Newbie question - International Association of Penturners
     International Association of Penturners
Pens for Service Members
Support The IAP

Go Back   International Association of Penturners > Community Forums > Penturning
  Forgot Password
Register FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Penturning General penturning discussions not specifically addressed in one of the specialty forums.

Logged on members can hide ads!

Welcome to!

You've found the home of The International Association of Penturners. You are currently viewing our site as a guest, which gives you limited access to view discussions, photos, and library articles.

Consider joining our community today. You'll have full access to all of our content, be able to enter our contests, find local chapters near you, and post your questions and share your experience with our members all over the world.

Membership is completely free!!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-12-2018, 07:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Killeen, TX
Posts: 11
Photos: 0

Default Newbie question

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?
TexasRN is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
bsshog40's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Midland, Tx
Posts: 628
Photos: 7


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.
My Original Music
bsshog40 is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Killeen, TX
Posts: 11
Photos: 0


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.
TexasRN is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
CREID's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Vancouver, wa
Photos: 32


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.
That's right I'm fat. Deal with it.
Likes: (1)
CREID is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
cdwrrtx's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Round Rock, TX
Posts: 42
Photos: 15


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.
Cliff Wing
Round Rock, TX
Likes: (1)
cdwrrtx is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
Local Chapter Manager
ed4copies's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Racine, WI, USA.
Posts: 23,629
Photos: 27


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!!

Ed Brown
ed4copies is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Killeen, TX
Posts: 11
Photos: 0


Great information. I already own the calipers, I just assumed that I could rely on the bushings for sizing. Guess I'll start measuring.
TexasRN is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
jttheclockman's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NJ, USA.
Photos: 104


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.
John T.

My Photo Album
jttheclockman is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 09:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
Member Liaison
leehljp's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tunica, MS,
Posts: 6,521
Photos: 46


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.
Hank Lee

Good is the enemy of Best

Last edited by leehljp; 11-12-2018 at 09:24 PM.
Likes: (2)
leehljp is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 11-12-2018, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
robutacion's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Australia - SA Adelaide Hills
Posts: 5,902
Photos: 4


There is an old saying on IAP, "no pics, it didn't happen...!"

"Don't give others what you don't like for yourself"


Likes: (2)
robutacion is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Related Content
Logged on members can hide ads


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

Content Copyright © 2003-2019 by, LLC; All Rights Reserved
Terms Of Service   Acceptable Use Policy