About once a week someone in the Pen Turning group on Facebook asks if there is a list of kits, tubes, bushings, etc. Something that they can refer to when they need help with a specific kit. Most people ask, I have noticed, because they find similarities between certain kits.
Take the Wall Street II pen kit from Woodcraft, for example. Take a good look…
Now take a look at the Manhatten from Rockler. Do you see any similarities?
Of course, you do. They’re the same thing! Actually, there are more than a few kits sold at different retailers with different names that are, for all intents and purposes, the same thing! Furthermore, Woodcraft has a Wall Street, Wall Street II, and even a Wall Street III. All of which have slightly different dimensions and therefore require different accessories to make them; replacement tubes and bushings, for example. Needless to say, when dealing with different kits that are so similar, it can get a little confusing. You will see Wall Street, Manhattan, Sierra, Gatsby and you may say to yourself, “Well, what’s the difference? Are they all the same thing? Help!”
Well, you’re in luck! Over at penturners.org, or IAP (International Association of Penturners) you can hear a small voice saying, “I’m Wayne. I’m here to rescue you.” At an attempt to avoid any confusion about this pen kit issue, Wayne has put together a “Bushing and Tube Dimensions” chart. It is a comprehensive pen kit list that includes the major and minor suppliers (Rockler, PSI, Woodcraft, Smittys, and more) and each of their pen kits with the specifications listed below:
- Category and Size
- Kit Style
- Replacement Tubes (by model number)
- Bushings (also by model number)
- Drill bit needed for tube (upper and lower)
- Dimensions of tube (upper and lower)
- and Dimensions of the bushings (upper and lower)
Here is a preview of what it looks like on penturners.org. They are sorted by the supplier in alphabetical order.
This amazing guide will answer any question you have about these kits like:
- “What size tube does this kit have?”
- “What bushings do I need for this kit?”
You can also see for yourself EXACTLY what the difference between all the “similar” kits is. There are several downloadable pdf. files. Wayne has created one for each supplier as well as one for ALL suppliers. Click IAP Pen Tube and Dimensions Chart to view this tool in our “Resources” page.
Along with the downloadable pdf. files, there is also an iPhone app available for iPhone users on iTunes for $.99, a small price to pay for such a helpful tool. The app contains the same information as the pdf. but also has a few features that make it really awesome such as,
- It is sortable- you can sort the information however you like; by supplier, by kit, by accessories, etc.
- It contains a drill bit converter for converting between inch fractional, inch decimal, metric and gauge drill sizes
- A 30-digit, 4-function calculator. It has several advanced features not found in many simple calculators including a memory cell and the ability to display data in decimal or scientific notation.
- Instructions and Bushing Drawings are available for some of the kits
- And lastly, the app will automatically download database updates and the kit reference files from the IAP server.
Needless to say, this resource, whether you use the app or the pdf. file, can help you stay organized and accurate; 2 things that can help you be successful in making your pens.
I want to give a huge shout out to Wayne from IAP. Thank you, Wayne, for allowing me to post this information and I hope we all will find it very helpful. I know it has helped a lot of people so far including myself. To everyone reading this, please go to penturners.org and join in on all the cool stuff that’s going on there. There are forums, contests, and much, much more!
Thank you all for visiting this site and for reading this. Let me know below how this reference tool has helped you.