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All Replies on Rockler Pen Press/Drilling Jig - Is It Worth it?

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View BlankMan's profile

Rockler Pen Press/Drilling Jig - Is It Worth it?

by BlankMan
posted 1658 days ago


17 replies so far

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1769 days


#1 posted 1658 days ago

NO! I have several friends that purchased this drill guide and they replaced them with either shop made guides or bought the one sold by Craft supply http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/Pen_Making___Pen_Making_Tools___Pen_Drilling_Vise___pen_vise?Args=

I was about to buy one myself awhile back and the store clerk at Rockler even said it wasn’t as good as the one that I linked above. There is a lot of slop in the worm drive.

Save your money and use a vise or your DP as an arbor press for assembly. You can build a very simple drill guide that is just as accurate as the retail drill guide or go with the one at Craft USA at a much cheaper price.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Padre's profile

Padre

930 posts in 2075 days


#2 posted 1658 days ago

Curt, I have the one from Wood Turner’s Catalog like Coastie says, and it works as advertised. I had to use CA glue to keep the handle from turning off the threaded rod, but other than that, it’s a handy little device.

Secondly, it’s not a gimmick, and you’ll thank yourself for getting one. Holding those blanks is tough, and using this type of clamp is the only way to go.

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View reggiek's profile

reggiek

2240 posts in 1856 days


#3 posted 1658 days ago

I recommend a shop made vise…I made one from a video I saw on the Pen Turners of America forums…(they are free to view – I tried to list a link but my favorite for this got deleted – but I’ve seen several on You Tube also). On the really long pens I drill them on my lathe so I don’t have to keep raising my drill table (I can lathe drill all of them….but it is easier to throw them in my drill press jig).... then I use a hand click clamp with soft wood pads to squeeze the parts together….total cost – nothing – as I had all the stuff around from other projects….and of course every wood worker has clamps.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#4 posted 1658 days ago

Thanks guys, that one does look nice and less expensive too.

But it looks like it’s just for drilling which is ok, so then what do you use as a press or is a press even needed?

Maybe I need to watch the pen turning DVD I bought. :)

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#5 posted 1658 days ago

Wow. Doh! I have a Jet Metal Working lathe, I could drill them on there. Sure glad I asked, but I’m not sure the through hole in the turret is big enough but could probably come up with something, have to check that out.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Padre's profile

Padre

930 posts in 2075 days


#6 posted 1658 days ago

I also bought this press, and it works great. You can just as easily use a tail vise if you have one, or a side vise as well.

You will also need a barrel trimmer.

And do you have a mandrel? I use this one and this one. Both are very good.

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View RavinHeart's profile

RavinHeart

95 posts in 1808 days


#7 posted 1658 days ago

I got a cheaper one the woodcraft sells for drilling … love it … and i use my bnech vise for the press … long as you have it lined up and take your time … works great … made many pens like that already … only time i have a problem is when i rush and goof it up myslef

-- RavinHeart - Wisconsin

View interpim's profile

interpim

1123 posts in 2044 days


#8 posted 1658 days ago

You don’t need a press… some people like to have it though.

I have used my drill press to press the pens together (using a turned piece of wood in the chuck to protect the pen)
I have used the one hand clamps before.
Some have used their lathe itself, either turning custom heads/tails to protect the pen parts.

-- San Diego, CA

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#9 posted 1658 days ago

I thought of using a vise, and wasn’t real thrilled about using the Rockler one for it’s pressing capabilities, looked like you be spinning for a while while pressing it.

Chip, no, no, and no. I knew in the back of my head there was more stuff that would be needed but didn’t know what. And I do like those presses you showed and those are more like the types I’ve seen.

What about turning tools, like this Sorby set Rockler has on sale for $39? I’m thinking that 6 piece Sorby set Rockler had on sale that I picked up might be too big.

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=21551

Sure am glad I asked, that Rockler press looks like it’s off the docket. Almost bought it yesterday too, but I thought I’d ask, sure glad of that.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#10 posted 1658 days ago

Drill press for pressing, that’s a good idea too. And I just remembered I have a small arbor press, have to see if its stroke is sufficient.

Wow, all kinds of good ideas, thanks!

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1769 days


#11 posted 1658 days ago

Curt Ive been looking at the 16” version turning tool handle system but I haven’t found anyone here with knowledge of these modular tool systems. Looking at the prices of the individual tools that go with the handle they look cheaper than the wood handled ones. The only drawback I can see is having to change out the tools, but for the price I can live with that minor inconvenience. Let me know what you come up with.

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#12 posted 1658 days ago

Thanks Coastie, I didn’t think of that, instead of just grabbing another tool having to change it out constantly, don’t know if I like having to do that constantly, I kinda think you want to keep going uninterrupted, keep with the flow.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#13 posted 1658 days ago

What about this one?

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003988/9497/Pen-Press.aspx

Chip, looks to be the same one just different colors. I think I have 15% WoodCraft coupon someplace. But looking at these I could knock one out in an hour out of aluminum and just have to buy the push clamp for it. But could probably make one of those too. All comes down to time and material costs and I wonder how much I’d be saving if any.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

View Padre's profile

Padre

930 posts in 2075 days


#14 posted 1658 days ago

No! The best gouge to use is a normal size gouge, and then go to a 3/4” for finishing. The problem with those little sets is that you can only use them for little things!

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View RetiredCoastie's profile

RetiredCoastie

999 posts in 1769 days


#15 posted 1658 days ago

Curt try this idea instead of buying a press. http://lumberjocks.com/projects/22488

-- www.thepatriotwoodworker.com Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View John's Woodshop's profile

John's Woodshop

347 posts in 2602 days


#16 posted 1658 days ago

Blankman,

You are welcome to stop by sometime and try it. I am all set up to do it, I have plenty of kits, and blanks, and would be happy to share with you what little I know about it. Here is some of my work http://jwspenworks.com/

Let me know if you are interested in coming by.
John

-- John -- Racine, WI -- Woodworking..."It's not just a Hobby, it's an Adventure"

View BlankMan's profile

BlankMan

1487 posts in 1939 days


#17 posted 1658 days ago

Chip, ok thanks, I’ll give that a try first.

Coastie, thanks, I thought of using the tailstock as a press, those plugs look like a good way to do it. And after you mentioned it I’m shying away from that one handle kit and I think I’d prefer wood handles anyway.

John, thanks! I just may take you up on that.

I saw a pen turning kit on sale at Rockler for $49, looks like a good start, I think I’ll pick that up.

But first I have to clean up my shop and put everything away from the last project so I can start over and mess it up again. Then I think I’m going to finish making the drawers for two benches I made a while ago. I made about 2/3 of them but didn’t make them all. I wanted to see how I used them and what I put in them to judge the size of the rest, like should I put two in the opening or one. I pretty much have the figured out now and I need the storage. Badly.

-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI

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