Drilling pen blanks

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Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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This is my drilling setup with a Wilton machinist's vise (from Lowe's) on the drill press table. I secured it with bolts and washers. I can move it by loosening the bolts and rotating the drill press table. Drilling consists of squaring the blank to the side of the drill bit. I also use it for milling the ends- carefully and slowly advancing the pen mill until the brass tube shows. I put the mill in the chuck and put the blank on the pilot shaft and secure the blank in the vise. The table was a bit out of level so I shimmed it up in the front with two washers. Nothing fancy but it works for me. Thought I would share this. Remember, one good turn deserves another.
 

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bsshog40

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Oct 2, 2018
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Midland, Tx
I use the same basic setup. I have the rockler jig bolted to the table. I have it secured with wing nuts just tight enough that I can bump it a little to line up the drill bit. I used to use the jig for barrel trimming but now after my blanks are dried, I cut down the ends using my bandsaw to get as close to the tube ends as possible. I then put the barrel trimmer in the drill press and just hand hold the blank to trim the edges. Works great if you keep your barrel trimmer nice and sharp. Plus less damage to tubes if it's not perfectly lined up.
 

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Woodchipper

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Bobby, I do use the bandsaw to cut excessive wood off the blank then put it on the pen mill. My wife can't figure out why we take a 3/4x3/4 blank and turn off 2/3 of it to land on the floor. This is when I was making a bunch of Slim Line pens.
 

bsshog40

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Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
656
Location
Midland, Tx
Bobby, I do use the bandsaw to cut excessive wood off the blank then put it on the pen mill. My wife can't figure out why we take a 3/4x3/4 blank and turn off 2/3 of it to land on the floor. This is when I was making a bunch of Slim Line pens.
Lol, I hear ya! I use a credit card diamond sharpener to keep the edges of my barrel facing tool nice and sharp. No having to try to square it up in the vise. Put it in the drill press and just trim it by hand. If your facing tool is nice and sharp, it will trim very nicely. I've done some easier kits but I still enjoy doing the slimlines over any others.
 
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