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Thread: Drilling pen blanks with bench top drill press.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
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    2,379

    Drilling pen blanks with bench top drill press.

    I have a cheap bench top drill press that I've had for many years. The "stroke" on it isn't very long. I can only drill about 2 inches with it. If my pen blank is longer than that ( which is very often as you know) I then have to stop drilling and lift the table up and insert the drill bit into the blank then "hang on" as I restart the drill press and finish the blank depth. Does anyone have a better way (besides buying a new floor drill press). Does anyone drill their blanks with the lathe? If so...how do you hold the blank? I have a drill chuck for my lathe but never knew how to move the wood into the bit.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,002
    Tom, I used to have the same problem drilling pen blanks with a benchtop drill press. I would hold the blank in a drill press vise, drill partway down, then instead of raising the table on the drill press, I'd raise the vise by putting a block of scrap wood underneath it. It was a lot faster than raising the table.

    For drilling in the lathe, I think the most common way is to mount the drill chuck and bit in the tailstock, then put the blank in a 4-jaw chuck on the headstock. Instead of the drill bit turning, the wood turns. Then you advance the drill bit by turning the tailstock screw.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,097
    Vaughn is right on with a solution. We have two old drill presses that don't work or are very wobbly. I am not currently a restorer of old iron but put them in a corner for time being. Solution was a cheap bench top I bought at a yard sale. Since then have added a JET that I bought on sale at Menard's this past winter. I do not know how many hundred pens have been drilled and barrel trimmed on these two machines throughout this school year. By the way, one of the old floor drill press quills doesn't stay in, it happened to be a Morse Taper 2 so I use it in the lathe to hold small items like chain pulls, eggs, etc.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,825
    Johnathon, ask Tod how he makes his MTs stay put in a drill press.
    Hint:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,097
    Did he tack weld it??
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

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