Turning Archive 2006

large pen mill vs. sander jig? *LINK*

Ken Platt (Granby, CT)
>Folks - In making a larger type pen than I've done before (Berea El Grande) I found that my 1/2" pen mill isn't big enough (the larger tube of this kit is 33/64ths diameter). So I went online to buy a 3/4" trimmer, but while poking around found something called a "universal pen blank trimmer" (link below). I was wondering if anyone had used this, and how well it worked. I can't tell from anything I found how it manages to, as claimed, fit all tube sizes. If that claim is true, it'd save me time over making shims to fit over the shaft of my current barrel trimmer. At about $18, it's comparable in price with the 3/4" barrel trimmer cutter also (those seem to vary from $13 at Packard to $20 at Craft Supplies).

I've looked at plans for shop-made sander jigs, but the ones I found seemed a bit complicated or needed materials I didn't have (an extra pen mandrel, for example). If this jig works, I'd much rather spend the $18 for it and spend my time making pens.

Thanks for all thoughts, experiences, etc, as well as any ideas for any other "quick n dirty" ways to square a large pen tube to the blank.


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