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Old 12-05-2018, 05:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Issues drilling the blank

So I'm new to pen turning and having issues drilling the blank.
I'm using the correct size drill bit as stated in the instructions and I also checked the size of the brass tube.
However, I have used a drill press and drilled another one on the lathe. But I'm finding that the tube will go in half way and then becomes stuck, it goes in the other way ok, but then gets half way and gets stuck again.
I used the drill bit a number of times, but nothing is making the brass tubing go all the way through.
Any ideas?

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Old 12-05-2018, 06:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Stuart; Check the drill bit and see if it is bent. Roll it on a flat surface like a table saw top.

The wood used must be dry. Wood will bend and warp as it dries. The hole the drill bit makes may cause the wood to change dimensions. If you are in AU, it is summer there and that may cause wood to move and bend. Don't use a wood piece with the pith in it. The pith is the center of the wood. If you can see concentric rings around a center spot, that is the pith.


Hope this helps
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Second what Randy said. Also watch your drill speed and feed rate. Acrylics and other plastics can soften or even melt if either is too high.

There are some "recommended" bits that will be awfully close to the brass tube size, so you may want to either sand or ream the hole, or use the next size larger bit. This is where a detailed bit chart will help.
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Randy,
Drill bits are new and I believed the blanks are dried out, as I imported them from the UK months ago.
But in regards to weather.... it's been very hot here over the last few weeks, between 95f - 109f.... roll on Christmas as it's predicted to be just as hot.

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Old 12-05-2018, 07:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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What size bit are you using. If it's 3/8 or larger...pre drill first with a 7mm bit. When you are finished drilling let the blank&bit cool off and drill through again to clean/clear the hole.

You should be able to drill straight through...not 1/2 and flip to other side...that does not work. Take small bites and withdraw. Slow speed rather than fast. Fast speed heats up quickly.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Instructions are important for laying out the parts and assembling correctly.


When you are drilling, if the hole is too tight in the middle, use a SLIGHTLY larger bit. Some wood will contract, don't be afraid to sand the hole larger if the next bit size is too big.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Stuart

One point is not clear - are you drilling from one end, and going all the way through, or are you drilling half way from one end, and then fiipping the blank and completing the hole by drilling from the opposite end?

You should always drill all the way through from one end. If you try drilling half way through from one end, and then flipping the blank end for end to drill the rest of the hole, you will get a hole through the entire length, but the axes of the two holes may not be exactly aligned. That means that there is a discontinuity half way through the hole - the hole won't be perfectly straight for the entire length. But the tube is straight, and will bind when it encounters that discontinuity.

Don't worry about centering the hole on both ends of the blank. The hole must be straight to accommodate the tube. But its OK for the hole at one end to be off center as long as there is enough blank material around the hole to turn the body of the pen.

This is a common problem when drilling on a drill press - the throw often isn't long enough to drill the entire length. Rather than flipping the blank end for end, the correct way to handle the problem is to drill as deep into the blank as is possible for your drill press, and then elevate the blank with the bit in the hole to drill the rest of the way through the blank. I keep some scrap 3/4" thick lumber that I can slip under the drilling vise to elevate the blank without having to change any of the setup on the drill press.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I would like to see your answer to Louie question because doing this for over 10 years I have never heard or had it happen where the center of a drilled hole shrinks. We are talking a pen blank most possible 1" square. I have been woodworking and drilling holes in wood alot longer than that too and never seen this phenomenon. I believe you are drilling from both ends and they do not match up and that is always possible. As mentioned you need to drill from one side only.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monophoto View Post
Stuart

One point is not clear - are you drilling from one end, and going all the way through, or are you drilling half way from one end, and then fiipping the blank and completing the hole by drilling from the opposite end?

You should always drill all the way through from one end. If you try drilling half way through from one end, and then flipping the blank end for end to drill the rest of the hole, you will get a hole through the entire length, but the axes of the two holes may not be exactly aligned. That means that there is a discontinuity half way through the hole - the hole won't be perfectly straight for the entire length. But the tube is straight, and will bind when it encounters that discontinuity.

Don't worry about centering the hole on both ends of the blank. The hole must be straight to accommodate the tube. But its OK for the hole at one end to be off center as long as there is enough blank material around the hole to turn the body of the pen.

This is a common problem when drilling on a drill press - the throw often isn't long enough to drill the entire length. Rather than flipping the blank end for end, the correct way to handle the problem is to drill as deep into the blank as is possible for your drill press, and then elevate the blank with the bit in the hole to drill the rest of the way through the blank. I keep some scrap 3/4" thick lumber that I can slip under the drilling vise to elevate the blank without having to change any of the setup on the drill press.
This was an issue I was having when trying to do longer drilling into a blank. What I've found is exactly what Louie has stated above. You can't start from one end, flip it to the other end and have a straight non-binding hole. If you're bit isn't long enough, go as deep as you can, turn off the DP and loosen the chuck, let the bit slide down into the tube further and then tighten the chuck and start drilling. It works for me and I haven't had a tube stick since I started using this method. One caution though, the drill bit will be hot so let it either cool down or wear gloves.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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In my opinion, the best technique (for me) is to round the blank before drilling and then drill on the lathe. . If you have to drill in from both ends, the fact that the blank is already round gives you pretty good assurance that the two holes will meet accurately in the middle.

Stuart, I have indeed experienced the problem you are having when drilling wood, where the hole is smaller in the middle than on the ends. . I don't know the reason.

My solution is to use a rat-tail file a little smaller in diameter than the smallest part of the hole ... but you have to be careful to not enlarge the two ends of the hole. . I know this is not an elegant solution, but ... hey ... you have to do what works sometimes.

Bear in mind that the recommended drill size is not always the best size to use, depending on your material. . I have found it very worthwhile to have a variety of drill bit sizes close to the size you want to drill. . You can then enlarge holes when necessary. . I know that it's expensive, but I have never regretted buying complete sets of jobber drills in Fractional, Metric, and Letter sizes. . And I always keep a drill size chart handy in the shop.
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