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Thread: bottle stopper instruction problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    bottle stopper instruction problem

    I'm getting ready to make six of the PSI silicone bottle stoppers from kit #BS5.
    The instructions say to drill a 23/64"X3/4" hole into the blank to accept the lathe chuck which is screwed on to the blank for turning.
    I opted to glue the stepped dowel directly into the blank, chuck it up in my mini, turn, put on the silly-cone part and 'voila' finished stopper.
    Didn't work out.
    The small part of the dowel that is supposed to go into the blank is actually 13/32" in diameter.
    I understand the smaller 23/64" is designed to allow the lathe chuck to screw into the hole and grip firmly for turning.
    But, even then the hole would be too small to accept a 13/32" dowel. Wat were they thinking?
    I'll now have to redrill sixteen blanks. (yes, there are ten sets to a kit, I made extra blanks)
    Not the first time I have encountered differences between small project kit instructions and real life.
    Mebbe someday I'll larn to test and experiment before plunging in. Only saving grace is the wood for the blanks was all scrap.
    Might still be scrap after I finish.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Bummer that you didn't discover the problem until after you'd drilled all the blanks. I've gotten to where I don't trust the dimensions given for a lot of small kits. One of the pen kits I do (don't recall which one) required one of the barrels to be drilled to some oddball size, so I bought a high-end drill bit from the pen kit supplier (Arizona Silhouette) to match. Turns out the bit makes a hole that's somewhere between 1/16" and 1/32" too wide for the pen tubes. We're talkin' rattling around too much for epoxy to fix loose. Fortunately, I only ruined one blank with the new bit. I checked, double-checked, and re-checked again and confirmed that the bit was the advertised size, and it was the size recommended on the AS website. It was still wrong, though. Now I just use another bit (which I already had) that's not as grossly oversized.

    I've not brought up the problem to Arizona Silhouette, since the last time I complained about a problem with an order from them (a missing part in a $15 pen kit), I got a lukewarm "we're sorry" response, with no offer to send me the missing part.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Bummer that you didn't discover the problem until after you'd drilled all the blanks. I've gotten to where I don't trust the dimensions given for a lot of small kits. One of the pen kits I do (don't recall which one) required one of the barrels to be drilled to some oddball size, so I bought a high-end drill bit from the pen kit supplier (Arizona Silhouette) to match. Turns out the bit makes a hole that's somewhere between 1/16" and 1/32" too wide for the pen tubes. We're talkin' rattling around too much for epoxy to fix loose. Fortunately, I only ruined one blank with the new bit. I checked, double-checked, and re-checked again and confirmed that the bit was the advertised size, and it was the size recommended on the AS website. It was still wrong, though. Now I just use another bit (which I already had) that's not as grossly oversized.

    I've not brought up the problem to Arizona Silhouette, since the last time I complained about a problem with an order from them (a missing part in a $15 pen kit), I got a lukewarm "we're sorry" response, with no offer to send me the missing part.
    AS is nice when you send money.
    I have posted tons on the penturing forums about 'weirdo drill bit sizes' required for pen kits. It's a racket.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    6,098
    Man that is another reason I use Woodturningz.com. Ordered a batch of new pen kits the other day for some students, ordered the bushings, but somehow forgot the drill bit (not a 7 mm) note saying, thought you might find you needed this!. Beth, Ryan, Fritz all good folks!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Reno, Nv
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    Never had a problem with CS stuff. I have maybe 6 different kits and a lot of bits cross over. Can't speak to the customer service because I've never needed it. For stoppers, I stick with Ruth Niles stuff. I had the pleasure of talking to her the other day and was genuinely humbled to talk to a legend. All her stuff fits and can be used with other items from other suppliers.

    p.s. Jonathan...that is great service!! Glad you found them!
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    Frank,
    When I make the silicone stoppers, I drill for the screw chuck and use that, but I've noticed that the small end of the dowels still don't slip into the drilled hole smoothly... I've always taken the little dowels to my one inch sander and spun them against the sander until it fits... usually takes about one or two turns against the belt... then a drop or two of CA and you're done.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Burr View Post
    Never had a problem with CS stuff. I have maybe 6 different kits and a lot of bits cross over. Can't speak to the customer service because I've never needed it. For stoppers, I stick with Ruth Niles stuff. I had the pleasure of talking to her the other day and was genuinely humbled to talk to a legend. All her stuff fits and can be used with other items from other suppliers.

    p.s. Jonathan...that is great service!! Glad you found them!
    My source for 99% of my pen kits is CS. Dunno why I didn't look for these in there. I ordered from PSI because a friend said he gets his there. But, now I know.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    drama continues

    For something that should be a simple as making these stoppers, things sure get frustrating quickly.
    I put the stopper chuck on lathe, chucked up the provided 23/64" drill bit and drilled a blank.
    Went to lathe and found the hole quite a bit too large to work with the chuck. Wat wuz PSI thinking? Obviously, they don't know. That is a big reason I usually deal with CS. Errors like this are usually in their computers and the order taker can advise what you really need when the catalog is wrong.
    PSI doesn't know to do that.
    And, as I pointed out earlier, the hole (oversize for the chuck) is UNDERSIZED for the stopper dowel
    Why can't anything be simple???
    PSI is not on my happy list.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
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    Final solution with PSI.....
    I finally got to talk with their tech support guy. He provided no support at all. In response to everything I said, he only answered "Yes". Finally I got tired of this and said: "You are admitting PSI knowingly shipped defective merchandise." He paused and finally replied, "Some people, like you, cannot make it work." I told him I didn't appreciate the "like you" comment and asked for a return shipping label so I could return for full credit. He put me on hold and never came back. After a long-long wait a lady came on and asked what was happening. I told her. She immeditately e-mailed me a return label and the stuff is on the way back to PSI now.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    falcon heights, minnesota
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    sounds like you had the same kind of runaround from psi that i got frank, and that's why i won't do business with them again, period. as for me, i buy my stopper kits from ruth at torne lignum. a bit on the pricey side, yes, but i've never had a problem with any of the stoppers i bought from her.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

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