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Old December 20th 06, 04:39 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default lathe speed for pen turning

I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


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Old December 20th 06, 06:29 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default lathe speed for pen turning

wrote:
I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


Congratulations on having chosen a well-respected lathe for your first one!

As I write this, you haven't had any other responses, but are sure to
get several. The gang here, when not engaged in sibling warfare, are a
pretty amiable and skilled lot.

From your tone it sounds as if you are new to turning anything at all
on a lathe.

So, let's start at the beginning.

Start with the fastest speed you feel comfortable with ... likely the
slowest speed on the lathe. Even that may, and probably should, scare
the gee-whillikers out of you. Using only a gouge (the one with the
curved lip) and sandpaper, turn a couple pens at this speed.

Place the gouge ON THE TOOL REST before touching the wood with the
curved back of the gouge away from the cutting edge. Then, maintaining
contact with the tool rest, slide the gouge handle toward the floor
until the lip of the gouge JUST begins to cut. This is called 'riding
the bevel' and is the only safe way that I know of for a beginner to
enter the wood. The only difference between your first piece and what I
do now, after a couple years, is that I now start with the cutting edge
closer to its final point so that I no longer make such an exaggerated
motion of finding the bevel to ride on it.

Do not press the edge into the wood. Let the edge do the cutting
(slicing, actually). Your job is simply to guide it.

When that starts going pretty smoothly (and your knuckles return to
their normal color), crank the speed up a bit and repeat the learning
process. I run mine full-tilt-boogie from rough turning of the blank
until I am ready to begin applying finish to it ... then crank it down
to dead slow again to apply oils and CA ... then crank it all the way
back up to sand and polish & wax.

The amount of material spinning around isn't a particular problem, your
tool presentation is your biggest concern at the moment. Learn how to
enter the wood with the cutting edge at a slower speed so the price of
getting it wrong won't be higher than you can live to tell.

Once you are certain you know how to cut wood on the lathe, let 'er rip.


I'd also like to recommend an inexpensive source of pen kits. I don't
get anything from this referral, but the guy has always treated me
fairly and his prices are about the best out there. He's a turner
himself and can also do laser engraving of the finished product.

Contact Ryan Polokoff at
http://woodturningz.com for inexpensive pen
kits. My unsolicited advice is to start with the $2.00 kits and branch
out into more expensive kits. Do not forget to buy a mandrel and the
necessary bushings to go with each TYPE of kit you buy.

Harbor Freight has an arbor press for assembly for not much money:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3551

And micro-mesh is just the ticket for polishing stuff up
http://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/craftsman_kits.htm

Welcome to the slippery slope. ;-)

Bill


--
When the rich wage war it's the poor who die.
Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord (1951) act 1


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Old December 20th 06, 07:47 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Posts: 66
Default lathe speed for pen turning

at the risk of being contrarian, it is actually scarier to go too slow with
a pen blank - i use 3,000 RPM on my Nova Comet (it's like the Jet Mini) but
1500 would be OK - just take it easy and take small cuts - in fact, you
could practice with 3/4 square stock to get the feel for turning if you
haven't made pens before - then when you get the feel, mount up your pen
blanks.

bill n



"Bill in Detroit" wrote in message
...
wrote:
I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


Congratulations on having chosen a well-respected lathe for your first
one!

As I write this, you haven't had any other responses, but are sure to get
several. The gang here, when not engaged in sibling warfare, are a pretty
amiable and skilled lot.

From your tone it sounds as if you are new to turning anything at all on a
lathe.

So, let's start at the beginning.

Start with the fastest speed you feel comfortable with ... likely the
slowest speed on the lathe. Even that may, and probably should, scare the
gee-whillikers out of you. Using only a gouge (the one with the curved
lip) and sandpaper, turn a couple pens at this speed.

Place the gouge ON THE TOOL REST before touching the wood with the curved
back of the gouge away from the cutting edge. Then, maintaining contact
with the tool rest, slide the gouge handle toward the floor until the lip
of the gouge JUST begins to cut. This is called 'riding the bevel' and is
the only safe way that I know of for a beginner to enter the wood. The
only difference between your first piece and what I do now, after a couple
years, is that I now start with the cutting edge closer to its final point
so that I no longer make such an exaggerated motion of finding the bevel
to ride on it.

Do not press the edge into the wood. Let the edge do the cutting (slicing,
actually). Your job is simply to guide it.

When that starts going pretty smoothly (and your knuckles return to their
normal color), crank the speed up a bit and repeat the learning process. I
run mine full-tilt-boogie from rough turning of the blank until I am ready
to begin applying finish to it ... then crank it down to dead slow again
to apply oils and CA ... then crank it all the way back up to sand and
polish & wax.

The amount of material spinning around isn't a particular problem, your
tool presentation is your biggest concern at the moment. Learn how to
enter the wood with the cutting edge at a slower speed so the price of
getting it wrong won't be higher than you can live to tell.

Once you are certain you know how to cut wood on the lathe, let 'er rip.


I'd also like to recommend an inexpensive source of pen kits. I don't get
anything from this referral, but the guy has always treated me fairly and
his prices are about the best out there. He's a turner himself and can
also do laser engraving of the finished product.

Contact Ryan Polokoff at
http://woodturningz.com for inexpensive pen kits.
My unsolicited advice is to start with the $2.00 kits and branch out into
more expensive kits. Do not forget to buy a mandrel and the necessary
bushings to go with each TYPE of kit you buy.

Harbor Freight has an arbor press for assembly for not much money:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3551

And micro-mesh is just the ticket for polishing stuff up
http://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/craftsman_kits.htm

Welcome to the slippery slope. ;-)

Bill


--
When the rich wage war it's the poor who die.
Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord (1951) act 1


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Old December 20th 06, 02:39 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Posts: 20
Default lathe speed for pen turning


wrote:
I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


I tend to agree with Bill Noble. I turn my pens at about 2000rpm+.
However, if you go to
www.pennstateind.com, they have a good tutorial
at the bottom of the "pen making kits" page. They also have a CD
available, I believe, for free. I got mine years ago and it was free
then.

Good luck.

Mike

  #5   Report Post  
Old December 20th 06, 02:40 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Jul 2006
Posts: 20
Default lathe speed for pen turning


wrote:
I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


I tend to agree with Bill Noble. I turn my pens at about 2000rpm+.
However, if you go to
www.pennstateind.com, they have a good tutorial
at the bottom of the "pen making kits" page. They also have a CD
available, I believe, for free. I got mine years ago and it was free
then.

Good luck.

Mike



  #6   Report Post  
Old December 21st 06, 02:21 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Nov 2006
Posts: 622
Default lathe speed for pen turning

William Noble wrote:
at the risk of being contrarian, it is actually scarier to go too slow with
a pen blank - i use 3,000 RPM on my Nova Comet (it's like the Jet Mini) but
1500 would be OK - just take it easy and take small cuts - in fact, you
could practice with 3/4 square stock to get the feel for turning if you
haven't made pens before - then when you get the feel, mount up your pen
blanks.

bill n



I agree ... as I mentioned, I use mine at full tilt boogie for the
turning. But until the OP has spent at least a few minutes making cuts,
it would be good if his first catch or two had only minor repercussions.

Once he's seen a few of those, the fear factor goes way down, the
respect factor gets dialed in and bolted down and the enjoyment factor
goes way up. That, at least, was my personal experience.

To the OP:
Gouge, chisel, skew and parting tool ... once you get comfortable with
the skew, IMHO, it's a whole new ball game. That said, practice using
and sharpening all of the tools because they each exist for time-honored
reasons.

Bill

--
There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare
that obscures.
James Thurber


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Old December 21st 06, 03:03 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Dec 2006
Posts: 3
Default lathe speed for pen turning

Thanks for all the great information. I used a lathe in high school,
but that was 25 years ago; so I'm pretty rusty. I purchased all the
pen making stuff I need from Woodcraft and woodturnerscatalog.com.
I'll check out woodturningz.com before I order more parts.

--Scott

Bill in Detroit wrote:
wrote:
I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


Congratulations on having chosen a well-respected lathe for your first one!

As I write this, you haven't had any other responses, but are sure to
get several. The gang here, when not engaged in sibling warfare, are a
pretty amiable and skilled lot.

From your tone it sounds as if you are new to turning anything at all
on a lathe.

So, let's start at the beginning.

Start with the fastest speed you feel comfortable with ... likely the
slowest speed on the lathe. Even that may, and probably should, scare
the gee-whillikers out of you. Using only a gouge (the one with the
curved lip) and sandpaper, turn a couple pens at this speed.

Place the gouge ON THE TOOL REST before touching the wood with the
curved back of the gouge away from the cutting edge. Then, maintaining
contact with the tool rest, slide the gouge handle toward the floor
until the lip of the gouge JUST begins to cut. This is called 'riding
the bevel' and is the only safe way that I know of for a beginner to
enter the wood. The only difference between your first piece and what I
do now, after a couple years, is that I now start with the cutting edge
closer to its final point so that I no longer make such an exaggerated
motion of finding the bevel to ride on it.

Do not press the edge into the wood. Let the edge do the cutting
(slicing, actually). Your job is simply to guide it.

When that starts going pretty smoothly (and your knuckles return to
their normal color), crank the speed up a bit and repeat the learning
process. I run mine full-tilt-boogie from rough turning of the blank
until I am ready to begin applying finish to it ... then crank it down
to dead slow again to apply oils and CA ... then crank it all the way
back up to sand and polish & wax.

The amount of material spinning around isn't a particular problem, your
tool presentation is your biggest concern at the moment. Learn how to
enter the wood with the cutting edge at a slower speed so the price of
getting it wrong won't be higher than you can live to tell.

Once you are certain you know how to cut wood on the lathe, let 'er rip.


I'd also like to recommend an inexpensive source of pen kits. I don't
get anything from this referral, but the guy has always treated me
fairly and his prices are about the best out there. He's a turner
himself and can also do laser engraving of the finished product.

Contact Ryan Polokoff at
http://woodturningz.com for inexpensive pen
kits. My unsolicited advice is to start with the $2.00 kits and branch
out into more expensive kits. Do not forget to buy a mandrel and the
necessary bushings to go with each TYPE of kit you buy.

Harbor Freight has an arbor press for assembly for not much money:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3551

And micro-mesh is just the ticket for polishing stuff up
http://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/craftsman_kits.htm

Welcome to the slippery slope. ;-)

Bill


--
When the rich wage war it's the poor who die.
Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord (1951) act 1


---
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Virus Database (VPS): 0660-0, 12/19/2006
Tested on: 12/20/2006 12:29:17 AM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2006 ALWIL Software.
http://www.avast.com


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Old December 21st 06, 07:33 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Oct 2006
Posts: 66
Default lathe speed for pen turning

if you are worried about that "first catch", leave the nut that tightens the
blanks onto the arbor a bit loose - otherwise, a catch with a pen blank is
pretty non-threatening.

Now, a catch with a 90 pound bowl blank that launches it into the ceiling
and shatters your fluorescent lights and bounces all over the place.... now
that is threatening (don't ask me how I learned that fact) .... interesting
that I haven't had a serious catch in years now - I think there is something
about experience that comes into play......



wrote in message
ups.com...
Thanks for all the great information. I used a lathe in high school,
but that was 25 years ago; so I'm pretty rusty. I purchased all the
pen making stuff I need from Woodcraft and woodturnerscatalog.com.
I'll check out woodturningz.com before I order more parts.

--Scott

Bill in Detroit wrote:
wrote:
I just got a Jet mini lathe and want to start turning pens. What lathe
speed should I use?


--Scott


Congratulations on having chosen a well-respected lathe for your first
one!

As I write this, you haven't had any other responses, but are sure to
get several. The gang here, when not engaged in sibling warfare, are a
pretty amiable and skilled lot.

From your tone it sounds as if you are new to turning anything at all
on a lathe.

So, let's start at the beginning.

Start with the fastest speed you feel comfortable with ... likely the
slowest speed on the lathe. Even that may, and probably should, scare
the gee-whillikers out of you. Using only a gouge (the one with the
curved lip) and sandpaper, turn a couple pens at this speed.

Place the gouge ON THE TOOL REST before touching the wood with the
curved back of the gouge away from the cutting edge. Then, maintaining
contact with the tool rest, slide the gouge handle toward the floor
until the lip of the gouge JUST begins to cut. This is called 'riding
the bevel' and is the only safe way that I know of for a beginner to
enter the wood. The only difference between your first piece and what I
do now, after a couple years, is that I now start with the cutting edge
closer to its final point so that I no longer make such an exaggerated
motion of finding the bevel to ride on it.

Do not press the edge into the wood. Let the edge do the cutting
(slicing, actually). Your job is simply to guide it.

When that starts going pretty smoothly (and your knuckles return to
their normal color), crank the speed up a bit and repeat the learning
process. I run mine full-tilt-boogie from rough turning of the blank
until I am ready to begin applying finish to it ... then crank it down
to dead slow again to apply oils and CA ... then crank it all the way
back up to sand and polish & wax.

The amount of material spinning around isn't a particular problem, your
tool presentation is your biggest concern at the moment. Learn how to
enter the wood with the cutting edge at a slower speed so the price of
getting it wrong won't be higher than you can live to tell.

Once you are certain you know how to cut wood on the lathe, let 'er rip.


I'd also like to recommend an inexpensive source of pen kits. I don't
get anything from this referral, but the guy has always treated me
fairly and his prices are about the best out there. He's a turner
himself and can also do laser engraving of the finished product.

Contact Ryan Polokoff at
http://woodturningz.com for inexpensive pen
kits. My unsolicited advice is to start with the $2.00 kits and branch
out into more expensive kits. Do not forget to buy a mandrel and the
necessary bushings to go with each TYPE of kit you buy.

Harbor Freight has an arbor press for assembly for not much money:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=3551

And micro-mesh is just the ticket for polishing stuff up
http://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/craftsman_kits.htm

Welcome to the slippery slope. ;-)

Bill


--
When the rich wage war it's the poor who die.
Jean-Paul Sartre, The Devil and the Good Lord (1951) act 1


---
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Tested on: 12/20/2006 12:29:17 AM
avast! - copyright (c) 1988-2006 ALWIL Software.
http://www.avast.com





--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

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Old December 23rd 06, 12:10 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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First recorded activity by DIYBanter: Nov 2006
Posts: 622
Default lathe speed for pen turning

William Noble wrote:
if you are worried about that "first catch", leave the nut that tightens the
blanks onto the arbor a bit loose - otherwise, a catch with a pen blank is
pretty non-threatening.

Now, a catch with a 90 pound bowl blank that launches it into the ceiling
and shatters your fluorescent lights and bounces all over the place.... now
that is threatening (don't ask me how I learned that fact) .... interesting
that I haven't had a serious catch in years now - I think there is something
about experience that comes into play......


Yup, every catch I've ever had taught the exact same lesson:

"Don't Do that!"

My most recent catch was near the end of a thin-walled bowl. It
shattered into 3 large, jagged pieces. One of 'em caught my ear as it
went by.

Not too bad, but that was enough of the lathe for a couple of days.

Bill


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