Turn Between Centers Mandrel

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qquake

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I've never turned between centers, and have no desire to. However, I saw this system at PSI and it intrigued me. Anyone use them? Worth the price? What are the benefits over a traditional mandrel?

 
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Jolly Red

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I have used this for some time now, and the biggest advantage I can see is that you don't have to worry about overtightening the live center and bending a traditional mandrel. Also, the stub mandrel on the PSI setup is a good fit for the bushings, so there is almost no off center tubes on the final barrel. If you don't want to turn a double tube in one go, then this, to me, is a good way to ensure a good fit.
Personally, I don't think turning two tubes at once is really necessary. If you are in production, then the time it takes to change the blanks can make a difference, but for a hobbyist, it should not be a real problem. Just the time saved from not having to screw on the tightening nut will match the time taken to change the blanks. And for single tubes, this would actually save time.
Just my thoughts,
Tom
 

qquake

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I haven't turned two bodies at once for quite some time now. I have an adjustable length mandrel, and I've found keeping it shorter and turning one body at a time, gives me more accurate results. I'll have to think about this. $30 is a lot of money.
 

leehljp

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. . . If you are in production, then the time it takes to change the blanks can make a difference, but for a hobbyist, it should not be a real problem. Just the time saved from not having to screw on the tightening nut will match the time taken to change the blanks. And for single tubes, this would actually save time.
Just my thoughts,
Tom
Doing one at a time IS faster than doing two - when you add in the time of screwing and tightening and adjusting.

QQuake:
I've never turned between centers, and have no desire to.
Well, if you get those you will essentially be turning between centers, only you will be using a type of center that is more limiting in use than real centers - which can use commercial AND custom bushings. . . especially if you are seeking more accurate results.
 

qquake

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Like I said, I get fairly accurate results with a shorter mandrel. There would have to be a large benefit to justify the cost. But on the other hand, I am a tool whore, and love new tools. So there is that.
 

leehljp

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Of course it is your choice, and that is what makes the world go round! :) However, TBC doesn't cost any different than the short mandrel from PSI you posted.

MT2 dead centers are $9.95 on Amazon and live centers are $17.95 - $18.95 ($15.95 on PSI) together - cheaper than the PSI mandrel centers.
 

Sly Dog

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I bought that set a while ago and cannot recommend it. I was getting eccentric turnings on the live center side - took me a while to figure out what was wrong because the two centers lined up perfectly, but I found the live center had a slight loose wobble in it. Maybe I just got a bad set. I don’t have any similar issues with TBC bushings so I use them now almost exclusively. I still get good results most of the time when I decide to use a mandrel, but TBC is the way to go IMO. I would spend that $30.00 on something else.
 

KLJ

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I had the same problem Russ had. It worked great for a short while and then the live center wobble started. I had bought mine from Klingspore and they gave me another one. The second one didn't last as long as the first and that is when I started turning between centers. It doesn't take much wobble at all to give problems on the finished product.
 

WriteON

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I have that and like. It’s more of a mandrel-less system. To me TBC is using drivers with spurs. That PSI System good to work with. As for long mandrels and turning 2 or 3 blanks at a time it works for me. Especially 2 piece kits.
 

leehljp

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I have that and like. It’s more of a mandrel-less system. To me TBC is using drivers with spurs. That PSI System good to work with. As for long mandrels and turning 2 or 3 blanks at a time it works for me. Especially 2 piece kits.
Where did THAT idea come from? TBC is NOT related to spurs in pen turning.
 

sorcerertd

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Wait... Hank, you just turn between 2 normal pointed centers? No special rod or anything to hold the bushings? That just sounds too easy. So far, mandrels are annoying me, so I must try this. The last one I bought seems to wobble at the head end as if it were off center there.
 

leehljp

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Wait... Hank, you just turn between 2 normal pointed centers? No special rod or anything to hold the bushings? That just sounds too easy. So far, mandrels are annoying me, so I must try this. The last one I bought seems to wobble at the head end as if it were off center there.
Correct; simple! Put the bushings on the blank, then put that between 2 normal pointed centers. TURN.
 

Jehster1

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I bought those but had the same problem as stated above, wobble on the live center side. I now turn like Hank said and never have a lopsided problem.
 

RicklesssS

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Correct; simple! Put the bushings on the blank, then put that between 2 normal pointed centers. TURN.
Oh! Then in that case I'm going to try it as well!
The only reason I haven't is I was assuming that "special" bushing's needed to be used with the (60 degree?) pointed centers. Bushings with a (60 degree?) cut out, on the ends of them.
I never even thought about trying to use my normal bushings..
Or am I missing something?
 

RicklesssS

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Also, bummed to hear so many folks saying the bearings in their "mandrel saver" are not running true.
I recently bought one, but have only turned a few pens with it so far.
I hope mine remains true, as I do like the idea of it. So far it is, I guess we shall see...
 
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