Bushings Stuck Inside Blank!

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bigthin13

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Sep 28, 2018
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21
Location
Oregon
Hi there! I just got done turning and finishing a blank for a Wall Street II Pencil Kit. When I took the blank off the lathe, I couldn't get the bushings out of the blank! I'm guessing this is from one of the following reasons....
1) The CA glue wasn't all the way dry. (Which I doubt because I waited about 15-20 min before mounting the blank on my lathe)
or
2) When I was using my pen mill, I might have gone down a bit too far and flattened the end of the tube by the smallest bit, making it a much tighter fit on the bushings.
In either case, I need to save my blank! It's my first blank I've ever casted myself and I want to do everything I can to save it! Any tips/tricks/advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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bigthin13

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Sep 28, 2018
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Oregon
Crisis averted! Sorry for the premature panic! I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but I ended up taking a punch that was slightly smaller than the hole of the bushings and hammering it out at an angle. I think I ruined my bushings but it's a small price to pay to save the blank!
 

magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Get two 1/4" drill bits and put the butt ends into the bushings. . Hold onto the drill bits and wiggle them oppositely. . You can be quite forceful, but don't overdo it. . Keep wiggling for as long as you can. . This should weaken/loosen a possible CA bond between the bushings and the end of your blank. . The wiggling should also free up a jam of brass crud if your other suggestion is the problem. . Good luck ... you will get the bushings out !

Edit: . Glad to hear that you freed things up !
 

1shootist

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Dec 2, 2018
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Ennis/Waxahachie Texas
Crisis averted! Sorry for the premature panic! I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier but I ended up taking a punch that was slightly smaller than the hole of the bushings and hammering it out at an angle. I think I ruined my bushings but it's a small price to pay to save the blank!
Glad you were able to get it apart.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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12,345
Location
NJ, USA.
A couple other tidbits. When done with sanding the blank down to the tube end or using an pen mill, alway take a file or reamer and ream the ends of the tube to deburr the ends. Always do this. I do it then and also just before I insert the components to make sure there are no burrs and either the bushings slide in easier or the components do. This is important. Also check the inside of the tube to make sure there is no glue inside. Again very important.

Another tip is use a good set of calipers and check the ends of the blank with the components and do not trust the bushings for size. This will get you in the habit of taking the blank off the lathe and taking the bushings out to get a nice measurement. Then if need be reassemble and do it again taking off little at a time.
 

turncrazy43

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Apr 22, 2012
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1,004
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Marietta, GA
Another suggestion - buy a 6MM rat tail file. use it to get rid of glue and burred ends of the tube caused by excessive barrel trimming. They are less expensive than a pen tube chamfering tool at $19.
TurncraZY43
 

penicillin

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Feb 27, 2019
Messages
157
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned plastic non-stick pen bushings:
https://www.rockler.com/non-stick-pen-bushings-for-ca-finish

As soon as I am done with the turning tools, I remove the metal bushings and replace them with the plastic bushings. I prefer the plastic bushings for sanding, because it eliminates the problem where metal filings are scuffed from the bushings by the sandpaper, and then they get into the ends of the blank. The metal filings darken the wood and spoil the ends of the blank.

Here are a few pointers about using the plastic bushings for sanding and finishing:

* When you sand with the plastic bushings, the ends of the blank are exposed. That's good, because you can sand all the way to the edges. It is also bad, because you can round over those edges after you precisely matched them to the bushings (or measured them with a caliper). Pay careful attention at the ends of the blank. Do not allow the sandpaper to curl around the edges and soften them.
* After a long period of use, the plastic bushings may not seat perfectly on the first try. Give the blank a turn on the lathe, If it wiggles, rotate the bushings and adjust the blank, then try again. Repeat until the blank turns reasonably true. It isn't that crucial, but you don't want to sand the blank unevenly.
* If you do CA finishes, the CA can build-up on the plastic bushings. I pick at it with a fingernail until it comes off in one piece. From time to time, I wax the plastic bushings to make them more non-stick and easier to use. (Any non-silicone paste wax will do.)
* When you are all done and you remove the finished pen blank from the plastic bushings, you may see a hard white or clear ring of CA finish at the ends of your blanks. Hold the pen blank perpendicular to a piece of fine sandpaper, and use a circular motion to remove the CA ring at the end. Do not allow the blank to tilt as you sand off the CA ring.
* Buy a second set of plastic bushings to have spares around. Like slimline bushings, they tend to run away and hide, or the shop vac steals one when you aren't paying attention. DAMHIK.
 

TonyL

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Mar 9, 2014
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Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Thank you.

An alternative approach is to remove all bushings when sanding, and sand between your drive/dead and live centers. If one chooses, he/she can return the bushings to the blank when applying CA.
I have plenty of CA bushing (bought and self made), but if I am just finishing one at a time, I place the blank between to old enters.

Looks like you have an excellent process!
 

sbwertz

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Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
2,889
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned plastic non-stick pen bushings:
https://www.rockler.com/non-stick-pen-bushings-for-ca-finish

As soon as I am done with the turning tools, I remove the metal bushings and replace them with the plastic bushings. I prefer the plastic bushings for sanding, because it eliminates the problem where metal filings are scuffed from the bushings by the sandpaper, and then they get into the ends of the blank. The metal filings darken the wood and spoil the ends of the blank.

Here are a few pointers about using the plastic bushings for sanding and finishing:

* When you sand with the plastic bushings, the ends of the blank are exposed. That's good, because you can sand all the way to the edges. It is also bad, because you can round over those edges after you precisely matched them to the bushings (or measured them with a caliper). Pay careful attention at the ends of the blank. Do not allow the sandpaper to curl around the edges and soften them.
* After a long period of use, the plastic bushings may not seat perfectly on the first try. Give the blank a turn on the lathe, If it wiggles, rotate the bushings and adjust the blank, then try again. Repeat until the blank turns reasonably true. It isn't that crucial, but you don't want to sand the blank unevenly.
* If you do CA finishes, the CA can build-up on the plastic bushings. I pick at it with a fingernail until it comes off in one piece. From time to time, I wax the plastic bushings to make them more non-stick and easier to use. (Any non-silicone paste wax will do.)
* When you are all done and you remove the finished pen blank from the plastic bushings, you may see a hard white or clear ring of CA finish at the ends of your blanks. Hold the pen blank perpendicular to a piece of fine sandpaper, and use a circular motion to remove the CA ring at the end. Do not allow the blank to tilt as you sand off the CA ring.
* Buy a second set of plastic bushings to have spares around. Like slimline bushings, they tend to run away and hide, or the shop vac steals one when you aren't paying attention. DAMHIK.
I bought a delrin rod 1" in diameter and made a custom set of sanding bushings for the center with a large ridge that a blind turner bumps up against so he knows he is at the edge of the blank.
 
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