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I'm relatively new to pen making and recently got the Whiteside barrel trimmer. I like that it gets the end of the blank dead square to the tube. But, I'm still trying to figure out what method to use to quickly trim the end without accidentally trimming the brass tube. So far it's been trim, check, trim some more, check, trim some more, check. OK, you get the idea. Anybody got a tip to get it dead flush to the tube without over-trimming?
 

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I do mine on a drill press (not sure if you're using drill press or on the lathe) and I hold the blank with a pair of channel lock pliers. Just go slow with the feed and watch. You'll see the brass get bright. Tiny little shaving like that has not hurt a thing so far.
 

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Gold Coast. OZ
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I put mine in a machine vice square it up with a small machinist square.

Then just work the drill press down slowly until the smallest amount of brass is reached.

The pens mechanism has enough margin of safety to take the barest minimum amount of brass off but not the reverse way if you do not take enough.

I still have to stop, look and listen though. ( that's the road safety whistle ) Works for pens too.

Pete
 

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I recently have an interest in wood turning. Haven't done any pen turnings yet. While I was doing research trying to acquaint myself with different techniques, I ran into this YouTube video by Dave Bell. I think he has some good points and techniques that I would like to try once I am ready to give it a try. I like his way of squaring the end of the blank. It seems like it's very simple and a sure way of getting the blank end squared. I watched 2 out of 3 of his videos about preparing pen blanks.

Here is the link.

http://youtu.be/a3DC3n2IQLE

You'll see how he squares the end of the blank in the very early part of the video.
 
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