New to turning, I’d love advice

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mkrevda

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Feb 6, 2019
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Location
Byron Center, MI
I’ve been turning for a month, made a few pens, sold a few. I would love some constructive criticism and or advice
 

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Dec 22, 2017
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Wolf Creek Montana
For a beginner I would say you're on the right track. I like the style of your pens and I like the fact that you've turned the wood so that it's not big and bulky, they look very comfortable to hold. The only thing that really stood out to me was the second pen has what appear to be sanding lines. The lines are small but unless it's just glare they are visible. To correct this after sanding on your lathe you should take and sand with say 600grt paper from top to bottom. The sanding lines will disappear and won't show up in your photo's. Other than than, fit and finish look good and I would be proud to call these my own. Good Job.
 

mkrevda

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Feb 6, 2019
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Byron Center, MI
Thank you!, I did have trouble with sanding lines in the bolt action pen, and every Paduke piece I have turned. Sanding is not my strong suit for some reason...never has been really. I think I am stingy on my sanding strips as I only use an inch or 2. I have also notice that my latest pens are a bit out of round closest to the writing end. I have a very old Walker Turner that was oddly modified so it doesn't have an MT taper in the head-stock. My brother in law machined down a mandrel to fit and it worked well for 5 pens. Now the wobble has gotten worse, bought a mandrel saver and it helped a little but I think I'll have to get a new lathe sooner rather than later.
Finish wise I used CA glue for my first few pens, I have always hated super glue so I switched to Doctor Woodshop's Pens Plus, any experience with the longevity of that finish?
 

magpens

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Nice work, Matt !! . I don't see the sanding lines in the 2nd pen ... could just be my eyes. . But Padauk is particularly difficult to finish (and so is some Cocobolo) due to the surface pores which often collect sanding dust, if you are not careful to remove it. . I avoid both of those woods except as accent pieces in segmented work. . I am wondering why you had the mandrel machined down. . If your turned barrels are out of round at one end that could be due to a poor fit of the bushing on the mandrel.
 

More4dan

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Mar 17, 2016
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Katy, TX
Can you mount a dead center to your headstock? You get more accurate/round results turning between a set of centers vs using a mandrill. Also using a caliper to measure the ends of the blank to match the pen components goes a long way to improving fit.

Very nice start!

Danny


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leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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Tunica, MS,
Danny's advice to use calipers (to me) is right on. That is one of the first advices that I give.

Where the bushings meet the blank - often times per blank, the blade touches it, and so does sandpaper. After about 10 to 20 pens, the bushing is not the same size where it meets the blank. This is where learning to measure by a set of calipers really helps. Harbor Freight has some good units at a fair price. They used to have a composite (plastic) one, and if they do, DON'T. But they do have metal ones 6 inches long and on sale on holidays for $9.99 or so.

Like this one:https://www.harborfreight.com/6-in-digital-caliper-with-sae-and-metric-fractional-readings-63731.html
$17.99 but as I said, on sale on special holidays at $9.99.

Agree with the turning between centers (TBC). Far more consistently accurate.

I just saw your picts above.

I made a center for driving the TBC about 11-12 years ago. Still have it somewhere. It will allow you to use that drill chuck to turn between centers without a problem. If you can get access to a 5/8 aluminum rod, you might can make your own.
 
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mkrevda

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Feb 6, 2019
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Byron Center, MI
That looks like it would work. The weird thing is that it looks like a drill chuck but it isnt There are no lips and it screwed on top of the headstock threads. There is about an inch of space before it opens up to what I think is an MT1 taper. My Grandfather over modifies things to fit what he needed at a given time....most can’t be reverse modified :) I’ve been looking at the Delta 46-460 but I need to sell a bunch of pens to get there haha
 

mkrevda

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Feb 6, 2019
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Byron Center, MI
Unfortunately no, it’s been modified a lot. There is a chuck looking thing that isn’t a chuck that screws on to the headstock that I can’t for the life of me remove. I’ve used WD40, fire, wrench, hammer :)
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
Keep on turning as you are looking very good. Welcome to the forum.
Lee, how about a tutorial on turning the center? Did you use a metal lathe?
 

bsshog40

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Oct 2, 2018
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Midland, Tx
I think you are doing pretty good, speaking as a new turner myself. I started using calipers when I started, and still do from time to time, so I could get the dimensions on each end symmetrical. If I had the ends even, then the body was easy to shape as you want. Nice work!
 
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