No Mandrel Pen Turning

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rwayne

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Joined
May 1, 2007
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30
Location
Logan County Illinois
Sorry for asking this but I can't seem to find the article I've been looking for, I have seen information on turning a pen without using a mandrel. I can not remember where I saw it or what was needed to turn a pen without using a mandrel. Can someone help with this information please. I am using a Jet Mini VS.. I plan to upgrade but not until this coming Spring.
Thanks for the help
Ron
 
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heinedan

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Jun 21, 2006
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Oak Lawn, IL, USA.
Ron,

I'm not familiar with an article about it, but it is a fairly simple procedure, and the results are incredible. First, you need to obtain a 60 degree live center to be mounted on the tailstock, then a 60 degree dead center for the headstock. Once that is done, all you need to do for pens other than slimline is to slide the bushings into the tubes for either the top or lower section of the pen. Then, put the hole in the center of the bushing flush against the dead center, bring the tailstock up so that the live center is inserted into the center hole of the other bushing, tightten the headstock and start turning. This works great fro Jr. Gents, Barons, Sedonas, etc.

Also, there are bushings that are made exclusively for center 2 center turning taht are made to much more exacting standards than the regular bushings. Less clearance inside the tube, larger outside bushing area, and the ends are machined to a 60 degree angle for the dead and live centers to be perfectly aligned. No holes in the bushings, so they can never be used on a mandrel, but once you try this, you will want to throw your mandrel away. Until this year, JohnnyCNC was making these bushings, be he lost everything in a flood this summer. Now, check the following link for more informatuion on bushing avaliability:
http://www.penturners.org/forum/showthread.php?t=37433&highlight=bushings

Good Luck,
Dan
 

Brandon25

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Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
185
Location
Louisville, KY, USA.
The problem I have with mandrel-less turning is something I never see come up- How do you compensate for not having both pieces of, say, a slimline, on the mandrel, as reference for good shape? If I want a nice curvy slimline, I can't imagine I'd get a good sense of continuity in the shape if I were to turn one piece at a time. I suspect maybe the "feel for it" comes with time for this aspect of it?
 

leehljp

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Feb 6, 2005
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Location
Tunica, Mississippi,
The problem I have with mandrel-less turning is something I never see come up- How do you compensate for not having both pieces of, say, a slimline, on the mandrel, as reference for good shape? If I want a nice curvy slimline, I can't imagine I'd get a good sense of continuity in the shape if I were to turn one piece at a time. I suspect maybe the "feel for it" comes with time for this aspect of it?

Feel is part of it; calipers is the other for me. If I need a reference, I set the reference part close by and check every few seconds.

The multiple benefits of no mandrel far outweigh this aspect to me.
 
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wdcav1952

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Mar 18, 2004
Messages
8,955
Location
Montgomery, Pennsylvania, USA.
I'm guessing if you were to turn a slimline it would be one end at a time ?

Yes, Jerry, that is right, to a point. The mandrel less turning means that with all kits that you turn one tube at a time.

However, with the slimline the bushings are not stepped as they are for other pen kits. The cigar kit, for example. To have the no mandrel technique work, the bushings have to be stepped. That is, the bushing must actually slide into the tube. This is what keeps the tube in place between the live center and the dead center.

Try the technique with the cigar kit and you will love it.

Here is a source for the dead center. They also carry MT1 centers http://www.grizzly.com/products/H5789
 
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