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Old 05-26-2014, 07:51 PM   #21 (permalink)
 
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Hi Guys!!! I've tried all the suggestions and sage advice from more experienced pen turners but finally gave up and switched to drilling pen blanks on my lathe using a new Nova Pen turning jaw set... Sooo far after several pen blanks it's turned perfectly and I'm super pleased!!! Regrettably, I feel I 'wasted' over $50 on an expensive drill turning jig that has not served me well... I wish I had gone with my 'gut' instinct and gone with the Nova Pen Turning Jaw set at the beginning and put the $50+ buying nicer pen blanks, etc... Go with the Lathe pen turning jaws vice the drill press pen turning jig!!! P.S.: Anyone want to purchase a 'slightly used' $50 drill press pen turning jig??? ;>)
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shastastan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penburst View Post
I've had a problem with the inlet or outlet of my drilled holes being too large. I've tried doing a "starter hole" with a small stubby bit in hopes that this small bit will remain very rigid and set a good starter hole for the final, larger bit. I avoid brad point bits and remove the bit often to keep it from clogging up and to avoid burning. I stop the lathe each time just before withdrawing the bit to avoid possible enlarging of the hole inlet as the bit "wobbles" just near the inlet. If I still get enlargement of the hole inlet or outlet, what could be the problem?
I might really be off on this....but, I've noticed that the tubes seem to be looser in the blanks than in the past. I've been buying most of my kits from PSI. I really like that their tubes are already "roughed" up. I've tried different makes of drill bits and it doesn't seem to matter. I have to wonder if the tubes are being made just a micro bit smaller? I use the thick CA glue liberally and that seems to work okay.
If your holes are too large, use a smaller drill bit.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:38 PM   #23 (permalink)
 
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For the really big pens and very expensive blanks, I use the lathe to drill, but for 7,8, and 10mm I use the drill press. I noticed that whenyou bring the brad point bits down to the centerpoint of your X on the blank end, it walks a little bit resulting in off center results at the other end. To counter this, with the drill off, bring the brad point down and prick the blank at the X. If you are satisfied it is center press the bit back into the hole LIGHTLY and turn the drill on. It will travel much straighter through the blank as long as you do not go too fast and clean the flukes out often.
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Old 05-30-2014, 04:53 PM   #24 (permalink)
 
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I do get mixed results with the PSI dedicated pen blank chuck. I don't have a Nova chuck, but it sounded interesting so I did some more research. Here's a "how to" the way this guy did it:

Auxiliary Pen Blank Jaws

Fig01 shows why the blank needs to be perfectly square unless you make his jig. Not sure I'm ready to make one yet. I did read some where that another guy used a small hose clamp on the end of the PSI pen blank chuck to try and eliminate any wobble in the chuck. I might just try that. I've had to reassemble my pen chuck because I opened it too far. Not sure If I've got things back to being exactly equally spaced which obviously would affet the hole centering. If I were mass producing, I would probably spring for the Nova Chuck and jaws. I would think that 2 mounting holes per jaw would improve grip stability, too. FWIW
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:31 AM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Here's now I set up my drill press - with a Wixey digital gauge that I originally bought for the table saw.

Just stick the gauge on the chuck, zero it, then put it on the table and set the table to 90 degrees.

I also have the Nova Pen Plus jaw set for my Nova chuck.

I initially went from using the drill press to the drilling on the lathe but when I need to drill accurately - like when drilling a 3/4" blank for a pen that usually uses a 7/8" blank - I do it on the drill press.

To hold the blanks on the drill press I cut a couple of 45 degree cuts in some scrap on the table saw then cut the scrap into two "jaws" to sit in a clamp.

Since the jaws I made are square and the notches I cut are perpendicular to the sides of the jaws, I know that my blanks should be held (and drilled) as straight as is possible with my little benchtop drill press.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:31 AM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Agree with some of the above posts. Brad point bits do seem to wander, especially at the beginning of the hole -- the brad seems to catch on the end grain a bit. To overcome som eof that I bring the lathe speed up pretty high so the drill bit actually cuts across the end grain, then reduce the speed to whatever you feel comfortable with for the particular material you're drilling. For me, standard bits actually seem to drill straighter than the brad points.
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:59 AM   #27 (permalink)
 
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Agree with some of the above posts. Brad point bits do seem to wander, especially at the beginning of the hole -- the brad seems to catch on the end grain a bit. To overcome som eof that I bring the lathe speed up pretty high so the drill bit actually cuts across the end grain, then reduce the speed to whatever you feel comfortable with for the particular material you're drilling. For me, standard bits actually seem to drill straighter than the brad points.
Agreed on the standard bits.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:32 AM   #28 (permalink)
 
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Lots of great stuff but and I am surprised no one mentioned vise flex as an issue. When I started making pens my holes were wondering and one day I noticed if I do not back up the blank against the vise base the vise jaws were flexing. Also using a center drill and standard drill bits gives me a dead on hole every time on the drill press. I have problems on the lathe with chip build up causing my drill to wobble and make the hole oversized so I try to do as much as I can on the drill press and the whole process is faster on the drill press. Also I never use brad points when I have a standard drill.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:08 AM   #29 (permalink)
 
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Lots of great stuff but and I am surprised no one mentioned vise flex as an issue. When I started making pens my holes were wondering and one day I noticed if I do not back up the blank against the vise base the vise jaws were flexing. Also using a center drill and standard drill bits gives me a dead on hole every time on the drill press. I have problems on the lathe with chip build up causing my drill to wobble and make the hole oversized so I try to do as much as I can on the drill press and the whole process is faster on the drill press. Also I never use brad points when I have a standard drill.
I sandwich my blank holders in a basic wood handscrew clamp.

Since I know my table is perpendicular to my chuck and my slots in the blank holders are perpendicular to the table and parallel to the chuck, I just place the blanks between the blank holders, tighten the handscrew clamp, and drill/ream/trim the blanks.

For me, working like this takes some of the variables out of the picture. As far as I know the only variable left is the blank itself - or the actual table of the drill press flexing - but if that happens I think it's time to sharpen the bits. With the blank holders I made I can drill square, rectangular, and round blanks without issue. I'll see how they fare with horn and antler soon enough. I have yet to work with those materials so it'll be a learning experience.

I run the DC with a 2 1/2" hose near the bit while drilling or trimming to keep chips under control and I still double-check to make sure there are no stray chips under the handscrew clamp or blank holders when I switch from one blank to the next.

Often times being a little off center or having the bit wander as you drill won't be an issue but if you're working with segmented blanks and want to carry the design/pattern through the pen properly you HAVE to drill the blank dead nuts - like the slim I attached. If I screwed up drilling that one it'd have been rubbish.

BTW, the reason you see the 82 and 8 degree readings at the top of the Wixey is because it's showing that my floor is at an 8* slope. Makes toolboxes and everything look weird - especially when you hang pictures and such in the shop.
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Last edited by JasonC; 06-04-2014 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:43 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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Drilling blanks on a drill press is far from ideal as many folks have found out. Iíve found drilling on the lathe far easier and much more accurate. I turn the blank between centres first then drill it out.
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