Mandrel and Miniature Turning SIG
Mandrel & Miniature (Pen) Turning SIG specialises in turning pens and other craft items on a mandrel, as well as turning miniature items such as lace bobbins, Christmas decorations, toys and other small items.
Meetings are conducted in two sessions:
1. Practical Session – 10.00 am to 1.00 pm. Members are encouraged to turn the Pen of the Month, or another project of their choice. Tuition is available for new members and assistance is provided for members turning unfamiliar pen styles.
2. Demonstration Session – 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm in alternate months. The Project of the Month is demonstrated, and any available videos are shown. If time permits, members are encouraged to turn the Project of the Month.
Mandrel and miniature turnings are specialised forms of between-centres turning, using small billets of wood. Mandrel turning is used to produce pens, including fountain pens, biros and propelling pencils. This technique involves drilling small holes through the centres of billets (blanks), which are then threaded onto a metal rod (the mandrel) which supports the wood while the bodies of the pens are turned down to the required shape. The pen mechanisms and fittings are then added from purchased kits. Special mandrels are also used to produce other small craft items such as letter-openers, bottle-stoppers, kaleidoscopes, perfume dispensers and whistles.
With miniature turning, there is no internal metal support, but the wood is still turned to extremely thin dimensions. This method of turning is used for tops, dollhouse furniture, lace bobbins, fishing lures and ‘trembleurs’.