Pen press saga continues

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KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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I had posted a few days ago about my bad luck with a
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pen press that Penn state sells. My wife was feeling badly that I was not liking it much because it was a Christmas present from her. So I decided to fix it yet again, now the fourth time. This time, I decided to just replace the entire inline clamp, looked on Amazon and lo and behold looked like they had the exact one, it arrived today, here’s how it went. First the bolt pattern to affix it to the press is an exact fit. I had to remove the red covering from the clamp and drill a small hole to fit a bolt through , to attach the long handle. The original one is tapped, I could have tapped the hole but I elected to just bolt it, much easier. The only small problem is the threads in the shaft is different from the original, so the original metal cylinder isn’t usable. I just turned a new one from a piece of oak I had laying around and bolted it on using the bolt that came with the clamp. I inset it in and used some wood filler epoxy to make the end smooth, then just put a stick on carpet pad over it. Now the wood piece I made can just screw off and on. The best part, aside from the press is fixed and works great, is the original is rated at 250 pounds , the new clamp is rated at 500 pounds. I’m attaching a few pictures and you can see how some of the components are way more heavy duty than the original. My wife’s happy as I’m no longer calling it a “ POS”.


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keithlong

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If you google free plans for a hand made pen press, you will find one made from some scrap pieces of wood. I made myself one a while back and the only things I bought were bolts and wing nuts. Cost me about 3 bucks. Works fine.
 

KenB259

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Well I actually have multiple ways I can press pens together. I have used my lathe as well as an arbor press and then my wife bought me this one. The point to this post is, if you have this particular press and it breaks in you , you can fix it and actually make it better and stronger. There are many methods, they all work.


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TonyL

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KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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If you google free plans for a hand made pen press, you will find one made from some scrap pieces of wood. I made myself one a while back and the only things I bought were bolts and wing nuts. Cost me about 3 bucks. Works fine.
It only cost me 9 bucks to fix it, I already had the press. I doubt it will break again as the new parts are so much more heavy duty.
 

howsitwork

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Win :win with that fix. Wife happy, you happy and , as you said , it gives you other options for assembling pens.

Go9d result and than’s for sharing. Given the higher pressure clamp used it should last longer .
 

howsitwork

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I just use my drill press. Always have. Never had a problem.
Now I’d never even considered using my drill press to do it. With an adaptor,to fit in the through hole it could cater to all sorts of sizes and fitments!

That’s the great benefit of sharing with others you pick up great ideas and hints.

Thanks to one and all, off to experiment!👍
 

grpass

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Jan 27, 2020
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Grants Pass
Now I’d never even considered using my drill press to do it. With an adaptor,to fit in the through hole it could cater to all sorts of sizes and fitments!

That’s the great benefit of sharing with others you pick up great ideas and hints.

Thanks to one and all, off to experiment!👍
My wood workers vise with wood lined Jaws works perfect for me.
 

qquake

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Feb 8, 2004
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Northern California
Now I’d never even considered using my drill press to do it. With an adaptor,to fit in the through hole it could cater to all sorts of sizes and fitments!

That’s the great benefit of sharing with others you pick up great ideas and hints.

Thanks to one and all, off to experiment!👍
I turned some soft plastic tips to press with. I used to use hardwood, but they didn't last as long. I also have a soft plastic bar with various size holes drilled in it. I put the tip of the pen in an appropriate size hole, so I don't press the very end of the pen tip. You can damage them that way.
 

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FrankH

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Jan 13, 2015
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Morgantown WV
Ken,

I appreciate your post. I have the exact same pen press from Penn State. Though it works fine, I'll file away your post if (or when) it does fail.

Frank
 

howsitwork

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Thirsk
I have found a metal working vice ( benches style ) works well. I put lead jaws ( 3mm thick lead sheet folded to cover the metal jaws) on mine. This stops you applying too much pressure as the lead “gives” before this point.

Also now going to make some internally tapered HDPE plastic inserts to use in the drill press and on the lathe and see which I prefer following the above thread ideas.
 
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