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Old 05-20-2017, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Providence Forge VA
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Default Pen Wizard type tool

I'm very much into making tools. Just finished an air-powered carving tool, using a dental handpiece, to create designs in pens, vases, etc. Made some cole jaws to hold bowls. A few tools. Planning to make a CNC router in the near future.

Anyway, I would like to make something that would do some of the things a Beale pen wizard does. Just don't want to spend the money and, besides, I enjoy the fun of making and using a tool.

Has anyone tried to make something similar and, in you have, could you shard the source of your inspiration, a picture, or other description? Thanks.
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Old 05-20-2017, 12:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There is another thread with links at the end that covers many different kinds of home made and pen related tools and jigs. At the end of this thread you will see a link to the site that collects information on home made tools:
Lathe Thickness Sander.

The link to the tools made by IAP members is here:
Homemade Tools from -

And there is a book by Jim Hylton named "Router Magic" that has a chapter on a home made router lathe that does some of what the Beale Pen lathe does.
Hank Lee

Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!
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Old 05-20-2017, 01:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here is a link to look at.

And this one.

Both are built on lathes, not an independent system like the Wizard, but both show the basic mechanisms that it takes to get the all of the "pieces and parts" to work together to create patterns. Another suggestion is to Google "router lathe jigs" and look at the images and research back to the sources to find other ideahy wastes. The "Router Magic" book that was mentioned also has good info.

You will need a right angle gear set, look at the right angle attachments for hand drills, hint buy the better one. They are sort of a good method to get right to left movement coordinated with the rotation of the blank. You will also need a screw axis, best location to find them is eBay and wait for the slow boat from China. I would suggest looking at the 3D printer axis stuff after you have researched it some, the axis screws and rails will make for a smoother transition than the other methods used in some of the research models that have been suggested.

Another suggestion, build it medium sized, trying to go small will just create more problems in the building process. You can make your own gears if you are building a medium sized version, but the tiny gears are harder to create as accurately. A good size is like the one that Don Ward, Its Virgil posted a week or so ago. Why waste hours, days and then months on making something so small it will only work on pens, make it large enough for other stuff.

Last edited by dogcatcher; 05-20-2017 at 02:01 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This link has the mill that Don Ward posted. After looking at it again I would increase the size a little bit, to about 18" to 22" in length. Also to make it be able to work on at least 6" in diameter projects.
vertex with hexagonal barrel

Note it use belts and pulleys to create gear ratios. Belts will slip, where gears are only as good as the gear maker is. Making pulleys is easier than making a set of gears. If you go the belt method, buy some vacuum cleaner or sewing machine belts and build around them.
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Old 05-20-2017, 02:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Thanks for all the great info and leads.
I will check them out and see
what looks good.
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Old 05-20-2017, 06:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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For DIY the book Router Magic by Bill Hylton provides some fairly detailed instructions for building a stand alone version of a router lathe. Several years ago I took some of his ideas and made a version that would attach to my lathe.

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