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Old 01-16-2018, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
Herb G's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Southern Maryland
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I have a 4 X 36" belt sander I use all the time for knocking the corners off blanks before turning them. It helps me to prevent grabbing the blank when I start turning it.
Hey, if it works, I'm sticking with it.
Be happy in your work...Col. Saito

My lathes:

Floor Lathe
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Old 01-16-2018, 01:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I reckon if you’ve got a bandsaw why not use it. Only takes a short while to remove the corners.
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Just my opinion... if you need to knock off the corners of a pen blank with a saw or sander then either your tools are not sharp or you have poor technique. There may be the rare blank where chip out is a potential problem but that would be a very rare case. I can knock the corners off a pen blank fast... in a few seconds... and I don't need to move from tool to tool or do additional set up. The whole purpose of a lathe is to turn stuff round.

If you are turning large blanks such as out of balance bowl blanks then using a bandsaw to cut off corners will be potentially faster and potentially safer.
West Henrietta, NY
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
wood-of-1kind's Avatar
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
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Whenever I need to knock off the 'corners' off a pen blank or when making a tool handle then I run them with my table mounted router. Do this when doing 10+ blanks or more as it just is not worth setting up the router for 1 or 2. I use a chamfer router bit and a clamp to keep my fingers safe and away from the bit.
SKOGGER & ROTONDO - "original" choice for carbide pen tools.
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I round the corners of planks with a trim router from PSI. Same thing as sold by Rocklers or on Amazon. Cheap and quick.
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Old 01-16-2018, 09:09 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the replies.

It seems like there are as many ways to approach blank prep / corner cutting as there are pen turners. Patience is a virtue I am working on and I am guilty of trying to take off too much too fast, especially since I got some carbide chisels a few weeks ago. I haven't worked my way up to fancy (or pricey) blanks yet. Perhaps doing so would encourage me to use a lighter touch for fear of messing up a nice one.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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about 2 weeks ago, I tried turning a pen with the motor on reverse.

My god the amount of time it took to round a blank, I really thought I broken my carbide too. or the wood was something worse then Snakewood.

its really amazing how much easier it works, if the motor is turning the right way.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:10 PM   #18 (permalink)
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For most pen blanks:
Router table round over bit with a Grrrrippper jig, not holding blank by hand.
The sanding methods create a lot of dust.
The sawing methods take a fair amount of time.

For larger blanks or problematic materials it is worth the time to use the saw or whatever.
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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We have had demonstrators in our woodturning club that take a real big piece of wood and go at it with a roughing gouge. Chips flying everywhere and it takes very little time to turn to round with sharp tools, which is the secret to any good turning.
To err is human; To really mess it up, you need a computer.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:25 PM   #20 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by Woodchipper View Post
We have had demonstrators in our woodturning club that........
I have discovered that demonstrators manage to do a number of things that I have yet to master.

What this thread does show is that there are a lot of ways to get the job done. For me the best method is the one that keeps you making nice pens.
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