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Old 11-12-2018, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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I just started turning the weekend. I'm hooked!! One (of several) issues that I'm having is that after assembly, I can feel a ridge between the blanks and the center ring of my slimline pens.

I purchased the kits from Woodcraft. (I need to find a quality source that is cheaper than Woodcraft, if anyone wants to put there two cents in.)

I left the wood slightly proud and then sanded until there was a perfect match to the bushings. It's not horrible, but I am trying to get a professional looking pen and this is driving me crazy.

Any suggestions? Bad kits? Don't trust bushings?
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I am far from an expert but if you are using new bushings, and you are sanding all the way even with the bushings, just a couple questions;
Are you using 7mm as they are for slimlines?
What type of finish are you using? (maybe going on too thick?)

That's all I can think of right now.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I purchased a slimline beginners kit that had 7mm bushings and the mandrel I purchased also had 7mm bushings. As of the moment, that's the only size I own.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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When I first was learning to turn pens (and this is not a practice I do now since I have gotten a lot better) someone told me that after I finished turning and took it off the mandrel to sand the ends on an angle a little so that you don't have that problem. Just take the blank and rotate it on an angle and take a LITTLE off.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I've only been turning since May. One thing I learned real quick is to check your kit component size and not completely trust your bushings to match. There can be variances between them. Especially on cheaper kits like slimline. Get a set of digital calipers and check. If you miss the size a bit, smaller seems to be a more forgiving feel and look.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A slimline is not very forgiving!! Especially if they have the straight centerband. There is a different design with a beaded centerband that allows far more room, so your diameter is not so critical.


If you are trying to match the straight centerband, get a caliper (Harbor Freight has them on sale for $9.99 regularly--digital) and measure the exact size of the centerband, then set the caliper and turn down until you are "perfect". Bushings will be very unlikely to get you there!


Easier solution, do a few simpler pens--single barrel "sierra-style". MANY choices from all the majors --PSI, Berea, CSUSA and all available at ExoticBlanks. Good luck and enjoy the journey!!


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Old 11-12-2018, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Great information. I already own the calipers, I just assumed that I could rely on the bushings for sizing. Guess I'll start measuring.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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never trust any bushings. To become a complete pen turner you have to hone your fit and finish as well as matching blanks to kits and and the whole nine yards and this comes with time.Slimlines have been the beginners choice of pen kits for years and have no idea where or why that started. I know you can buy the kits for less money and that maybe an attraction but for a beginner a one piece kit like a sierra kit is by far an easier kit to learn on and the return money wise can be greater than $15 slimlines. You also have to take in account the amount of finish you apply when calculating for matching components so if you use a film finish such as lacquer, poly, CA or any other heavy coat finish this needs to be added for a great fit. You will get better with the more kits you do and highly suggest try a Sierra line and use the bushings for guidance only. Good luck.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasRN View Post
Great information. I already own the calipers, I just assumed that I could rely on the bushings for sizing. Guess I'll start measuring.
I've Been turning pens for almost 14 years. One of the first things I was taught on this forum was to consider bushings as consumables. Each time sandpaper touches the bushings, or the chisel knicks the edge of the bushings, you decrease the size a minuscule amount. After two dozen sanding or Knicks, you have decreased it in size by .01 or more.

IF you do measurements by calipers, it doesn't matter that the bushings decrease in size because you are not sizing according to them, but rather in relation to the actual size of the center band (CB) , nib end and clip end.

A tip, I have a set of cards set up with the measurements of each and pull that card out and set it next to my lathe. On occasion, I will find a CB or nib end to be approximately .005 smaller or larger than normal and make adjustments. But to have the reference handy as I check is convenient.

You are right to get the feel. To some people, it is not a big deal but to others, the precise transition feel is a make or break deal whether they buy or not. Perfect fit and transition is where professionalism shows.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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There is an old saying on IAP, "no pics, it didn't happen...!"

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