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Old 11-11-2018, 08:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Slimline bushings

Hello all. I'm a rookie pen turner who has just taken delivery of a PSI lathe and "advanced starter kit". I set everything up this afternoon and realized the kit did not include slimline bushings. Instead of waiting for Pen State to send a set I could go to the local Woodcraft store in Tucson or take a road trip to Phoenix to the Rockler store and pick up a set. My question is are Rockler and/or Woodcraft bushings compatible with Pen State slimline kits?
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes. Slimline bushings should interchange between brands.

HINT: get a good set of calipers from Harbor Freight - get the metal ones, not the plastic ones. Turn by measuring rather than by the bushings. Every time your chisel touches the spinning bushings, it knocks a few .003 thicknesses off of the bushing. Before long, if you judge the blank by the bushing, it will not be the proper size.

Calipers on sale at HF should be about $10.00.

OH, WELCOME Russ!
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Old 11-11-2018, 08:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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They should be compatible enough to where you can use micrometer to achieve the final dimensions. You can also consult the IAP app. WCFT is the acronym for Woodcraft.
Home Depot sells a General Brand micrometer (about $30) that I found to work well enough to make a obtain the correct hardware dimensions.
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Old 11-12-2018, 08:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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The turning kit I got from PSI included 5 7mm bushings. That's all you'll need to turn Slimline pens. Use a caliper to check but you should be good to go.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Welcome to the Wonder World of Penmaking. We would like to see some photos of your pens. There are lots of great folks here, willing to share their expertise and experience.
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Go buy the bushings and use them while you learn pen turning, as you get better with everything else such as tool technique, finishes and sharpening the tools you can decide whether to turn without the bushings.
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Hello Russ, I'm a rookie at wood turning as well. I had the same dilemma as you after I bought the whole PSI starter kit. Like you, I thought that the kit was missing the slimline bushings, but if the mandrel came with the kit, the spacer bushings that come on the mandrel actually work as bushings for the slimline kits. I realized this after I bought "slimline" bushings elsewhere and realized when I put them on the mandrel they were the same exact thing! I hope this helps.
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Since you are new: A bad news - good news about slimlines

Slimlines are generally more difficult to bring to size and get a great fit for those just starting out. However, once you get the hang of a slimline and make a few slimlines in the SLIM format - where they are straight from the nib to the center band to the clip end, - you will have a great handle on the basics and can handle most other pen styles and brands without a problem.

And the good news, is that in the learning stage, the slimlines are the cheapest ones on which to experiment and learn.
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