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Mandrel Size Info?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Jim Bennett, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Jim Bennett

    Jim Bennett

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
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    Location (City & State):
    Folsom, CA
    I’ve got a Nova 16-24 lathe and have made several bowls along with a couple spindles, so bottom line is that I’m pretty much a newbie. I want to turn a few pens for gifts and have a question about mandrels. I got a batch of fairly basic “slimline” pen kits from Amazon that require 7mm drill bit, mandrel, etc. Are mandrels for pen turning all various sizes like the drill bits, or does one size pretty much fit all? The pen kits in got indicate that I need a 7mm drill and a 7mm mandrel. What about if in the future I get pen kits that use something other than 7mm tubes - do I need yet another mandrel, or just a different set of bushings?

    Thanks, Jim
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Location (City & State):
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    Most pen kits call out bushings to fit the A size (7 mm) mandrel. There is also a B size mandrel, but I think that it might be on the endangered species list. You might also consider bushings that are designed to be used without a mandrel although for a beginner using a mandrel is easier. I would recommend getting a special live center designed for use with a pen mandrel. A regular live center can sometimes cause the andrel to bow from too much tailstock pressure. The special pen live center reduces the problem by not putting any pressure on the mandrel.
     
  3. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Location (City & State):
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    I don't make many pens but I use the same 1/4" pen mandrel for everything and then buy the right size pen bushings to do the different pens. So far I have never needed anything but the 1/4" pen mandrel. I still use my normal live center but try to put just the minimum pressure on it each time. Again I don't make a lot of pens so maybe I won't ever wear it out or bend it.
     
  4. Jim Bennett

    Jim Bennett

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    32
    Location (City & State):
    Folsom, CA
    Bill and John - thanks for the replies. Sounds like one single mandrel and a couple different bushings ought to get me started. Much appreciated.

    Regards, Jim
     

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