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Step 13: Mistake #1: Wrong End Diameter

Before I had the chuck method in which I could string on bushings to help meet the diameter for slimline pens (i.e. my jam chuck method), I had to just eyeball the diameter. Sometimes, taking the part off and on the lathe messed up my concentricity and I got lopsided diameters at the end. In the picture below, you can see how the hole is off centered, significantly. :(

In the picture below, you can see what you should've gotten, had you maintained concentricity.

It's much easier to get this when you use the Jacob's chuck method I described, or at least hold the jam chuck in a chuck instead of between centers. To at least make the lopsided version look more normal, you can sand perpendicular to the tube to shorten the length but get a thicker diameter at the end. Then taper down the end more naturally by spinning the tube by hand at an angle against a belt sander. More difficult but that's the only way, short of managing to remount on the lathe.