Author Topic: Pen Mandrel  (Read 6811 times)


  • Guest
Re: Pen Mandrel
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2012, 07:27:28 PM »
Hi, Rus55ell1,

Yes I do know, I started with one half then once I knew it worked it put both halves, the key was to adjust the mandrel so that I did not need to use both sets of bushes, once I realised that it was adjustable then everything was fine.

So once again thanks to everyone that pointed me in the right direction.


Stephen A

Brian Hensby

  • Guest
Re: Pen Mandrel
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 09:01:05 PM »
I remember some of the issues i had when turning my first few pens and it was a case of systematically solving the problems as i encountered them so i've written a brief check list which may be of help.
I usually use a set of square bushes of the correct size for the pen tubes i am using as mentioned by another writer here. These then provide the necessary grip between the pen blank and the mandrel ready for turning. A high speed is a must and so too is a fine cut on each pass to achieve the best results.
In relation to the pen tubes it is important to rough them up with abrasive prior to gluing, do not glue the tube home untouched by abrasive as the tube is far too shiny to affect good adhesion, this will prevent slipping once on the mandrel.
When gluing the tubes in, ensure that the glue covers all parts of the brass tube (especially with acrylic) otherwise chip outs may occur. Allow the glue enough time to cure and then use the appropriate barrel trimmer to reduce the pen blank pieces to exactly the size of the brass tubes (You should be able to see the shiny brass end just level with the pen blank on completion of this process).
Place the blanks onto the mandrel separated by the appropriate bushings and tighten up the knurled knob by hand. Do not over tighten as you may distort the mandrel itself or damage those nice square pen barrels you've just done. You may need to periodically check the tightness of the knurled knob now and again (Especially if you hear a noise).Ensure that the tail stock is bought up to the end of the mandrel and secured in place. Do not push/advance the tail stock up to far as bending of the mandrel may again take place, ideally just enough to support the end of the mandrel and no more. This should solve your problems.
kind regards
Brian Hensby