Alternative to Pen Mill for Large Pens

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WildcatHollow

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Nov 4, 2009
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104
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Boyce, Virginia, USA
Although PSI sells inserts to center a bit when milling blanks for (example) the Majestic pen, I purchased some Lotus Pens. There are no similar bushings for it, so I was looking for alternative ways to mill the ends without having to purchase another power tool, in this case a disk sander.

So, I took an Arbor Shaft adapter, and mounted onto one of my Worksharp 3000 tempered glass wheels that had sanding disks already stuck to it. I mounted it onto my drill press, and put an piece of scrap from one of my DNFs into my pen vise.

I turned the drill press on low speed and lowered the arbor.

It worked pretty well.

I'll let you know whether or not it performs as well on a larger barrel.

Regards,

t.

 
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DozerMite

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Jun 26, 2007
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You can either take a 7mm tube and use corian to turn to the size you need or just get the shafts from johnnycnc.
 

tim self

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Oct 2, 2008
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Atoka, Oklahoma
If you're square enough that works fine. What I and quite a few do is make my own sleeves. Simple enough, just like you're doing a slimline but measure the tube and turn the barrel down to just fit into the tube. You can mount it between the bushings and turn down to the inside measurements. I consider them consumables and can replace them as needed for minimal costs.
 

johnnycnc

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Feb 27, 2006
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columbus, IN, USA.
Just remember your ends need to be square to the inside of the tube.
If your drill drifts, and they often will, then the hole and outside of
the blank are no longer parallel.
 

Rick_G

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Nov 30, 2007
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Location
Bothwell, Ontario, Canada.
I cut my blanks as close as possible to the tube with my bandsaw turn them round and then mount them between centers. Then using a small sharp parting tool take the ends off down to the brass. Final cut is with the brass resting on the center so the wood is cut nice and square to the inside of the tube. No mill required and works for all sizes.
 

Bobalu

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Sep 17, 2009
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Social Circle, GA
I cut my blanks as close as possible to the tube with my bandsaw turn them round and then mount them between centers. Then using a small sharp parting tool take the ends off down to the brass. Final cut is with the brass resting on the center so the wood is cut nice and square to the inside of the tube. No mill required and works for all sizes.
Rick, next time you do that take a picture of the process. I'm trying to envision what you're doing, but the last part about the final cut has me puzzled. Wouln't you be digging into the center a little, unless you had an extremely thin parting tool?
 

Rick_G

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Nov 30, 2007
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Bothwell, Ontario, Canada.
Had a pen on the lathe right now but this will give you the idea. This center is an old one I only use for finishing now but a light touch and you don't do any damage to the center. I cut down with the tool at 90 deg. to what is shown almost to the center and then the last little bit the tool is turned as shown. I first tried this about 6 months ago and haven't used my pen mill since.
 

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RAdams

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Apr 5, 2009
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that is a good idea!

I use the homemade thingies. but i dont TBC yet...
 

Bobalu

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Sep 17, 2009
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604
Location
Social Circle, GA
Had a pen on the lathe right now but this will give you the idea. This center is an old one I only use for finishing now but a light touch and you don't do any damage to the center. I cut down with the tool at 90 deg. to what is shown almost to the center and then the last little bit the tool is turned as shown. I first tried this about 6 months ago and haven't used my pen mill since.
A picture's worth a thousand words. Now I understand what you are doing. The key is flipping the parting tool 90 degree at the end. Thanks so much for sharing that with us. I intend to give that a try next weekend when I get back into the shop.
 
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