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post #1 of 3 Old 04-02-2009, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Noob Question

Yeah, Yeah, I know.... but here it goes....

To do a 3/8" Pen, all I need is the appropriate bushings? The mandrel is universal, right?


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post #2 of 3 Old 04-02-2009, 09:59 PM
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Yes. A mandrel is a mandrel. Each pen style had a different set of bushings so that you can turn the wood to the correct dimensions.

When you say a 3/8" pen, do you mean that you drilled out the blank with a 3/8" bit?

All the bushings have the same inner diameter and fit on the mandrel. Just make sure you follow the directions for your kit. There are some tricks with making some of them....

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post #3 of 3 Old 04-02-2009, 10:10 PM
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In my limited experience, I'd say that's true with the exception of the length of the mandrel. The bushings that I got with the slimline starter kit were only about 1/4" long, where the replacement bushings that I ordered are about 1/2". Depending on the lengths of the tubes used (thus, the length of the blanks) it could be too long for the non-adjustable mandrel.

Also, if you turn things like the mini plumb bob kits, or the short pieces of a teacher's pen kit, you'll have to stack a bunch of bushings together to make the non-adjustable mandrel work.

Had I known all this when I started, I'd have bought the professional pen maker's mandrel. The length is adjustable.

Now that I've looked up all these links, the different length bushings may just be a manufacturer thing.

BTW - I had some brass bushings in my garage that had the same inner diameter as the pen making bushings, so I chucked them up tight on my mandrel and turned them down with a file to make some spares. I noticed that my slimline bushings were getting really worn already. So, you could probably buy some at a home store and make your own for a fraction of the price.

Last edited by b00kemdano; 04-02-2009 at 10:13 PM.
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