but not the click mechanism (the tube is sanded down on the ends only). So now I have the two barrels which are turned and buffed beautifully and no way to get a kit on it. So I have a few questions:

Has anyone else had this issue and were able to solve it?
Is there anything I can do with the turned barrels, maybe another kit will fit now that tube is sanded on the end? Maybe a non-click slimline pro?
I'm just wondering if I have any options with it at all. Also, I know these things get made, did I choose the wrong kit? Do the other diameters fit their respective kits?

Ed from Exotic Blanks also made this post regarding the blanks in case I did not describe my issue well enough: In penmaking:8mm does not necessarily equal 8mm!!

Pictures of the barrels and kit are below (apologies for bad photography). Thanks for any help/advice/insight anyone might have.
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Hi Emma: I found the lower half which came out beautifully and an extra bushing. I will mail tomorrow. Funny, I just found it today.

For those that want to try: the challenges that I identified are these:
1. The inside ends of the tube need to been considerable thinned to reduce the ID. I did that with a ceramic Dremel bit. The I used red Loctite to bond (i was able to disassemble with some effort).
2. This is where I gave-up/got stuck - the kit has a plastic housing that is part of the click mechanism. Unfortunately, the housing is to wide for the middle of the tube that has not been sanded down. I guess I could have tried sanding down the plastic housing, but I had spent more time with those blanks than I want to admit.

I really thought I was home free after getting the ends thinned. When that clicker insert got stuck, I was about to reach for another barrel - my 9mm! :-). I did get it out eventually.


It is too bad. It is a beautiful blank. I hope my experience helps others.

Emma, please PM your address again. I will mail another lower barrel. Thansk
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Old 03-05-2019, 09:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I read the Ed Brown blurb, but did not fully understand.

Is this the pen blank that you bought, Emma ?

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/WXCB8R.html

The website says that it is made with an 8 mm brass tube already in it.

In "pen turners' lingo" that means that the outside diameter of the brass tube is ALMOST 8 mm. . Bushings for the Slimline Pro ( an 8 mm pen kit ) should therefore properly fit the circuit board pen blank without any internal sanding or filing. . Unless the pen blank has not been made correctly to the usual 8 mm standard (in "pen turners' lingo").

If the brass tube in the blank does not properly accept the 8 mm bushings then I think this is an issue which should be brought to the attention of the PSI technical staff and customer service staff.
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Last edited by magpens; 03-05-2019 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Do you happen to have the centerband as well? That seems to be missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyL View Post
Hi Emma: I found the lower half which came out beautifully and an extra bushing. I will mail tomorrow. Funny, I just found it today.

For those that want to try: the challenges that I identified are these:
1. The inside ends of the tube need to been considerable thinned to reduce the ID. I did that with a ceramic Dremel bit. The I used red Loctite to bond (i was able to disassemble with some effort).
2. This is where I gave-up/got stuck - the kit has a plastic housing that is part of the click mechanism. Unfortunately, the housing is to wide for the middle of the tube that has not been sanded down. I guess I could have tried sanding down the plastic housing, but I had spent more time with those blanks than I want to admit.

I really thought I was home free after getting the ends thinned. When that clicker insert got stuck, I was about to reach for another barrel - my 9mm! :-). I did get it out eventually.


It is too bad. It is a beautiful blank. I hope my experience helps others.

Emma, please PM your address again. I will mail another lower barrel. Thansk
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I bought this one: https://www.exoticblanks.com/Compute...m-x-5-Red.html

I brought it up with Ed and he replaced the first blank but the second is still not fitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magpens View Post
I read the Ed Brown blurb, but did not fully understand.

Is this the pen blank that you bought, Emma ?

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/WXCB8R.html

The website says that it is made with an 8 mm brass tube already in it.

In "pen turners' lingo" that means that the outside diameter of the brass tube is ALMOST 8 mm. . Bushings for the Slimline Pro ( an 8 mm pen kit ) should therefore properly fit the circuit board pen blank without any internal sanding or filing. . Unless the pen blank has not been made correctly to the usual 8 mm standard (in "pen turners' lingo").

If the brass tube in the blank does not properly accept the 8 mm bushings then I think this is an issue which should be brought to the attention of the PSI technical staff and customer service staff.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Emma, the blank that you bought from Ed is the identical blank that PSI sells.

I think it is now understood that that batch of blanks was fitted with a brass tube that is the wrong size.

Consequently, the Slimline Pro kit parts do not fit, as Tony has described.

I do not know of a complete solution to the problem, because the click mechanism of the Slimline Pro has to be slid well down inside the brass tube and it is very difficult to ream that part of the brass tube to accept the click mechanism.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Do you think a non-click would fit since the issue was with the click mechanism fitting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magpens View Post
Emma, the blank that you bought from Ed is the identical blank that PSI sells.

I think it is now understood that that batch of blanks was fitted with a brass tube that is the wrong size.

Consequently, the Slimline Pro kit parts do not fit, as Tony has described.

I do not know of a complete solution to the problem, because the click mechanism of the Slimline Pro has to be slid well down inside the brass tube and it is very difficult to ream that part of the brass tube to accept the click mechanism.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Yes, a non-click kit design would avoid the problem that the Slimline Pro kit click mechanism presents.

You would, most likely, still have to enlarge the brass tube openings at both ends of each tube in order to fit the bushings and the pen kit components. ... And, you should glue in the kit components when you are at the final stages of assembly.

I am not able to recommend a particular kit for this purpose, however. . The " roughly 8 mm " architecture is not all that common and I am not familiar with what kits are available even though I do make a lot of the Slimline Pro (with blanks different from the one you chose).

I have made a lot of pens using printed circuit board blanks but all of mine have been larger sizes than yours. ... Mine have been kits that use tubes of nominal size 3/8" (30 Cal Bolt Action style), 10 mm (Cigar style), and 27/64" (Sierra Vista and Gatsby Grande style, both twist and click).


EDIT: I just thought of one possible "fix" for your blank. . You can buy " adjustable reamers" which may allow you to ream out the brass tube in the blank you have. . Such a reamer would cost you around $20 individually. . I believe I remember Ed Brown stated that the inside diameter of the brass tube in your blank is about 0.285". . The Slimline Pro click mechanism has a diam. of about 0.2885" (I just measured). . So I believe you would need a reamer sized for 9/32" to 5/16" .. or .. 0.28125" to 0.3125".

Grizzly.com sells a set of reamers which includes this size and they might have individual reamers available also:

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...amer-Set/H5938

I buy individual sizes from KBCtools.com and the size you need is called 7/A (be sure to check carefully about this):

https://www.kbctools.ca/itemdetail/1-134A-010

There is the possibility of doing what you want to do using a rat-tail file (or chain saw file) of the right size, but the process is not easy and you run the risk of preferentially enlarging the ends of the brass tube so much that you go through into the blank material. . A reamer, though not a perfect tool either, gives you more control and a better chance of success.
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Last edited by magpens; 03-06-2019 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 12:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Do you happen to have the centerband as well? That seems to be missing.
This was in the package that I was supposed to send you. I will get it in the mail shortly. Don't know how I missed it. Sorry.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Alright, thank you. I will look into this. It actually looks like Tony has a lower barrel that is already assembled and I just have to get that click mechanism in and safely assemble without a pen press. Thanks again for the pointers

Quote:
Originally Posted by magpens View Post
Yes, a non-click kit design would avoid the problem that the Slimline Pro kit click mechanism presents.

You would, most likely, still have to enlarge the brass tube openings at both ends of each tube in order to fit the bushings and the pen kit components. ... And, you should glue in the kit components when you are at the final stages of assembly.

I am not able to recommend a particular kit for this purpose, however. . The " roughly 8 mm " architecture is not all that common and I am not familiar with what kits are available even though I do make a lot of the Slimline Pro (with blanks different from the one you chose).

I have made a lot of pens using printed circuit board blanks but all of mine have been larger sizes than yours. ... Mine have been kits that use tubes of nominal size 3/8" (30 Cal Bolt Action style), 10 mm (Cigar style), and 27/64" (Sierra Vista and Gatsby Grande style, both twist and click).


EDIT: I just thought of one possible "fix" for your blank. . You can buy " adjustable reamers" which may allow you to ream out the brass tube in the blank you have. . Such a reamer would cost you around $20 individually. . I believe I remember Ed Brown stated that the inside diameter of the brass tube in your blank is about 0.285". . The Slimline Pro click mechanism has a diam. of about 0.2885" (I just measured). . So I believe you would need a reamer sized for 9/32" to 5/16" .. or .. 0.28125" to 0.3125".

Grizzly.com sells a set of reamers which includes this size and they might have individual reamers available also:

https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...amer-Set/H5938

I buy individual sizes from KBCtools.com and the size you need is called 7/A (be sure to check carefully about this):

https://www.kbctools.ca/itemdetail/1-134A-010

There is the possibility of doing what you want to do using a rat-tail file (or chain saw file) of the right size, but the process is not easy and you run the risk of preferentially enlarging the ends of the brass tube so much that you go through into the blank material. . A reamer, though not a perfect tool either, gives you more control and a better chance of success.
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