Slimline Assembly Tool

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egnald

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
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502
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Greetings from Nebraska:

This afternoon I built a Slimline Assembly Helper tool. It performs two critical functions. First, it lets me press the transmission in to a fixed depth that works every time regardless of minor variations in tube length due to the blank squaring operation. Second, it provides a convenient way to protect the transmission from being pressed in any farther when the nib is being pressed.

This is not my idea, but my spin on a tool based on information from the "10 Minutes To Better Pen Making - Assembly" video on YouTube by Mark Dreyer (mg_dryer). It is an excellent video with a bunch of information about improved assembly methods for various pen types. You can find the video in Mark's Forum post from this Tuesday, 8-Sep-2020, called "10 Minutes To Better Assembly - Another Video". Thanks Mark for the Video, the idea, and all of the other outstanding tips your videos contain.

The tool consists of a rounded piece of Maple that has a 7mm tube glued in to a blind hole. The end of the tube that is pressed into the hole also has a Neodymium magnet pressed into it. The magnet is used to hold in a piece of mandrel (D Drill Rod) that was cut and sanded so that it extends the exact distance needed for a positive stop when pressing in a Slimline transmission. I think the following photos might help explain it a little better. (Note: The blank I used in the pictures is a very old and ugly Walnut blank with a bunch of sand-through that I pulled out of my reject pile).


This is a Slimline Transmission, Lower Body (already tubed and turned), the Nib, a piece of mandrel, the tool with a 7mm tube glued into a blind hole. (Note: The tube has a Neodymium magnet pressed into the end that is inside the tool, and the piece of mandrel was cut so that it extends the distance needed for stopping the transmission when it is pressed in).
S1.jpg


STEP 1: Configure the Tool and use it to press in the Transmission.

This shows the piece of mandrel inserted into the tool. Although I cut it and ground it using an empirical method, afterwards I measured it and it extends 1-3/4 inches (give or take a little).

S2.jpg



This shows the tool then slid inside of the lower barrel of the Slimline pen (tool is on the Nib end of the pen)
S3.jpg



Here is the tool, lower barrel of the Slimline, and Transmission on my Pen Press ready to press in. The Transmission gets pressed in until it bottoms out on the positive stop created by the piece of mandrel in the tool.
S4.jpg



STEP 2: Configure the Tool and use it while the Nib is being pressed in.


After the Transmission is pressed in, the piece of mandrel is removed from the tool so that the tool can be used as a bushing to keep the Transmission from being pushed in any farther when the Nib is being pressed.
S5.jpg



The Transmission is then inserted into the tool (instead of the piece of mandrel). The hole in the tool is about 3/4 inches deeper than the Transmission so it does not bottom out or get pushed into the barrel any deeper as the Nib is being pressed. (The Transmission is not quite fully inserted in the photo but it slips all the way in as can be seen in the next picture).
S6.jpg



This is the tool with the Transmission slid inside of it loaded onto my Pen Press with the Nib ready to be pressed in.
S7.jpg


And Finally, this is the completed lower section of the Slimline with the Transmission and Nib pressed in and a Cross refill installed. The refill extends and retracts just the right amount.

S8.jpg


Using a tool like this (or one like Mark explains in his Video) makes pressing the transmission into Slimline kits very repeatable and much easier than using the press and look, press and look, press and look method.

Regards,
Dave
 
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Paul in OKC

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Jul 26, 2004
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2,882
Location
Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
Nice! Hadn't thought of that way. Years ago I made a wooden 'V' block out of a piece of 2x2 and cut it to the length needed for that, but with the nib on. I really like your idea there!
 

Larryreitz

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Joined
Feb 8, 2015
Messages
430
Location
Salem, CT USA
I made a couple from the bolt like Mark used in his video. I don't believe any one had talked about the lower barrel length flexibility you get from using it. Since you are measuring from the tip before the bub is pressed in it really doesn't matter how long (obviously within reason) your lower barrel is as long as you have enough to squeez the transmission into it.. Suppose you have a small chip out on the end. You can just turn the barrrel (including the tube) down to remove it and it is perfect;y usable. If you cut your slimline tubes and one is a little too long it is still usable as long as you use the tool to insert the transmission.

Larry
 

egnald

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
Messages
502
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
I made a couple from the bolt like Mark used in his video. I don't believe any one had talked about the lower barrel length flexibility you get from using it. Since you are measuring from the tip before the bub is pressed in it really doesn't matter how long (obviously within reason) your lower barrel is as long as you have enough to squeez the transmission into it.. Suppose you have a small chip out on the end. You can just turn the barrrel (including the tube) down to remove it and it is perfect;y usable. If you cut your slimline tubes and one is a little too long it is still usable as long as you use the tool to insert the transmission.

Larry

I have the bolt style too, but I didn’t like pressing on the upper barrel assembly to press the nib in. That’s really what the driving factor was for me to make the tool - as a sleeve to protect the transmission when pressing in the nib. Combining it with the piece of mandrel was an afterthought. - Dave
 

moke

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
1,017
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Great Idea!!!! Jigs like this make life easier! Once you use these often enough, then you are lost without them.....Good Job!
 
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