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Lou Ferrarini
10-15-2006, 8:15 AM
Well the bug has bitten and I guess I am ready to dive in. I am looking at picking up the mini Rikon or Jet. Beside the obvious tuning tools and a way to sharpen them what else do I need to turn pens? I do have a drill press for drilling blanks. Are special drill bits required? Is a lathe chuck needed?

Which would you choose, Ricon or Jet? Sorry for all the questions but would like to keep initial expendatures down to a minimum and not buy anything I really don't need.

Thanks for the help.

Dennis Peacock
10-15-2006, 8:24 AM
Good Morning Lou,

While not a pen turning expert, I can help answer your question.

1. You'll need a "Pen Mandrel" that will fit the Morse taper on your new lathe. Many lathes have a #2 morse taper. Get a good pen mandrel while your getting. Should be uner $20.

2. Make sure you have a small box to keep the various pen bushings in as many pen kits have their own special sized bushings and keeping them seperate in a container will make it a lot easier when you go to look for those Flattop American pen bushings a few months from now. DAMHIKT :o

3. Get you a good assortment of sandpaper. This should also include the Micro-Mesh sandpaper that goes up to 12,000 grit.

4. A barrel trimmer (sheesh, I hope that's the right term) comes in handy on the DP for trimming those pen blanks with the brass tube glued in them to be flat and true.

I used to finish all my pens with a Shellac / Carnuba Wax blend that I ordered from online. It's a friction finish and works pretty nicely.

I did most of my pen turning with a 3/8" spindle gouge and I turned MANY pens with a 3/4" skew.

Best of luck to ya and welcome to the spinny world. :D

Tom Hintz
10-15-2006, 9:03 AM
I have a story on turning pens that shows most of the tools and equipment in use. See the link below.
One of the nice things about pens is you don't need a whole bunch of stuff to do it. Lots of guys make some of the tools/equipment, some get acrried away and go into production. Beware - turning pens is just as addictive as anything else in turning!

http://www.newwoodworker.com/turning/trnpens.html

Bill Turpin
10-15-2006, 9:35 AM
There is nothing inexpensive about turning pens. It becomes just as addictive as any other form of turning. BUT I LOVE IT!!!! Have fun.

Bill in WNC mountains

Bernie Weishapl
10-15-2006, 10:53 AM
Lou you can't go wrong with either the Jet or Rikon. I just got the Rikon at Woodcraft on sale for $219.99. I have turned on it for a couple of hours now and like it a lot. As far as pens go woodturningz.com is the cheapest way to go. Give them a call. They are extremely helpful. You will need a 7 MM bit to drill the slimlines.

Bart Leetch
10-15-2006, 12:47 PM
The book Turning Pen & pencils by Kip Christensen & Rex Burningham & or the DVD's by the same I have both the book & both DVD's but then I'm an information hog. You can also get a free DVD from Pennstate Industries by going on line here http://www.pennstateind.com/ its right on the first page. I used to use a 3/8" gouge but found I like the 3/4" one better I also use a 1/2" skew & a parting tool. They don't have to be the most expensive tools I used some high speed steel Craftsman tools that I got at a garage sale a set of 12 for $20 actually purchased & given to me by a friend.

I use plexi glass finish if you want Terry Millers info on how to make & use it PM me. I sand 150, 220, 320, the micro mesh.

I have & like the Wolverine sharpening jig with the fine white sharpening wheel on a 6" grinder 3450 RPM & use a light touch & have had no problem sharpening tools just a quick touch up from time to time about to 30 seconds to a minute any more & your wasting steel & time.

Lou Ferrarini
10-15-2006, 1:57 PM
Well I just got back from Woodcraft with a Rikon in the truck. Could't pass up the sale. Probably pick up the Delta grinder this weekend. Well, on to woodturningz. I can see where this is going.

Thanks for all the info, and I'm sure I will have plenty more questions.

Don Baer
10-15-2006, 2:08 PM
Lou,
Great choice, your gonna like the little machine.

But I guess it's realy not there cause I can't see it..:rolleyes:

W.C. Turner
10-15-2006, 2:53 PM
<<<"what else do I need to turn pens?">>> My answer is "A lot of money" just to get started.

I've also thought about turning just a few pens, but, it's kinda confusing, trying to decide what is actually needed to begin. I guess I'll forget about it, especially, after Bart Leetch told me how much he spent, to get started!

Scott Donley
10-15-2006, 3:15 PM
Hi, you might start with something like this (http://www.pennstateind.com/store/pkstart1f.html) , eveything you need to start but the sandpaper. the set includes the mandrel of your choice and the 7mm drill bit, and bushings. Use a quick grip clamp for the pen press (or something like it ) and you have a good start. Also, be sure to get their FREE dvd on turning pens.

Lou Ferrarini
10-15-2006, 5:08 PM
Lou,
Great choice, your gonna like the little machine.

But I guess it's realy not there cause I can't see it..:rolleyes:

OK, I'll try to post a pix later. Right now i'm too busy turning.

All kidding aside, I set it up and just played around turning a few spindles from scrap. Looks like a nice machine.

Lou Ferrarini
10-15-2006, 6:43 PM
OK, Heres the pix:

BTW, I cleaned up the dust before I took the pictures.

Lathe:

And a scrap piece of Mahogany. My first turning....

Don Baer
10-15-2006, 6:45 PM
Great looking bonker and a great looking machine.

Nancy Laird
10-15-2006, 6:57 PM
<<<"what else do I need to turn pens?">>> My answer is "A lot of money" just to get started.

I've also thought about turning just a few pens, but, it's kinda confusing, trying to decide what is actually needed to begin. I guess I'll forget about it, especially, after Bart Leetch told me how much he spent, to get started!

I agree with Scott, start with a kit to see if you like it, then you can go on to bigger and better things. Aside from my lathe, I think I have about $400 in blanks, kits, bushings, barrel trimmer, pen press, finishing stuff (sandpaper, ScotchBrite pads, and crystal cost), and boxes. We already had the turning tools (I'm using full-sized), but we bought a set of mini tools that I've tried to use once and put away. I've already made my money back with the pens I've sold. Now...if I can just get the deposit on that big order for 50 pens from one man, I'll be sitting pretty.

Nancy

Corey Hallagan
10-15-2006, 8:36 PM
Excellent choice Lou! Enjoy the lathe and hope to see the first pen soon!

Corey

CORY FETZER
10-15-2006, 10:29 PM
good choice on the rikon have fun with it as my budget is limited i only bought what i really needed to get started but i have a full shop of tools to start with

got the #2 morse taper which comes with the 7mm bushings for the slimlines
and the 7mm drill bit

use my drill bit/drill press with vise to drill blanks
did not get the barrell trimmer as clerk at woodcraft told me i didnt need it if i have a belt disc sander and that is what i use the disk part with table and fence i started with the slimline kits and my son also makes these hope this was some help
there are some sights with some jigs u can make i made a press dont like it though would rather use my machinists vise with wood blocks to press pens together

just have fun with it

David Klug
10-16-2006, 12:53 AM
What is a barrel trimmer used for? I have a SS after I have the inserts glued in I use the disk sander and miter guage to sand the wood down to the brass. Is the trimmer used for the same thing?

DK

Scott Donley
10-16-2006, 3:19 AM
What is a barrel trimmer used for? I have a SS after I have the inserts glued in I use the disk sander and miter guage to sand the wood down to the brass. Is the trimmer used for the same thing?

DKYes, also cleans out any glue you might have gotten in the tube. Hows Carmichael ? I lived there and Fair Oaks many years ago, went to Bella Vista High school for a couple years, probably changed a bit in the last 40 years I bet :D