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PSI Drill Centering Pen Vise, cheaply made

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Review by tooldad posted 03-11-2010 08:23 AM 5329 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
PSI Drill Centering Pen Vise, cheaply made No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Got this vise with a starter kit from PSI. About a 100 pens later it has come apart twice and caused at least 4-6 students to ruin blanks due to moving while drilling. What seems to happen is the ring spring clamp (I’m not sure what it is called) keeps popping off when tightened. It took 4 hands and a ring separator pliers to get it back on, and that is not an exaggeration.

I think it would have been okay in my home workshop, but definitely not high output shops. Called customer service, they sent me new parts no charge, so there is no complaints about CS. I have decided to send it back however. Just tired of having to rig it with a quik grip clamp to keep it stable.

Hoping they will give me some credit on my next order. We have ordered nearly $1500 worth of supplies from them in the past 2 years. The pen turning bug has hit my students.

Going back to the machinist drill press vise, not as pretty, but an oldie and a goodie.

By they way has anyone added a mill type table to their drill press table? Also I thought I saw a plan in shopsmith one time about making your own with threaded rods and baltic birch plywood. Any help would be appreciated.

Any suggestions on a better pen vise would also be appreciated.




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tooldad

657 posts in 2380 days



11 comments so far

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12290 posts in 2762 days


#1 posted 03-11-2010 04:41 PM

Have you seen this video?

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/Videos___Pen_Making___Turning_Pens_with_Kip_and_Rex___kip_rex_basics_vid?Args=

I belive they use a modified wood clamp as a drilling vice. It is notched to hold the blank. IMO, the videos are excellent and would be good to show your students.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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John Gray

2370 posts in 2550 days


#2 posted 03-11-2010 05:14 PM

Thanks for the review! I’ll be watching for updates on how to solve you problem.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Swede's profile

Swede

191 posts in 1683 days


#3 posted 03-12-2010 12:54 AM

Thanks for the review I HAD considered buying one.

-- Swede -- time to make some sawdust

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Hacksaw007

593 posts in 1854 days


#4 posted 03-12-2010 02:19 AM

Sorry for your bad experence with the drilling jig. However my experence with this drilling jig has only been good. I have drilled over 100 pen blanks and some blanks for sale. I have had no issues with it and have made the comments to others about it’s good use. Go figure.

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

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tooldad

657 posts in 2380 days


#5 posted 03-12-2010 02:47 AM

I’ve always said, if you want to test out a tool, give it to a shop class. A lot of times the students don’t know they are abusing the tool. The debate is always, do you buy a cheap tool knowing the kids are going to be hard on it and plan on replacing it often, or do you risk buying the expensive tool and hope the students don’t abuse it more than it can take.

I am going to send it back and have it fixed under warranty at this point. I need a vise to make it through the end of the year. I will try to come up with a solution over the summer

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tooldad

657 posts in 2380 days


#6 posted 03-16-2010 05:33 AM

Here’s my solution after ordering and watching the videos Wayne suggested. The videos would put my kids to sleep, but if you want to learn just about everything there is about pens, they are the video to watch. I might just show clips.

This is the vise they suggested to make and I have found an x-y table on ebay for $100. Here is a sketchup quick rendering using a predrawn vise to get the picture of what I am going to make. There is a hinge on the pivot end which is not pictured. This will allow the students to adjust the vise without having to clamp and reclamp the table to the drill press table to center the bit in their piece.

Photobucket

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tooldad

657 posts in 2380 days


#7 posted 03-16-2010 05:38 AM

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WayneC

12290 posts in 2762 days


#8 posted 03-16-2010 09:51 PM

This looks like a very nice solution. Are you going to have them clamp the pen in once placed?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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tooldad

657 posts in 2380 days


#9 posted 03-17-2010 12:49 AM

yep, figured a quik grip on the open end would be suffice. In the video, they held it closed, I like the added security of the clamp.

On Hacksaw’s note, the CS tech said if you open the jig too far or close it too tightly, the problems I am encountering will happen.

Like I said, if you want a tool tested, send it to a shop class. Most of the time the students think they are using it correctly and end up abusing the tool.

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tooldad

657 posts in 2380 days


#10 posted 05-30-2010 04:41 AM

Well I broke down and bought another jig. Another mistake. This one was the Rockler pen drilling vise/press. I was the only one to use it and on the 6th pen, it began to shift side to side. The nylon bushing seem to be the problem. Cheaper to make, but allows play after being used.

I returned it, no problems. Checked out the one on display, it does the same thing. This summer I AM building the jig from the Kip and Rex video as I drew above. I already have purchased the X-Y table. Even found a craftsman drill press online with the laser. That will help the kids line up the middle.

From the comments I rec’d from this year’s Freshman/sophmore general shop classes, pens will be a popular project again next year. Luckily I found another Delta 46-700 for $150 on CL earlier this month. 3 lathes should make it easier to time manage everyone.

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a1Jim

112143 posts in 2242 days


#11 posted 05-30-2010 06:07 AM

thanks for the review I’m sure it will help pen turners.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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