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I have a Rikon 70-050VS which is now replaced by another model.  Love it plus it has a 5 year warranty.  Good move for the class at Woodcraft.  I took the class last year and got one for a grandson for Christmas.  Our local store is outstanding.  Turning is addictive and expensive.  I have only been in the WC store once and not bought anything.  As pointed out, the lathe is the cheapest part.  If you look at the shops of some of the renowned turners, you will see a whole sackful of various tools.

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On 12/23/2017 at 2:02 PM, Bankstick said:

 ....I have only been in the WC store once and not bought anything.....

I went to Woodcraft one time and didn't buy anything -

- it was late on a Sunday and I'd forgotten they closed early.

:)

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Did a little more shopping. So far I am at. 

 

Rikon midi lathe

supernova 2 chuck

psi drill chuck

psi mandrel and bushing

easy wood rougher and finisher

Barrel turner for my drill to trim the ends 

hand saw to cut the blanks to size 

 

 

i got 50 psi pen kits

25 walnut and 25 cherry blanks

doctor woodshop friction polish

ca glue 

 

Going to start knocking some pens out this weekend when I am done with some projects and get the garage cleaned up and organized. 

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If you have the option, making a disc sander and table for the lathe is the preferred method for barrel trimming.  The trimmers are known to shatter blanks or damage the tube from time to time.   I usually prefer to use my disc sander, but if the blank won't sit on the table square, I'll use the trimmer.  And using a hand drill might be the worst way to trim.  I prefer to mount the trimmer in the jacobs chuck and use light hand pressure to trim.  That way I rarely over trim, and I can feel what is happening to the blank.

Get some CA accelerator, not a must, but makes life nice.

Also get the abrasive pads upto 12000.  CA finish before is sanded/down, is usually kinda rough.  It's like a mottled matte finish.  I do like to use this style fore certain pens because it has a special feel to it, but 95% of the pens i turn get sanded to a fine polish, and then I use a 'chemical' polisher. 

Dig around on Amazon or other stores for the 100 blank grab bag box, I got mine for $30 last time.  Walnut and Cherry is nice to work with in a board, and they turn really well, but that's a lot of pens, those blanks will get boring.  The grab bags have a bunch of exotics in them, and a handful a special domestics.   Nice clean wood that we would normally love for general wood working becomes boring in pen turning. 

Make sure you have the right bushings for the pen kits you ordered.  The bushings that come with the mandrel are of a generic size, and are best used as spacers. 

And I don't see a pen press on the list.

Oh and a set of transfer punches become invaluable for when you have to disassemble a pen.  I didn't think it would be that hard until I had to.  I also sprung for the custom vice grips to hold the pen. 

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7 hours ago, Marmotjr said:

And I don't see a pen press on the list.

 

You're going to need a pen press to assembly the pen unless you're going to use a vise. A vise will work but I wouldn't recommend it. A pen press is so much easier to use and the spring in one acts like a third hand when assembling. It takes about 30 seconds with a pen press. In class we struggled with a vise type press, even the instructor has trouble with it and it was his store brand device.

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 You can get a set of plastic "presses" for the lathe from Woodcraft but the press is more efficient and easier to use.  I also have a Teknatool Supernova2 chuck with  the regular jaws, plus I bought pen jaws and Cole jaws.  Nice for the $$$ and it has several different jaws for different things.  Some of the guys in our tuning club have two or three chucks- some dedicated for one operation as bowl turning.

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I did get some accelerator. I am using my three inch bench vise to assemble the pens. I have a set of rubber jaws for it and it worked great for me. I will end up getting more blanks but for the price these were good to start with. Turned up a cherry pen a little while ago for a guy at work. 

 

One thing i want want to get is the nova pen jaws. 

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I use the pen mill set from Woodcraft.  I tried the sanding method for squaring the blank and tube but didn't like the results.  Plus, I can set up the drill press and not have to fool with anything else.  Look at my setup- ready for drilling or trimming; just change bits or the pen mill.

 

IMG_20171118_060456492_HDR.jpg

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16 hours ago, WBurke said:

One thing i want want to get is the nova pen jaws.

Be prepared for these not to work well on the first go.  There's been a rash of complaints of these jaws over on IAP.   Apparently there was a run of them not milled properly, and they got released to the public.  When fully closed, the tips of the jaws are separated by a significant amount, enough to make blanks wobble.  So if they aren't closing up correctly, give Nova customer service a call, and they have reportedly been replacing the defective jaws. 

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On 12/31/2017 at 10:44 AM, Bankstick said:

 Some of the guys in our tuning club have two or three chucks- some dedicated for one operation as bowl turning.

I have two chuck's and I'm budgeting for a third. I'm lazy and don't like to stop my turning to switch out jaws. So far I have the jaws that came with the Nova G2 and a set of large flat jaws mounted. I would like to set a pen jaws or smaller diameter jaws.

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11 hours ago, Marmotjr said:

Be prepared for these not to work well on the first go.  There's been a rash of complaints of these jaws over on IAP.   Apparently there was a run of them not milled properly, and they got released to the public.  When fully closed, the tips of the jaws are separated by a significant amount, enough to make blanks wobble.  So if they aren't closing up correctly, give Nova customer service a call, and they have reportedly been replacing the defective jaws. 

Noted. Thank you. Can’t decide if I want to get the nova pen jaws and just keep them mounted to this chuck all the time. Or just buy the psi pen chuck. 

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On 1/1/2018 at 7:55 AM, Bankstick said:

I use the pen mill set from Woodcraft.  I tried the sanding method for squaring the blank and tube but didn't like the results.  

 

I'm with Bankstick on this.  The barrel trimmer ensures a face that's perfectly perpendicular to the tube every time.  I've had issues when the hole is not quite square with the ends of the blank and when sanding to get to the final size, the whole thing ends up askew.  With the barrel trimmer, I use my drill press, go slow and take light passes.  I have lost exactly 2 blanks to the trimmer.

 

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4 hours ago, WBurke said:

Not the best one ever but here is my first pen. Made with a cherry blank. Dr woodshop friction polish and then carbua wax. I think it turned out alright. Any the guy that works for me sure likes it. 

1E774AB7-C7EF-4067-9BF7-019AAB12C5E9.jpeg

Good looking pen there!  I probably made two dozen this season for gifts.  There are so many awesome pen and wood combos out there!

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19 hours ago, WBurke said:

Noted. Thank you. Can’t decide if I want to get the nova pen jaws and just keep them mounted to this chuck all the time. Or just buy the psi pen chuck

I have the PSI chuck ,and have no complaints, as long as I use for it just pen blanks.  I've tried using it for other purposes, and it usually doesn't go so well.   But it was kinda like using a blender to make a pot roast.... eh not so much.    I also own the NOVA, and love it, I just don't use it for pens. 

 

7 hours ago, SirNot said:

The barrel trimmer ensures a face that's perfectly perpendicular to the tube every time.

I've been delving into the more obscure pen kits, with weird tube sizes, and the trimmer shafts just don't exist for these sizes.  I use the trimmer to get close to the end of the tube on these, using the shaft to clean out the tube, and then jump over to the sander to square it up.   But then, I do sometimes use just the trimmer, or sometimes just sanding.   I just mention all this (repeatedly apparently :) ) cause having wonky trimmer results is a fairly common complaint. 

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Nice looking pens ! 

I noticed your drill press handles and hub look very similar to mine. My  handles have been bad about wiggling loose and the threads stripping out.  The new owners of Delta no longer sell parts for any of the old stuff ( mid 90's ) I decided to sand the chrome off around each hole and the ends of the handle rods. Liberally slathered on J B Weld and glued them back in place. I also built up a collar around each connection. Looks like hell but it has held up well so far.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Turned a couple more today. Each one gets a little better. 

First one was another slim line with walnut for one of my employees. 

Rifle kit was Bolivian coffee wood. 

Made a mistake on the first rifle kit and didn’t have the bushing set right so I ruined that blank and brass tube  :rolleyes:

 

FA75B238-E91C-4548-B9FA-B7393833CEA9.jpeg

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On 12/21/2017 at 10:14 PM, WBurke said:

Well me and my buddy had a great time at the class Monday. I brought home the rikon lathe and set it up. We also ordered 100 pen kits and 100 blanks to split. I picked up a psi drill chuck. Psi pen mandrel the better one. And decided on the super nova 2 chuck I got off amazon for $129. Now to make a list for woodcraft and get the rest of what I need. Wife said I have to wait till after Christmas, I’m thinking I got a gift card. 

That’s the reason Woodcraft and Rockler offer free/inexpensive classes;)! My wife gets comped rooms at our closest (Lake Charles) casino and we could spend a weekend at a Trump hotel and come out cheaper after she gets off the slots. 

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