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Old 07-17-2011, 09:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Free sanding mill (practically)

I was looking for an easy way to square off the ends of my pen body pieces after completing my CA finish. Being cheap, I didn't want to spend much money. Used the following parts:

faceplate - free (came with lathe)
scrap piece of maple - free
5" PSA to Hook & Loop conversion pad - $3 at local hardware store
Jacobs chuck - already had
transfer punch set - already had ($8 at Harbor Freight)

I cut the 1' thick maple to about the size of the faceplate and screwed it in place. Then I trued up the face of the maple so it is perpendicular to the axis of rotation using your favorite turning tool. Sand the face smooth and stick on the Hook & Loop conversion pad. I use Abranet sandpaper on mine. It sticks fine to the 'Velcro'. It's easy to pull off and move a little to a fresh spot. You could also cut up some Hook & Loop sanding pads to use with this.

I pick the largest transfer punch that will fit inside the brass tube and mount it in the Jacobs chuck. After sliding the pen body onto the punch, I bring the punch up close to the sandpaper, but not touching. Now with the lathe turning about 500 rpm, I can slide the tube up against the sandpaper to square the end.
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Old 07-17-2011, 09:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Great idea, lot of trouble to mount and un-mount all that stuff.

do you check the punch to the Abranet with a square to know you really got it perpendicular?

I bought one of the little sanding mills sold by a member here and love it. Made myself a couple of sleeves to go from 7mm to some tubes that I didn't have a specific adapter for already from Exotic Blanks.

Neat concept. Makes one want a couple three lathes in the shop for various little jigs!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Yes, it's perfectly square. It would be pretty difficult for it not to be. I find it pretty quick to make the change-over to sanding from between center work, about 45 seconds or so if I include the time it takes to find the correct transfer punch size.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I will often do something very similar with the exception that I use a piece of 3/4 dowel in my collet chuck. It is often quicker to find the correct transfer puch then to hunt for the right sleeve for my barrel trimmer.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Dave, I think you did a great job setting that up. I will definitely use your idea to improve my squaring.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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That is a great idea. I, also, may have to try that.
Thank you for sharing.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Great tip, !!
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, Dave!
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I have been using a similar setup for about 18 months ( I posted a pic back then). It has completely eliminated any problem with the ends not being square after finishing. It is amazingly simple and does an outstanding job.

One change I made was I bought a beall spindle tap so now I have tapped a piece of wood and trued the end. It screws directly onto the headstock so I do not need to use a faceplate.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Great idea. I've been trying to think of a way to do all the laser kits I got when they were on sale. I'm going to try it.
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