What lathe for pen turning?
#11
  
A friend of mine is interested in getting into pen turning.  First things first - he needs a lathe.  He doesn't want to buy something cheap just to see if he enjoys turning pens, but he also doesn't need top of the line.  He also claims (emphasize the word claims) that he has no interest in turning anything larger than pens or stoppers.  I would appreciate recommendations on a good lathe for his needs that I can pass along to him.

Thanks!

Charlie
"The best marriage advice I ever received was: 'You can live with ugly, but bad cooking can kill you.'" Uncle Albert Styndl
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#12
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
Pretty much any lathe will be able to turn pens - from mini-lathes to tree-turning lathes.  When you say he doesn't want something cheap, but not top of the line, that leaves a LOT of lathes in the mix.  Does he have a budget?

I like my Nova DVR.  It's been replaced by the Nova Galaxi DVR lathe.  A lot of lathe for the money, and it'll turn bowls as well as pens and bottle stoppers.  You can do pens and bottle stoppers with a Jet Mini with variable speed, but that's pretty much all you'll do.  Bowls will be limited in size and what bowls you can turn will take much longer than with a larger lathe.  As with anyone new to turning, your friend will also need to purchase lathe tools (avoid purchasing any "mini" tool kit.  You can do pens with just a spindle gouge and parting tool.  You really don't need a roughing gouge for pens, but you could.  Indispensable is a grinder with a tool rest for sharpening your lathe tools.  Even with the new tool steels, sharpening happens often when turning.  I am not the best at freehand sharpening, so I also have a Oneway Vari-Grind attachment with my grinder.  Pens and bottle stoppers require some specialized tools for holding the work, and each pen style requires its own unique set of bushings which control the diameter of your pen segments.  He'll also need drill bits sized to the barrel diameters of the pens he's turning, and a pen mill or disc sander to face off the ends after installing the barrels.  I use epoxy to glue in the barrels.  Others just use CA glue.  Assembly requires at a minimum an arbor press, pen (assembly press), or some sort of clamp.  Before he jumps into the hobby, I recommend he purchase a book or DVD on pen making, just to ensure he knows what equipment he needs and understands the process to make pens.

Pen making is kind of addictive.  It's the turning equivalent of instant gratification, and you don't waste a lot of wood in the process.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#13
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
I will help you with three different ones and I have owned all of the brands mentioned

The first one is from Penn State Ind and at the time they only sold the 10" or I would have gotten the 12".  The ones I give a link to have the pen kits and everything to make to make them also

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/KWL-10SSB.html

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/KWL-12SSA.html


Here is a link to the Delta 46-460 which I owned after the Penstate one which had the 12.5" swing instead of the 10" swing I had with the other one.

https://www.amazon.com/Delta-Industrial-46-460-2-Inch-Variable-Speed/dp/B00309ZZRQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1504727031&sr=1-1&keywords=delta+46-460

Last is Rikon 70-220VSR of which I had the 10" and had to change the belts instead of the 12" which has the variable speed

http://www.sears.com/rikon-power-tools-12-1-2inch-x-24inch-vsr/p-00925865000P?sid=IDx01192011x000001&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwaLgvKmR1gIVx2F-Ch2TOwobEAQYASABEgIjSPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COTZjPKqkdYCFdNofgodJO0Msw


I seen it said free shipping from Sears.

Hope this helps
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.
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#14
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
(09-06-2017, 11:31 AM)Chuckhead Wrote: A friend of mine is interested in getting into pen turning.  First things first - he needs a lathe.  He doesn't want to buy something cheap just to see if he enjoys turning pens, but he also doesn't need top of the line.  He also claims (emphasize the word claims) that he has no interest in turning anything larger than pens or stoppers.  I would appreciate recommendations on a good lathe for his needs that I can pass along to him.

Thanks!

Charlie

Personally, I think the Rikon or Delta that Arlin linked to are the 2 best choices for a starter lathe.  Both can do much more than pens and are quality products.
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#15
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
(09-06-2017, 11:31 AM)Chuckhead Wrote: A friend of mine is interested in getting into pen turning.  First things first - he needs a lathe.  He doesn't want to buy something cheap just to see if he enjoys turning pens, but he also doesn't need top of the line.  He also claims (emphasize the word claims) that he has no interest in turning anything larger than pens or stoppers.  I would appreciate recommendations on a good lathe for his needs that I can pass along to him.

Thanks!

Charlie

This is an excellent starter lathe.  I have had mine for 10 years and never had any issues.

https://www.amazon.com/1014I-Inch-Indexi...lathe+1014
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#16
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
The Delta is a nice starter lathe, and it's large enough to do bowls as well as pens, but given Delta's moving around between different foster parents, I'd be concerned about availability of warranty service and parts. Jet, Rikon, and Teknatool are good companies with solid histories of quality products. I still have my Jet Mini 1014VSI. It's now dedicated to drive my Beall buffing wheels.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#17
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
i have a delta 46-450 i love..  i used to have a 3520b which was awesome...   on the hunt for another one, i lost that last 3520b in a shop fire
Slow Dancing..... doing vertically what you're wanting to do horizontally
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#18
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
Many thanks all.  My friend really appreciated all your insights.
"The best marriage advice I ever received was: 'You can live with ugly, but bad cooking can kill you.'" Uncle Albert Styndl
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#19
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
My only suggestion to your friend is to remember that turning is a slippery slope. If he can afford it and has the space, I'd get a lathe with a 12" swing. Chances are he's going to want to turn larger projects at some point. I went from never wanting to turn, to only wanting to turn pens to having a dozen bowls turned green waiting on me to do the second turning....
Janus was a disaster, coming or going - K. L, McReynolds 07/01/2015

My blog: http://wcwoodworking.blogspot.com/
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#20
  Re: What lathe for pen turning? by Chuckhead (A friend of mine is ...)
Wood Magazine reviewed the Rikon and the Jet mini-lathes.  

http://www.woodmagazine.com/woodworking-...ini-lathes
No animals were injured or killed in the production of this post.
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