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Rick's Custom Tools Rick Herrell's custom turning tools

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Old 01-25-2012, 11:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
rherrell's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pilot Mtn., NC
Posts: 5,842
Photos: 114

Default "Custom Made" penturning tools/accessories


If it's 13 ozs. or less and will fit into a 6x9 poly mailer...$4

Small Flat Rate Box... $7

99% of my orders will fit into those two categories.

If you order a rest over 10" or if your order is too large to fit in a Small Flat Rate Box then a Medium Flat Rate Box will be $13

International shipping will be whatever it costs me.


I want to THANK YOU for looking at my products, they're all made by me in my one man shop. All of these tools came about by my having a need for a custom tool and then making it for myself. I use these products every day and if they didn't work flawlessly I wouldn't offer them to you.

I don't have a website so if you want to place an order or if you have a question, PM me and we'll have a chat.

I also make "one off" tools so if you have an idea or a need for a "special" tool, give me a holler and we'll see what we can do.


Custom threaded mandrels for fountain pens...ONLY $20 each

You'll need to send me the die you use and a drilled and tapped blank for each size, both will be returned unharmed.

Pen taps are varied and expensive so I can't afford to have them all, I need the drilled and tapped blank so I can custom fit the mandrel.




1 1/2" die holder adapter that fits in the LMS 1" die holder...$25 each

The die holder adapter in these photos is made from steel, the one you'll get will be aluminum.

I can also make a custom sized holder for any size die you have.

This product is the 1 1/2" adapter ONLY, you will need the Little Machine Shop die holder in order to use my adapter. Here's the link...




This tool, along with three other tools that you most likely already have, allows you to turn your lathe into a 5" disc sander.

We've all sanded on our lathe like this.....

 The problem with this method is you only use the center of the paper and it still really doesn't work that well.

This tool allows you to OFFSET the blank, which allows you to use the WHOLE disc.


It has 3 different positions that allow you to move to a new spot whenever you want. The V-groove holds a transfer punch and the handle tightens everything down. To use it you just hold even downward pressure on the blank and push it into the disc...REAL simple!

If you don't want to use transfer punches you can put a regular pen mandrel in it and use your tube sleeves to take up the slack.

You can even use my Sanding Mill if you already have one of those.

You'll get the jig and a 1/2" steel bar that fits in your tailstock drill chuck. The steel bar has a flat spot milled in it which allows you to tighten the set screw securely.



The other three things you'll need are a disc, a set of transfer punches and a 1/2" drill chuck. If you purchased your lathe new it most likely came with a FACE PLATE which you can turn into the sanding disc, if not you can buy them just about anywhere for very little.

If you want a more precise method of holding the blank than transfer punches, how about using my PIN CHUCKS. They're an EXACT fit for your tube and can also be used for CLOSED END turning.
Two uses for the price of one!!



I made my disc out of shelving material that has Formica on it. I needed the Formica because I use "sticky" discs, if you want to use the "hook and loop" discs you can make your disc from anything you can put some Velcro on.

Another option is to buy a spindle tap and make your own faceplates out of wood, Beall sells the taps in just about every spindle thread size.

The price for this jig is only $40



One of our fellow members, Mack Cameron (Mack C.) emailed me and asked if I could make an adapter that would fit the morse taper part of a standard pen mandrel. It sounded like a good idea so I made one to see if it would work...AND IT DOES!

This is what I came up with...



What this does is eliminate the need for a drill chuck, so if you don't have a drill chuck then this might be just the ticket!

It has 1/4"-28 threads on it and the other end fits in the jig like the regular 1/2" rod does. It DOES NOT include the morse taper part, just the threaded rod.

Here's a link to the one from Bear Tooth Woods...Bear Tooth Woods - Precision MT#2 Driver

NOTE: Be sure your morse taper part has 1/4"x28tpi threads, some are METRIC!

If you want this adapter add $5 to the price of the jig.


These are made from W-1 precision ground tool steel, the shiney stuff, so your turning tools will just glide over the surface.

They are VERY high quality, anybody that's familiar with my products knows that. They all come with a money back guarantee. If FOR ANY REASON you're not happy with it, send it back and I'll return your money, plus shipping, NO QUESTIONS ASKED.

They all come with a brass trim ring and have flats ground in them so you can get a wrench on them. This makes for a "modular" system, if you wish you can buy several different length rests and interchange them on the same post.

These tool posts are made of W-1 tool steel which is rust "resistant" NOT rust "proof". If your shop is a high humidity environment then a light coat of wax will help prevent rust.

Post prices are.......

5/8" and smaller...$25

Larger than 5/8"...$35

I stock up to 1" material so we need to talk if you want a post larger than 1".

NOTICE: If you order a 1" post... PLEASE CHECK THE DIAMETER WITH CALIPERS! Some posts are 25mm which is REAL close, but a 1" post won't fit a 25mm banjo.

Rests, UP TO 12", will be $10ea. ADD $1 PER INCH to any rest over 12".

PLEASE NOTE: 9" is the longest length I recommend for a 5/8" post, 12" for a 25mm or 1" post. Having said that I WILL make you any length you want.

As you can see from the prices, this is not some get rich scheme. I'm doing this as a service to my fellow IAP members and frankly, it will give me something to do!!

I encourage you, before you order, to go out to your lathe and be sure of the length you want. I personally like 3.25". George wanted his 2.75". That's the beauty of this, it's not a "one size fits all" deal.

Besides the lengths of the rests you want, I'll need two measurements from you... the TOTAL height (post plus rest, just measure your factory rest from TOP to BOTTOM), and the diameter of the post.

Here's a sample of the "height" measurement I need...
(click photo to enlarge)

This one is 6 1/4", yours will probably be different

I take PayPal and personal checks. PM me and I'll send you my PayPal address.



I had a customer request one of these to use with his carbide turning tool and he liked it so much I decided to add it to my inventory.

I don't have a carbide tool...YET!...but I'm told the flat top rest works well with the flat bottom of the tool, giving you more control.

I designed them to fit my standard tool posts so if you have one of mine then these will fit, the only difference is the diameter.

Since the threaded hole in my standard round tool rest is only .125" from the surface I made these "flat" ones .125" bigger. If you have a 5/8" round post then you need to order a 3/4" "flat top" rest, if you have a 1" or 25mm post you'll need to order a 7/8" "flat top" rest.

Since I remove .125" of material to form the flat, THE HEIGHT WILL REMAIN THE SAME, it will just be a tad wider which isn't a problem.

The price for the 3/4" flat top rest is $20.

The price for the 7/8" flat top rest is $25.

PM me and I'll give you my PayPal address.


These STOP COLLARS are designed to keep your toolpost at the same height EVERY TIME you use it, no more fumbling around to get it set at the right height, with these you just set it and forget it!


They're made from aluminum and have 3 NYLON set screws, the nylon screw won't ding up your post like a standard steel one will.

They hold tight and use a small slotted screwdriver so no Allen wrench is needed.

I can make them ANY size you want but I'm going to stock 5/8"and 1", those are by far the most common.

PLEASE check the diameter of your post with calipers before ordering.

Price is $10 ea.

The price is the same no matter what size you order.

PM me with your order.....THANKS!

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Now all of you ShopSmith owners can use any of my custom rests when you
purchase one of these slick new posts...

This shows it with one of my Flat Top rests attached...NOT INCLUDED.


Here it is by itself...


You'll get the post and the brass trim ring for only $35, ANY SIZE... that's a STEAL considering how much machining is involved!

PM me with your order and I'll give you my PayPal address.


Dial Indicator Posts
and Adapters

In my opinion, everyone who owns a lathe needs a dial indicator. They're invaluable for making sure WHATEVER you have chucked in your lathe is running true. Probably the most common use for penturners is to check the runout on a pen mandrel...

Another one I use alot is checking the runout on a pin chuck...

WHATEVER you turn will benefit from making sure that it's "running true".
With that in mind I designed an economical way to attach a dial indicator to one of my "Custom Tool Rests"...

This shows the two most common sizes, the one on the left has 1/2" threads and fits a 1" post, the one on the right has 3/8" threads and fits on a 5/8" post.
Here it is with the DI installed but before it gets screwed onto the post...

Here it is screwed onto my 1" post...

All I need from you is the thread size of your post. The cap screw is INCLUDED and takes a 3/16" allen wrench.
As with all my custom made tools, these are economically priced to be affordable to everyone... $10 ea.
For those of you that don't have one of my tool rests or for those that would like a DEDICATED DI holder( which I highly recommend) I designed this...

I can make them any size, just measure the diameter of you factory rest. I'll also need the distance from the TOP of your banjo to the CENTERLINE of your lathe.

Here's a photo of the measurement I need....just a hair under 4" on my lathe.
For all of you uneducated out there, "hair" is a technical term for 1/32".

As you can see in the photo, these are made from aluminum and have a "stop" on them. That stop enables you to SET IT AND FORGET IT! Every time you grab it it will be set to the correct height, that's a real nice feature. I need that banjo/centerline dimension to make sure the "stop" is in the right position. It has about 1/2" of adjustment in it so when you get it you just set it once and...FORGET IT!

The stop is milled to the radius of the post to make it more functional and to give it a "cleaner" look.

All the screws are included, you'll need a 3/16" allen wrench for the DI and a 9/64" for the stop.

The dial indicator is NOT provided, that's something you will have to buy yourself.

I recommend a standard AGD GROUP 2 DI with a 2 1/4" dial and 1" of travel.

BE SURE TO ORDER THE INDICATOR WITH A LUG BACK, you need the lug to be able to bolt it to the holder.

Here's one at Amazon Amazon.com: Dial Indicator, 1" x 0.001": Home Improvement

The price is only $20!

I accept Pay Pal and personal checks.



These pin chucks are custom made for any size pen you want to make, most folks use them to make “closed end” pens but they can be used for ANYTHING with a hole in it that you want to turn on a lathe.
They're made from the same tool steel as my TOOL RESTS and will last forever....IF you take reasonable care of them!
They are approx. 4” long and have a 1/8” pin that fits in an 5/8” long slot. The turned down part that fits inside the tube is about 1/2” longer than the tube so you have some room to work on the end of your blank.
The little “dimple” you see is a reference mark so when you're done and want to remove the blank, you turn the chuck so the dimple is on top, that way the pin won't fall on the floor and roll under something........can you say ...” Murphy's Law”?

After making quite a few I've found that I can make any pin chuck for a pen using just four sizes of stock....1/4", 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8". These are common collet sizes so there shouldn't be a problem.

IF YOU WANT YOUR PIN CHUCK MADE FROM SOME OTHER SIZE LET ME KNOW...otherwise it will be made from one of the above sizes in blue.

I have a lot of different pen kits in stock but I don't have them all. If you want a pin chuck to fit something I don't have I'll either order that size tube OR you can send me the tubes and I'll return them with your order.
Measuring the I.D. of tubes with calipers is fine for some applications but not for this, I like to have the tubes I'm fitting on hand so I can insure a perfect fit.

This is the pin chuck mounted in a collet chuck, ready to accept a blank.

This shows a sample that I turned down to a pen cap shape....works like a charm!

These little guys are only$17 ea. , no matter what size you want!
PM me and I'll give you my PayPal address.



I have offered the older version of this tool for several years and have sold ALOT of them. If you want to read the comments by satisfied customers you can go here........

This is my new version of an old tool....

I had some requests for a sanding mill that had TWO flat and true sides so folks could use the short side for smaller stuff.

I also wanted a simpler way to make them.......

The old way with wood, brass and glue took WAY too long to make, consequently I had to charge what I thought was a little too much. With this new design not only will you be getting a better product, you'll be paying LESS for it, how often does that happen?!

(Unless of course you really want one!)

This new version does NOT include sandpaper or punch!

To make the discs get some sticky backed sandpaper and cut it into small squares, I use the 5" round discs made for an orbital sander. A regular notebook paper punch will punch a perfectly sized hole for the shaft.
I use 100 grit for mine but experiment and see what's right FOR YOU!
Here's a photo of the sanding mill....


The price for the new model is ONLY $20!

This part shows my old style mill but the process is the same with the new one....

Here's a photo with one of my sleeves installed. The rod on the mill is the same size as your standard "A" penturners mandrel so you can make sleeves from a slimline tube if you like.
The one in the photo is made out of Delrin to fit a Sierra style pen tube...

Here it is with the Sierra barrel attached and ready to go...

I use mine at about 1,000 rpm and just push real lightly, it's really easy to use and you'll get the hang of it right away!

If you don't want to make your own sleeves I charge $5 each for sleeves that are an exact fit for the tube.
If you would like a complete set of sleeves see below...............

PLEASE note that this is a FINISHING tool. It's NOT meant to take the place of a regular pen mill or disc sander. This tool is meant to be used on already turned barrels and really excells at removing CA and squaring things up prior to assembly. You'll be amazed at how much better everything fits after using this tool.

PM me if you would like one and I'll get back to you with my PAY-PAL address. I will also accept checks.


These sleeves are NOT an exact fit like the ones I offer above, these are the same sizes as a set of transfer punches.

These are used the same way the transfer punches are used for my OFFSET SANDING JIG, you need to use a slight downward pressure when using them. While they are not an exact fit there is only .015" between sleeves so the one you choose will be REAL close.

The price for 17 sleeves AND this nifty little stand made from MDF is only $50. That's a $35 savings on the sleeves and the stand is FREE!


For only $60 I'll include one of my SANDING MILLS!!

That means you get the SANDING MILL for ONLY $10, WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Thanks for looking!


Straight Shank Dead Centers

I made one of these for Mike (navycop) who has a Shopsmith and he wanted to turn between centers with custom bushings. The Shopsmith doesn't have a Morse taper so he needed a center with NO taper that he could mount in his drill chuck.

Afterwards I got to thinking...I'll bet these would work great for those of us with Beall or other brands of collet chucks who are tired of removing the chuck so we can insert our Morse taper dead center into our headstock and turn between centers.

The one in the photo is 1/2" X 3" but I can make them ANY diameter and ANY length you want. They are STRAIGHT, i.e. NO TAPER, and have a standard 60 degree end. They're made from the same high quality tool steel as my Custom Tool Rests.

I harden them by heating the tip to a cherry red and quickly plunging it into cold water, I tried to turn one on my metal lathe AFTER it was hardened and I dulled my HSS cutter so I know it's hard enough for TBC. The photos show one right after hardening and then after it's been polished, you'll receive the polished variety!

I'm asking $12 each...ANY DIAMETER, ANY LENGTH.

PM me and we'll discuss your needs and I'll give you my PayPal address for payment.


Lathe Sanding Table
NOTICE : This table is NOT for squaring blanks to the tube, see my OFFSET LATHE SANDING JIG for that.

This is the answer for all of you who would like a disc sander but don't have the room or the budget for a stand alone model. I designed it to screw on to my toolposts so if you already have one you're all set, if not then you will need to order a post to make it work.

It's made from 1/2" MDF for flatness and stability and is covered with authentic Formica for a smooth surface and a lifetime of use. It also has a 1/4" x 1/4" channel routed on two sides so you can make your own fences.
The mounting block is made from 5/8" thick solid aluminum.
If you need a post I'll discount it $5 if you buy the post and table together.

The price for the table only is $25-plus shipping.

Table plus 5/8" post...$45-plus shipping

Table plus 1" post...$55- plus shipping.

You need to make your own fences, I won't be offering them for sale. I just used scrap wood and CA glued it together.

In the last photo I'm using the slot like a V-block, great for round blanks!

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Rick Herrell
Pilot Mtn.,NC

"The pain of using a cheap tool lingers long after the joy of saving money has passed"

Last edited by rherrell; 03-13-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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Old 02-11-2017, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
Russell M's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Lacon Il
Posts: 6
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Rich i have a oneway 1224 would like a 1 inch tool post 4 1/8 long and a 3 1/4 and 6 inch and 9 inch rest if you send me a paypal request to dirt_devil132000@yahoo.com i will send payment

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Old 02-11-2017, 04:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Rick. I would like to order a 1 inch post mine measures 4 1/2 inches tall also would like a 3 1/2 6 9 inch rests if you send email to dirt_ devil132000@yahoo.com with total i will pay
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Old 02-11-2017, 05:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Rick, after years of wanting one, I bought your offset sanding jig. I cannot believe I waited so long. The tool works wonderfully and is so much faster and better than even my coveted Nolan carbide pen mill.

One of my favorite parts is I don't have to stop and pull the blank out and see if it is close to the brass tube. When the brass touches the sandpaper it makes a very distinctive sound, when I hear that sound I know it is done.

You will save money by buying this sanding jig! Think of the blanks you have ruined with a pen mill.

Non Impedite Raditioni Cogitationis.
(Unencumbered by the thought process.)
Tom and Ray Magliozzi
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2009
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I would like a 5/8'' post 5-1/4'' for the height
also a 4'' and 6'' round rest and a 4'' flat rest
Please PM me total and I will pay by paypal
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
rherrell's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pilot Mtn., NC
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Originally Posted by napagibb View Post
I would like a 5/8'' post 5-1/4'' for the height
also a 4'' and 6'' round rest and a 4'' flat rest
Please PM me total and I will pay by paypal
PM sent Steve...THANKS!
Rick Herrell
Pilot Mtn.,NC

"The pain of using a cheap tool lingers long after the joy of saving money has passed"
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Old 02-20-2017, 06:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Rick. I'd like to order the offset sanding Jig. Thanks, Jim
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Old 02-23-2017, 08:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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rick I would like to order the offset sanding jig and adapter please
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Northern Lower Michigan
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Default Right angle tool rest.

Rick, I am looking for a right angle tool rest on a 1" post. The outside dimension of each side should be 5" and the post connected at the intersection of each direction. (at the bend) I would like to have this using your round stock.

PM me if that is possible to do. Rich
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Towradgi Australia
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Hello Rick, my order arrived safely, to the Antipodes today. Set everything up easily and the build quality is great.

Thanks Mate
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