Hello from Baltimore, Maryland

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Sunami

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Hi, I have been a longtime fountain pen collector and have been interested in turning and making my own. I just received a lathe to turn my own and I have NO idea where to start. I would also like to find someone or a group of people in the area to learn from!

Sue Knause
 
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longbeard

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Welcome to the madness Sue.
Check out the library, top of the page in blue. Great info in there

We travel to Maryland about 4 to 5 times a year, maybe we can get together sometime



Harry
 

Sunami

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magpens

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Welcome to IAP, Sue. . We'll follow your progress with great interest. . Please keep us in the loop . We all love questions.

What lathe do you have ?

It seems that you have most of what you need to get started. As Dan pointed out, you need a headstock chuck to attach the jaws to and you need a Jacobs chuck (for the tailstock) to hold your drill bit. Make sure the Jacobs chuck you buy is 1/2" or 5/8" capacity with a Morse taper arbor to match your tailstock.

Drilling on the lathe is actually much better than using a drill press. You are on the right track.

I like that little center finder you have ... I had never seen one just like that.
 
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Sunami

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Dan, thanks - I don't even know what that sentence means... thank goodness for you, Magpens and GOOGLE!! And that there is a harbor freight 10 minutes from my house! Sadly there are no wood working stores(woodcraft, etc.) in our area...that I am aware of.

Thanks All..I also am looking forward to getting my shop set up!

Sue
 

Dan Masshardt

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Unless I'm missing something, if you're drilling on the lathe, there's really not much reason for marking the center. I never do.

With a drill press you have to line your vise up. The scroll chuck is self centering and the headstock and tailstock line up automatically.

Now some people turn their blanks between centers first. In that case you'd want to have your centers marked.
 

Charlie_W

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Sue, her is a pic of the pen turning jaws you listed in the earlier post. The jaws are the two black parts you see holding the wood blank.
You need the chuck...scroll chuck you see that the jaws are attached to. The Chuck screws onto the lathe headstock spindle thread. When the lathe is running, the spindle(shaft ) turns. The Chuck mounted on the spindle is spinning your wood.
 

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Charlie_W

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Here is a pic of the Jacobs chuck(drill Chuck) which will mount in the tailstock and hold your drill bit while the wood blank spins. You will crank the bandshell to advance the drill into the wood. Just hold the drill Chuck by hand as when you crank it back out to clear chips, you don't want the drill Chuck to loosen in the tailstock.
The tapered end you see fits in the tail stock and needs to be the matching size morse taper.
There should be some good pics in your penturning book.
 

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Sunami

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Ahhh..got it...I am SO visual, but it works like the chuck on my drill...gotcha.... this is my lathe. Not high end by any means...but meant to be a starter...as it is the only wood craft project I have ever done. My grandfather was a decoy maker though and I spent a lot of time with him in his wood shop, I just didn't know what things were called.
 

Charlie_W

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sue, I see the lathe you listed. I feel if your budget allows, going to their next size up...the lathe will not only be able to handle larger work but the size of the threading and morse tapers where you will attach your drill Chuck, pen mandrel will be more of a standard size(#2 morse taper). You will have a better time fining accessories as your turning advances.
The next one does not have the variable speed. You have to change the belt to change speeds but should be a better choice over the other one.
Here is a pic of the Harbor Freight one.

My next recommendation would be a Rikon mini lathe from Woodcraft.
 

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Lady_Acoma

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I have the 10x18 and don't find shifting the belts difficjlt. In ways I wonder if it isn't a good thinb to stop me and slow down my thoughts before moving on to the next step.

You do know about Harbor Freight 20% off coupons too right? Very helpful on a budget.
 

Dan Masshardt

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If you already have that lathe, you will need to make sure the accessories you buy are are MT1. MT stands for the morse taper that's inside either end of the lathe. MT1 is the smaller size.

I'm not sure what the threads are on that headstock...

There are other pen turners using it though.
 

Charlie_W

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If you already have that lathe, you will need to make sure the accessories you buy are are MT1. MT stands for the morse taper that's inside either end of the lathe. MT1 is the smaller size.

I'm not sure what the threads are on that headstock...

There are other pen turners using it though.

Dan,
I question whether one can use a Chuck with pen jaws, blank, drill Chuck and bit and drill on this lathe due to the 12" between centers. Sounds tight on space to me. Another method of drilling may be needed.
 

Dan Masshardt

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Dan, I question whether one can use a Chuck with pen jaws, blank, drill Chuck and bit and drill on this lathe due to the 12" between centers. Sounds tight on space to me. Another method of drilling may be needed.

A fair question - on power as well with 1/3 HP.

Hopefully some folks who have this lathe can jump in and let her know.

I know several have it but not sure if folks drill on it.
 

Sunami

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OK, so reading here and doing my math and now more educated just from reading your comments - YOU ALL ARE FANTASTICALLY helpful and generous with your advise...thank you. With all the money I would spend on chucks and such and trying to return this lathe....I would be better served FOR now to just buy an inexpensive drill press I saw at harbor freight.

Dan Thanks! I was able to cancel a couple of purchases before they shipped to get the correct mandrel size.

Where is the coupon for harbor freight so I can get the drill press?

I told my family this new hobby would save me money from purchasing fountain pens....hahahahahaha...I guess not! ;-)
 
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Dan Masshardt

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Buying a small / inexpensive drill press comes with it's own drawback. The term quill travel refers to how deep the drill can go. Small drill presses don't usually have much quill travel. Take a took at how long the tubes on the pens you want to make are and compare that to the quill travel on the presses you're looking at.

There are ways to accommodate like raising the table or moving the blank up and putting a block under to drill deeper.
 

Charlie_W

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Sue,
One more thing.
On your list of tools, I did not see any grinder or other method of sharpening your tools. You listed a set of 3 high speed steel chisels that will require sharpening usually right out of the box to have a truly sharp edge and will require continued touching up to keep that edge sharp.
A dull tool will not cut well, will be frustrating to use and may cause you to ruin some pen blanks in the process.
I know this is an added expense but necessary for this hobby.
 

Sunami

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Hi Jhud10!! - I am right down the road in Hamilton! Any place you recommend as a resource for supplies in the area? Other than Harbor Freight on Perring?
 

Charlie_W

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Oh yes, good point-ha ha - what would you recommend?

Sue,
Check out BAT.....Baltimore Area Turners. This is a woodturning club you can get involved in. I am sure they will have some penturners as well. Avail yourself as being totally new to this hobby and you should get plenty of help. Ask someone if they can teach you to grind your tools this will not only teach you how but help you decide which option will work best for you. If someone sharpens them for you, you can touch them up with a diamond hone for a while before going back to the grinder again.
Also. In Baltimore, Mark Supik teaches classes. Another good source.
 

Jhud10

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Hi Sue,
Yes you are right down the road from me. We had a Woodcraft for a long time right in Towson but they closed up early last year. Sadly there is not a lot of local shop to get stuff for turning. The closest Woodcraft to us is in Springfield VA not to far for a day trip. Mark Supik is a very nice man met him a few times his shop is down on Haven St. in highland town.
 

magpens

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Sue, if you can possibly return the lathe you have to H.F. and buy the next size up (picture posted by Charlie) it would only cost you $75 extra and would be well worth it in the long run and would save you buying the drill press.

What will it gain you ? -

- longer length to accommodate your headstock chuck, jaws, pen blank, drill bit and Jacobs chuck (in the tailstock)

- more common MT2 (instead of MT1) fittings in both headstock and tailstock resulting in easier-to-get accessories

- MT2 gives you better accuracy and ease of use (as well as easier-to-get accessories)

If you are at all serious about this hobby you will come to appreciate MT2 and the extra lathe length.

Whatever lathe you have ....
Before you buy a headstock chuck, you need to find out the thread size on the spindle in your headstock. The lathe you have shows (in the picture) a faceplate attached to the headstock spindle. If you remove that faceplate, by unscrewing it, you will see the threaded end of the spindle. Quite likely, the thread size will by 3/4x16. That means the outside diameter of the threaded part is 3/4" and the thread spacing is 1/16" (or 16 threads per inch, which we call 16 TPI). You have to buy a headstock chuck with matching threads that screws on to the spindle. You may need to get an adapter, depending on the headstock chuck that you choose. A more common thread size for the spindle and headstock chuck is 1x8 (meaning 1" outside diameter of the threads and threads spaced 1/8" apart - commonly called 8 TPI ).

I hope these comments are helpful to you.
 
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