I’m not sure if this process is right or wrong; unique or common. But it works for me and I want to share in case it's interesting.
07: Center Band CirclesI'm a big fan of switching out the standard slimline center bands with custom wooden ones. Using dowels to create circles can add visual contrast, create a pattern, and gives you a new design element to play with.
last post: 06: Broken Clips
last post: 06: Broken Clips
Every time I drill holes free-hand, the pattern comes out looking haphazard, uneven and sloppy. So I put a jig together to keep the circles lined up properly.
Here’s my process
(Not rocket surgery, just how I do it.)
Light wood dowels
1. I thought using round toothpicks would be a good (and thrifty) idea. But I found an equally inexpensive and better option in the craft section of Walmart. These thin dowels cost $1.30 for a 50 pack and fit perfectly into holes drilled with a 3/32" bit.
Preparing the rough Center Bands
2. I cut a few pieces of dark wood (morado) about 1/3" thick, drilled 1/4" center holes, and separated them into squares.
3. All the squares were mounted and turned round.
Drilling holes for the dowels
Here's where I had some frustration/fun.
Drilling equally spaced holes in a straight line around the band was a challenge. So I built a jig to use in conjunction with a drill press.
This jig ensures all holes are drilled on the same line around the band's circumference and at 45 degree increments.
I'm sharing my 3d print file in case it's helpful to anyone.
4. The wood center bands snap snuggly onto each side of the holder assembly.
5. The jig base is aligned and clamped to the drill press bed. The holder is "plugged" into the jig base and the wood is drilled. Unplug, rotate 45 degrees and repeat.
Drilling at 45 degree increments is easy because of the "star" pattern.
6. In an ideal world I could drill straight through the wood band and out the bottom.
But I'm not that confident in my setup and worry the bit will travel off course.
Drilling to the center also keeps any tear-out on the inside.
7. Once all the holes are drilled, I glue the thin dowels into place with wood glue.
Each thin dowel is 6" long and has plenty of material for the band.
Sharp scissors cut through the dowel easily and keep the end unbroken and usable.
I push the dowels all the way through assuming I will need to re-drill the 1/4" center hole.
(Maybe I should put the center bands on an old mandrel before this step for easier re-drilling?? Hmmmm.)
8. After re-drilling the 1/4" center hole, the band is mounted between blanks and shaped. I took those first cuts lightly.
I'm sure there are better/simpler jigs to accomplish this. Or people are just been more careful while drilling. But this process works for me and it was, frankly, fun to put together.
Incorporating dowels into pen designs can be a great way to introduce unique elements found only in your pens.
Once printed, the two sides of each holder-assembly must be glued together.
- Glue Parts A&B together.
- Glue Parts C&D together.
Part F: (NEW) The wood drilled better when there was support under Part B.
This sliding piece is kept intentionally loose to move where it's needed.
I'm happy to share the model. It is the attached *.gcode file.