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Old 01-02-2011, 05:03 PM
jltrice jltrice is offline
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Default Pen turning

I have a Shopsmith 510. I have not used the lathe yet. I am interested in turning some small things, pens, bottle stoppers, etc. Can I do it on my Shopsmith? I only have the spur drive center. Are there options for driving from a MT2 arbor? It also appears that the tool rest cannot be placed close enough for these small items???

Any insights to this type of turning would be appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:13 PM
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bettyt44720 bettyt44720 is online now
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Default pen turning on a shopsmith

shopsmith no longer sells a pen mandrel. however pennstate industries has two that will work. one has a 5/8" bore that will mount directly on the spindle, the other is a straight replacement shaft that can be held in your drill chuck or the 1/4" router chuck if you have one. i reccomend the 5/8" bore to 1"x8tpi spindle adapter so that you can use most commonly available lathe accessories on your shopsmith. feel free to ask any specific questions you may have. i have turned about 250 pens on my shopsmith so you may know that the standard shopsmith toolrest works very well.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:33 PM
jltrice jltrice is offline
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Thank you for your quick response and forgive my lack of experience here. I looked up the spindle adapter you recommended but I still do not see how that will help me with pen turning. What are you putting on the drive end? An arbor?

Once I over come this one, I will tackle the tool rest. My standard tool rest doesn't seem to be able to be positioned for pen turning.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:11 PM
dasgud dasgud is offline
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Hi jltrice,
When I called PSI to buy a starter pen set-up I told them I will be turning on a Shopsmith and they knew exactly what to send to me. It was exactly what I needed too.
Their customer service was really good and they know about SS.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:32 PM
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jltrice
Welcome to the Forum. I just started turning pens. This Basic Pen Making Starter Set w/ 5/8 Mandrel is for shopsmith. And Here is just the Mandrel.
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Old 01-02-2011, 06:55 PM
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wa2crk wa2crk is offline
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JLTrice
The morse #2 taper can be removed from the mandrel shaft and the shaft can then be used with the SS drill chuck. It is difficult to turn some pens with the SS tool rest because ther standard tool rest will not fit between the drill chuck and the tail stock. When the barrel of the pen is turned the lathe tool will sometimes be too far from the work and may cause a chatter. Try to get the SS shorter tool rest to get in closer. If you have a lift assist installed then the tool rest carriage can not be moved far enough to the right and you may find that the lathe tool will fall off the right end of the tool rest. This may ruin your project. In my case I use #2 Morse taper extension available from Grizzly Industries for about $10.00. This has the effect of moving the turning about 4" to the left to give enough room for the tool rest.
Bill V
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:45 PM
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hdtran hdtran is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jltrice
I have a Shopsmith 510. I have not used the lathe yet. I am interested in turning some small things, pens, bottle stoppers, etc. Can I do it on my Shopsmith? I only have the spur drive center. Are there options for driving from a MT2 arbor? It also appears that the tool rest cannot be placed close enough for these small items???

Any insights to this type of turning would be appreciated.

Yes, you can. You need to get a pen mandrel, as others have suggested, Penn State Industries, model PKM-CL. I personally like using a live center on the tailstock; you can either buy the Shopsmith live center, or buy a cheap Morse #2 live center from, say, Harbor Freight tools.

As others have said, the standard toolrest is somewhat clunky, but I haven't had any problems. You can't get it as close to your work as with a dedicated mini-lathe, but you can certainly get close enough to do good stuff!

For making bottle stoppers, you will want a chuck. I just made a pepper grinder, using the Shopsmith Talon/Oneway chuck; buy either directly from Shopsmith, or from some other store, and get a Shopsmith adapter. I imagine that this chuck would also work (with some adapting) for bottle stoppers.

Your standard lathe tools will work just fine; you don't need a pen-specific set of gouges. You will need the appropriate bushing kit for whichever type of pen you want to make. Buy the bushings when you buy the pen kits, and store them in a marked ziploc bag (or other unique container).

Sharpening your lathe gouges is important, so you need to think how you'll do that.

For me, anyway, as someone else has put it, making pens is like eating potato chips--you can't stop with just one!

I'm strictly an amateur, but check out my Picasa gallery for some of the pens that I've made on the Shopsmith:
http://picasaweb.google.com/hy.d.tran/Pens#

Regards,

hdt
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:45 PM
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fiatben fiatben is offline
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Default been there, done that

I first started making pens (and pencils) about 15 years ago and all I had was a SS. It's been so long ago I don't even remember the details. I eventually got so enthused with small turnings that I bought a mini-lathe, but I doubt that my results on it were any better. No advice; everyone else has it covered and are much more recent than I am, having not turned a pen in about 10 years (life got in the way of woodworking, and I hate it when that happens!).
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:00 AM
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Default shopsmith toolrest

in this pic you can see the shopsmith toolrest.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_7028 (Small).JPG (48.2 KB, 224 views)
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Last edited by bettyt44720 : 01-03-2011 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:32 AM
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Don't forget the live center.

Or you could also try the "Mandrel Saver" from Penn State

I got one for Christmas and it works as advertised.
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