I had turned a couple of pens a few weeks ago. They were slimlines turned on my little 78 dollar Harbor Freight Mini Metal Working Lathe. Well I had a couple of PSI so Called "Big Ben" kits I bought years ago but had been sitting like the slimlines. Today I decided to try one of these for the wife but as they are different diameters at the ends the little metal lathe wouldn't work out very well with out making a tool rest for it. So I drug out the Shopsmith I bought at auction nearly 30 years ago for 130.00. I have used it quite a bit but all I ever turned was a knocker for a set of wind chimes that I held with a bolt in the drill chuck and a make do tool rest as I didn't get a tool rest with the used Shopsmith. Well sometime over the years I got one from Ebay I assume but don't really remember. I may have picked it up back when they opened all the stores back about 20 years ago. Well this is getting to long winded but this is what I ended up with.
I made several mistakes including not tightening down the carriage that the spindle sits on the rail. This caused some chatter that it took me a while to figure out. After I figured that out things went pretty well but when sanding started I had some chatter marks that didn't want to be removed. I also had drilled the blanks larger and glued in the tubes back when I did the other two pens. I forgot the tubes were different lengths and reversed them, this caused the tip to stick out when retracted. I solved that by sanding about an eight inch off of the refill as the end is plastic. Anyway the wife is pleased.
BOW and a PSI Big Ben turned on my Shopsmith..
And the Mandrel is one I made for the Shopsmith using my old beat up Jet 10x24 metal lathe. I made it several years ago but this was its first use..