Turning Archive 2006

Subject:
Beall Treen Mandrel?

Joe Pack
>I am considering adding small boxes to my craft show lineup. I need to produce them quickly and accurately in order to make them worthwhile profit-wise...my typical craft show customer has a "price point," and doesn't care whether the item took 10 minutes or 1 hour to make, as long as it is attractive and the cost is "reasonable."

A couple of years ago, when I first got started turning for craft shows, I saw the Beall treen mandrel. At the time I was (1) not confident enough to tackle making such items in quantity for sale and (2) not pleased that the I.D. was limited to 1 1/4". Now, they offer an expansion kit that will allow for 1 1/2" and 2" I.D. holes which sound like they would be more marketable.

It would seem that, with this system, a lot of time spent hollowing and test-fitting could be saved by drilling the blank with a Fostner bit, then fitting the blank and top to the mandrel and guides for turning the outside. I am curious, though, if this mandrel system is actually workable/practical, or if it is a "miracle broom" type product.

I know I can learn to hollow boxes, but, if this system can save a great deal of time, I can produce more items for sale in the same amount of time. As they say, whoever "they" is, "time is money." Don't get me wrong - I don't sell junk. I may make quite a bit, but I don't sell it. :-) I'm just looking to crank up the "production" machine if I can.

If you have any experience with the Beall treen system, would you mind sharing?

Thanks. And merry Christmas to all.

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