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  1. #1

    drilling a pen blank

    I have a problem drilling a pen blank with my drill press. I can only go about half way down, then I have to turn the blank over to finish it.

    Obviously this is a rather less-than-desired way to drill from both ends towards the middle.

    I have looked near-and-far for a drill press that has enough throw to handle the entire pen blank (about 6 inches), but they seem to be non-existent, at least for the hobbiest.

    How is everyone else drilling out pen-blanks?

  2. #2
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    I cut the blanks into the upper and lower barrel sizes (1/8"-longer than needed) and then drill those blanks. Trying to drill the full-length blank is going to be VERY tough, especially trying to control where the bit exits. Cutting the individual barrel pieces first makes this way easier.

  3. #3
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    Like Tom said, and with my benchtop DP, what I have to do to get all of the way through is to start drilling with the blank set on the DP table, drill part way through, then raise the quill with the blank still penetrated by the drill bit, slip a piece of 1X underneath the blank and jig I use to hold the blank and press on the rest of the way through. Once it is through I again allow the bit to be retracted slide the 1X out from beneath it and pull the jig and blank off of the bit.

    With slimlines I can get barely through the blank if I set the table just right, but it's not worth the added effort of messing with the table height to get it just right.

  4. #4
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    Camden, SC, USA.
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    Some of the lower end DP's have a quill travel of about 2&1/4".
    (Some even less)
    My POS Ryobi bench top DP has a travel of 3&1/8 th" which will do just about any penblank out there.
    When I make single barreled pens(about 4") or am looking for accuracy I drill on the lathe with a Collet chuck.

    For me horizontal boring is more accurate but takes longer.
    The length of time makes no difference its' the end result that matters.

    Founding Memeber of the MPG
    Masterful Penmaking Guy


  5. #5
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    Garden Grove, CA, USA.
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    I just bought this one, http://www.steelcitytoolworks.com/pr...y=4&tool=20520 it has a 6" quill travel, and is comming in at $469 (until 3/31 it has a $75 rebate also). I just got it last Thursday and got it set up this weekend, but due to another pressing project I haven't really gotten to play with it yet.

    I got this after dealing with the frustrating HF Drill press for a year, (like 2" travel maybe).

  6. #6
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    Camden, SC, USA.
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    Dbriski-
    That looks sweet!
    But at that price I could buy 2wo more Rikns or Jet Minis.
    Or a VS Jet mini and a bunch of kits.
    I have to admit though that 6" travel looks sweet!
    Let us know how the run out is (if any)




    Founding Memeber of the MPG
    Masterful Penmaking Guy

  7. #7
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    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    I've got a long monster throw on my drill press now, but it ain't changed my drilling technique any. I still start with a gadget Limey made me, one that guarantees down-the-center drilling (hey, it was good enough to make a couple pens from 3/8" black piano keys!). I drill most of the way through the blank, then raise the blank & stick a backer under it for the finals. Just like most of us do.

    I don't use a clamp of any sort, just my fingers. I have yet to get mungled very much doing it that way, even on a bad blowout on bloodwood.

    -- Tim --

    What part of
    Nitrous Oxide
    Don't you understand?
    :)


  8. #8
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    Las Cruces, NM, USA.
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    >When I make single barreled pens(about 4") or am looking for
    >accuracy I drill on the lathe with a Collet chuck.
    >
    >For me horizontal boring is more accurate but takes longer.
    >The length of time makes no difference its' the end result
    >that matters.

    Could you explain that a bit more? I want to use the lathe for horizontal drilling, but I'm not sure exactly how to go about that and still get the accuracy of a drill press. Do you use the collet on the headstock or the tailstock? and what is on the other end of the lathe? I was thinking that a chuck (or collet) on the headstock with a drill chuck on the tailstock would give the best results, but I'm not sure about that. I don't mind the extra time for using the lathe if I can get better results than with the drill press.

    My drill press is very accurate, but I would like to be able to drill deeper than my DP is capable of. I want to do some experimenting with the lathe, but am not able to yet.

    Thanks for your time,


  9. #9
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    Saginaw, Michigan.
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    do you have a picture of such contraption?

    JT

  10. #10
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    RE: drilling a pen blank

    I think they're waiting on a patent for it or something. This thing has been mentioned a few times over the years and folks have asked for further enlightenment on it, but none has been forthcoming that I have seen or recollect (course my recollection ain't working as well as it used to, so I may be mistaken in my recollection or may have just missed the posts spotlighting the device). :)

    So, Timmer or Limey, make me out a fool and give us a show and tell.

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