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Ok, have made 2 pens successfully at this point. The first pen had some gapping in it and I recall after barrel trimming the blank with the pen tube, the brass tube was not flush. I have since exchanged the barrel trimmer as it appeared to have a slight gap where it seated on the shaft. The new one appears flush. The second attempt resulted in a better fit, however one end did not appear quite flush again and the blanks were very tight on the lathe. A slight split appeared at the top of the pen when I pressed the end cap in. Any ideas at all what I need to look at or pay more attention to. Thanks for any replies.:blink:
 

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OK here goes.

Firstly there may be others out there who will see the problem better than I but I will try and answer your question.

When I mill the blanks I do it on my lathe, Others use a drill press and drill press vice. Sticking the mill on your hand drill is not a favoured option:no: :no: :no: .

I use as slow a speed as my lathe will go and then I watch very carefully till I see the first flashes of brass in the shavings. This ensures that the ends of the brass tube are flush and square. I am assuming that you are using a pen mandrel ( sitting the blanks on a shaft with the spacers between them) If so watch how much you tighten the thumb nut at the end. This can force the spacers to either spread and split the wood or to squeeze the brass tube a fraction. The thumbnut should only be hand tight as too much pressure can bend the mandrell barell.

As for the tightness on the barrell and the wood split. you may have left some burring iside the brass tube when you milled the ends. Take a small round file and gently clear the ends of the tubes before mounting them. Also check for excess glue indside the tubes.

I hope this helps
 

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The split could be happening as a result of drilling and then putting your brass tube in straight after, its good practice to drill your blanks and leave them for awhile or overnight pre bore stuff befor you are going to make them, and redrill latter ot following day, if the wood is hot and you then add the tube chances are you will get a split, the wood needs to be cooled down first, depends on type of wood and drill and speed of how you do them. Just keep going have another go, the more you play the more you learn, then you feel great your wifes happy your pockets are empty then the wife moans, great world we live in.
Just go through the process of the making and don't take short cuts and you will get there..LB
 
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