Bushings vs. Calipers

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

JonathanF1968

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Massachusetts
Curious about using calipers rather than bushings. Is this a thing?



I want to make a one-off pen, of a style that I'm likely not going to do for anyone else, and I'd have to get a new bushing set for it. But I'm feeling a little tired of buying bushings.... Is there a reason not to just use calipers to get the final dimension?


Or, measure the kit with the calipers and then find a bushing from another set that matches it? I feel like somewhere, I must have a bushing the right size....



--Jonathan
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

Wagner11

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
127
Location
Indiana
This is a pretty common practice the only issue being that if you use a mandrel you will need bushings to keep the tube centered.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

Lenny

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
3,461
Location
Searsport, Maine
No reason not to just turn it between centers and use calipers to get it right. Another method some have used is to make some temporary bushings from corian or a dense hardwood. Bushing should only be used to get close to size anyways. Finish turning and sanding between centers without bushings will keep the blanks from getting contaminated from metal dust from the bushings.
 

Dehn0045

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
953
Location
Houston, Texas
I pretty much switched to calipers only, saves me the hassle and expense of buying and storing bushings. Plus I think I get a better fit. Definitely can take a little more time.
 

mbroberg

IAP Activities Manager, Emeritus
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
5,598
Location
Columbus, OH
TBC = Turn Between Centers. It is best to think of bushings as suggestions. Bushings wear and it doesn't take long for them to be a smaller diameter than they should be. A good set of calipers will get you to the right diameter every time. But, it can take a lot longer
 

JonathanF1968

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
45
Location
Massachusetts
Oh, I see. So, the dead center is the on the drive end, and then my stock live center on the tail, or do I need a cone center on the tail as well?



In other words, what is the lathe setup for this?
 

Dehn0045

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
953
Location
Houston, Texas
Thanks Michael for picking up where I left off. I also do my CA finish between centers, a little paste wax makes cleaning the excess off the centers easier. I will also mount a scrap piece of wood and use a skew to clean up the centers. To me TBC is more intuitive than using a mandrel and bushings. There are a lot of small tweaks, but the but the basic idea is simple.
 

leehljp

Member Liaison
Joined
Feb 6, 2005
Messages
6,729
Location
Tunica, MS,
. . . But I'm feeling a little tired of buying bushings.... Is there a reason not to just use calipers to get the final dimension?

--Jonathan
Some wise old timers used to say this: Bushing are consumables! i.e. not permanent tools.

Many a new pen turners can't gt their head around that, but a few do!

The real question is: IS there any reason TO trust the bushings for final dimension /sizing? The answer is: No. Bushings change sizes everytime a piece of sandpaper or skew or scraper touches it while it is turning. Bushings are consumables!

Trust Calipers? Yes (if the calipers are good).
 

jxdubbs

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
156
Location
Derry NH USA
. . . But I'm feeling a little tired of buying bushings.... Is there a reason not to just use calipers to get the final dimension?



--Jonathan


Some wise old timers used to say this: Bushing are consumables! i.e. not permanent tools.



Many a new pen turners can't gt their head around that, but a few do!



The real question is: IS there any reason TO trust the bushings for final dimension /sizing? The answer is: No. Bushings change sizes everytime a piece of sandpaper or skew or scraper touches it while it is turning. Bushings are consumables!



Trust Calipers? Yes (if the calipers are good).
I like that saying.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

brailsmt

Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
102
Location
Kansas City, MO, USA
I went a middle ground and bought some TBC bushings that have a diameter small enough to make any pen. The bushings are basically just the width of the brass tube. No sandpaper or tool touches them. This alleviates a lot of the problems I had with both mandrels and mounting the blanks directly on the centers. I highly recommend them, I had mine made by Brian at tbcbushings.com.
 
Top Bottom