Segmented Pen Jig

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Project by Chris posted 06-20-2015 12:42 AM 4141 views 7 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am interested in trying to turn some segmented pen blanks, but first need to make them. I saw a photo of a jig that used a press screw and decided to try to build something myself out of stuff around the shop.

The majority of the project is made from 1/2 baltic birch. I used that to create the cradle spines and then added some hobby popular i had left over from one of my kids projects for the sides. I had a short piece of 1/2” threaded rod and decided to turn a handle from some oak i had and then used epoxy to glue the handle to the threaded rod. I also expoxied a 1/2” nut to put the threaded rod though as i did not think “wooden threads” would give me the tension i think i need to press the glue out and make a seamless blank. I also added a “push block” and drilled a 1/2 hole to guide the rod and keep the tension.

If you look closely, I left a small gap at the bottom of the v-cradle so that glue has a place to escape instead of soaking into the wood – leaving me a mess when i try to turn. I am also planning on using either parchment paper or alluminum foil to minimize clean up. I will just need to remember to press a little extra into the bottom slot so the glue has a place to pool.

Oh course, all of this is speculation, as I have yet to try it – just wanted to share my idea. Will let you all know how it works.


-- designer by education, wood working hack by choice

5 comments so far

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 1659 days

#1 posted 06-20-2015 01:54 PM

Rub the sides of the press with wax or with waxed paper. Then the glue won’t stick and you can glue up without paper around the wood. Good idea….be sure and shop some pictures of the project as it progresses.

-- Tim Harrelson

View KnotCurser's profile


1995 posts in 2486 days

#2 posted 06-20-2015 03:33 PM

Great idea – thanks for sharing this!

Tim has a great idea – using wax. Or you cover the runners with packing or painters tape for the same outcome.

This is a “must-do” project for me in my near future.



-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Chris 's profile


68 posts in 789 days

#3 posted 06-20-2015 07:17 PM

Great ideas. I am for sure going to try both of those. Will let you know how it turns out

-- designer by education, wood working hack by choice

View drbyte's profile


724 posts in 3480 days

#4 posted 06-22-2015 12:46 PM

Great idea! Good project. Don’t press all the glue out! Titebond recommends somewhere around 175-200 psi. You’ve only got about 1/2” square so you would need a lot less than that. Excess squeeze-out weakens the joint. Cover the sides of your jig with clear packing tape or wax them as mentioned above and you’ll have no problem cleaning it up. Good luck with your pens, they are fun to do, that’s for sure!

-- Dennis, WV

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 594 days

#5 posted 06-22-2015 02:56 PM

Good looking press!

I have saved small projects like this till I have a few or was spraying a large project and then sprayed them with Minwax Polycrylic water based poly. Glue does not stick. (sand after the first coat)

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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