Turning without a mandrel?

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Cartaphilus

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A rainy Labor Day in New England so I was wasting time, er, ah, expanding my education, by stooging around YouTube. I ran across a couple of videos where people were turning pens without using a mandrel. They used a dead center in the headstock and a live center in the tailstock and mounted the tubed blank between them. I was simply wondering in your opinions if there is any advantage, or disadvantage, to doing this over using a mandrel.
 
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KenB259

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I suggest you only do that when you get very close to final size. Until you get to that point it makes no difference whether you use a mandrel or TBC. I use both methods and end up with just a dead center in the head stock and a live center in the tail stock for final sizing. I also use the Pen State turn between centers mandrel, that works well too and again I finish up with the dead and live center.
 

qquake

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I primarily turn with bushings, but have turned between centers (TBC) a couple of times. Didn't like it. Turning with bushings is a lot easier for me. But like grpass said, try both and see which works better for you.
 

its_virgil

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I primarily turn with bushings, but have turned between centers (TBC) a couple of times. Didn't like it. Turning with bushings is a lot easier for me. But like grpass said, try both and see which works better for you.
Turning between centers can be done with special TBC bushings or with standard bushings.
Do a good turn daily!
Don
 

satchm0h

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I have TBC bushings for the Jr. series and like them. I use the mandrel for all my other kits. The only real downside to the TBC approach is that for a two part kit you turn the two parts separately. I do like seeing them together on the mandrel.
 

Todd in PA

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I turn between centers. I put the regular bushings in the tube and then snug them between centers. It solved my problem of being out of round (an overhang on only one side of the turned piece).

I put the turned pieces on a mandrel with plastic bushings to finish with ca.
 

leehljp

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There is a plethora of misunderstanding with TBC.

As Don Wrote:
Turning between centers can be done with special TBC bushings or with standard bushings.
[/QUOTE]
And you do not necessarily have to use a 60° drive center either, but it depends on the bushing one has.

TBC got its great push to popularity here on IAP in 2007 although it was used by a few in other places.
TBC works best for most people by using the bushings FOR Turning to Size, then taking the bushings OFF for the Finishing Process.

Advantages:
1. much faster to take a blank off and inspect it and replace it and turn again than to take a mandrel off, take the nut off and a spacer or two, then replace, screw the nut back on and add it to the lathe.
2. TBC - No problem with having bent mandrels
3. TBC - No problem with pulling the tail stock too tight and causing mandrel flex.
4. IF you use CA as a finish or other finish for that matter, breaking the bushing from the blank, especially for oily blanks like ebonies and a few other woods that are oily, when breaking the bushing off, the CA will lift up off of the just finished blank on the end. It will look smokey, or cloudy as a result. THAT is the reason TBC was first used here.
With TBC - take the bushings OFF before finishing. You will get CA on the dead drive center, but it is so much easer to take the CA finished blank off if it does not have bushings during the finishing process!

Simple compared to mandrels!
 
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jttheclockman

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I turn with standard bushing but finish without bushings thus TBC for finishing. Too much pressure is put on blank if tbc the entire way in my opinion. Many times you have to really crank down on the tube centers to keep from turning when roughing down blank. This flares the ends and then components slide in and out too easily. Just my experience and the way I do it.
 

mmayo

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I always turn with official TBC bushings and will never return to mandrels/stock bushings for turning. I make TBC bushings for sanding and bushings with a center hole for buffing on my 3D printer. The system works and I have sets of bushings for every project I make and there are quite a few.

Shave handle and stand turned with metal TBC bushings then sanded with my printed TBC bushings. They were buffed using my printed buffing bushings.

Your mileage may vary…
 

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leehljp

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I turn with standard bushing but finish without bushings thus TBC for finishing. Too much pressure is put on blank if tbc the entire way in my opinion. Many times you have to really crank down on the tube centers to keep from turning when roughing down blank. This flares the ends and then components slide in and out too easily. Just my experience and the way I do it.
John is correct in what he wrote about using TBC without bushings from start to finish, but I do want to clarify something that many have taken as the wrong point: Point of Clarification -
"TBC" today has been taken by many to mean "without bushings". TBC does NOT mean without "bushings". TBC means WITHOUT MANDREL. TBC can and should (for most people) use bushings for turning to size - and then without bushings for finishing.

There are a few people who do use TBC from start to finish without bushings - and they are the exceptions. REITERATING: THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE OF TBC DID NOT mean "without bushings" but did mean "Without Mandrel."

In 2008 (a correction from my previous post above) the first couple of months of "TBC" on IAP, I used the term "Mandreless" as I was the first person here to do that - and there was no other name I could come up with at the time to use. It wasn't until a few months later that some began to use the term "Turning Between Centers". That was not used to imply "without bushings for the whole process", but without bushings only for the finishing process. Early adapters DID use bushings for turning to size and took the bushings off for finishing, which was the original reason for going "mandreless."
 
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jttheclockman

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John is correct in what he wrote about using TBC without bushings from start to finish, but I do want to clarify something that many have taken as the wrong point: Point of Clarification -
TBC today gives the wrong impression and many have taken it (TBC) to mean without bushings. TBC does NOT mean without "bushings". TBC means WITHOUT MANDREL. TBC can and should (for most people) use bushings for turning to size - and then without bushings for finishing.

There are a few people who do use TBC from start to finish without bushings - and they are the exceptions. TBC does not mean "without bushings" but does mean "Without Mandrel"

In 2008 (a correction from my previous post above) the first couple of months of "TBC" on IAP, I used the term "Mandreless" as I was the first person here to do that - and there was no other name I could come up with at the time to use. It wasn't until a few months later that some began to use the term "Turning Between Centers". That was not used to imply "without bushings for the whole process", but without bushings only for the finishing process. Early adapters DID use bushings for turning to size and took the bushings off for finishing, which was the original reason for going "mandreless."
Hank, you can not make that statement and then throw exceptions in there. It does not mean mandreless Not sure how the TBC term came about but all turning is turned between centers unless you are doing offcenter turnings such as candlesticks and things. I won't pull up the hundreds of threads here that deal with people turning without bushings or mandrel but here is an article in the library. https://www.penturners.org/resources/no-bushings-pen-turning.481/ Maybe we need to come up with different terms when talking about this.
 

leehljp

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Hank, you can not make that statement and then throw exceptions in there
I can make that statement. And did.
As to exceptions, there are rules and exceptions to rules. So it can be said.

John, to quote you from another thread "that is nit picking." You do that for me, you do that for Ken, and you do a few others that you don't seem to like. Are you jealous or something? I can't figure a single reason for anyone as top notched skilled as you are - to be making nitpickiing comments like you do. Anyone as highly skilled as you don't need to nitpick.

"TBC" describes the moving from the "Mandrel" to the centers directly (or with bushings) - without the mandrel. You know this and you accepted it for ages. Now, it seems like suddenly you want to nit pick that term. You are too skilled of a guy for that. There are many words that change over the years. That is a given because language/words change often and then give different connotations to incoming generations. That is also WHY I called it Mandreless back then, but several others here started calling it TBC. Since I am not the nitpicker, I let it go for 14 years and it still does not bother me to the point I will complain about using the term TBC.

IF you want to pull up the articles in the library, just remember that I told you "Mandreless" was used before the term "TBC" got started. Thank you and you are welcome. BTW, the article you listed is relatively new although that method did exist years ago. My references go back to 2008. IF you want, I can probably dig the very first post asking for that method (mandreless) which became TBC. If you want to do it, look at Johnny CNC and Rifleman. Those were the two that told me about a method that a couple of other guys used to turn without the mandrel. FYI.
 

jttheclockman

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I can make that statement. And did.
As to exceptions, there are rules and exceptions to rules. So it can be said.

John, to quote you from another thread "that is nit picking." You do that for me, you do that for Ken, and you do a few others that you don't seem to like. Are you jealous or something? I can't figure a single reason for anyone as top notched skilled as you are - to be making nitpickiing comments like you do. Anyone as highly skilled as you don't need to nitpick.

"TBC" describes the moving from the "Mandrel" to the centers directly (or with bushings) - without the mandrel. You know this and you accepted it for ages. Now, it seems like suddenly you want to nit pick that term. You are too skilled of a guy for that. There are many words that change over the years. That is a given because language/words change often and then give different connotations to incoming generations. That is also WHY I called it Mandreless back then, but several others here started calling it TBC. Since I am not the nitpicker, I let it go for 14 years and it still does not bother me to the point I will complain about using the term TBC.

IF you want to pull up the articles in the library, just remember that I told you "Mandreless" was used before the term "TBC" got started. Thank you and you are welcome. BTW, the article you listed is relatively new although that method did exist years ago. My references go back to 2008. IF you want, I can probably dig the very first post asking for that method (mandreless) which became TBC. If you want to do it, look at Johnny CNC and Rifleman. Those were the two that told me about a method that a couple of other guys used to turn without the mandrel. FYI.
Not getting into this war of words. Just edited.
I am not skillful, highly skilled or anything else, just a simple pen turner.
 
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leehljp

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JohnT:
Again as I said in post 15 maybe it is time we need to come up with new terms.
Bring them on, but that will be a losing battle. Mandreless is the most definitive and I used it originally, but TBC took over. You seem to lose that bit of information in your arguments against me to make TBC sound like it used incorrectly used. TBC WAS known as to be used with bushings to get started and taken off for finishing. Period, 13, 14, 12 10 years ago. Time does that.

BTW, ever wonder why "Colonel" is spelled the way it is and pronounced "kernel"? In short it is the same as trying to re-define a term, or change a term or use a new word for a term that has already been in use for years!

John,
If my posts irritate you so much, just ignore me and don't post anything else in regard to, or even alluding to my posts. I won't mention you or allude to you either. And this forum can live happily ever after.
 

Woodchipper

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Hmmm. Turning between centers? Mandreless turning? Used car? Preowned car? Pretitled car? Seems like it's all in the semantics. Basically the same thing. No mandrel but without or with some type of bushing?
I was looking into TBC and stumbled across a dead center I had bought eons ago and forgot. Senior moment? Have a bunch of pens to turn and sell at a local market that contains a bunch of vendors. According to the owner, there are no pen turners. One vendor did have 6-8 small bowls in display.
Edit: Will be turning without mandrel or bushings. It was mentioned to measure the pen components rather than go by the bushing dimensions.
 
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jttheclockman

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Hmmm. Turning between centers? Mandreless turning? Used car? Preowned car? Pretitled car? Seems like it's all in the semantics. Basically the same thing. No mandrel but without or with some type of bushing?
I was looking into TBC and stumbled across a dead center I had bought eons ago and forgot. Senior moment? Have a bunch of pens to turn and sell at a local market that contains a bunch of vendors. According to the owner, there are no pen turners. One vendor did have 6-8 small bowls in display.
Edit: Will be turning without mandrel or bushings. It was mentioned to measure the pen components rather than go by the bushing dimensions.
man·drel
[ˈmandrəl]

NOUN
  1. a shaft or spindle in a lathe, to which work is fixed while being turned.
  2. a cylindrical rod around which metal or other material is forged or shaped.



    How about these https://www.amazon.com/PSI-Woodworking-PKMBCM2-Between-Centers/dp/B06Y9265T1
 
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