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Forum topic by D_Allen posted 03-09-2012 02:18 AM 2345 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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495 posts in 2782 days

03-09-2012 02:18 AM

I have been using my lathe for drilling pen blanks for some time now and often had trouble getting a centered hole from end to end. One of the problems with that is that with some grain patterns, like zebra wood, it can leave a pen looking like it is bent at certain angles. I tried to make some wood spacers but the bit I used was not very good. Then someone pointed me to a similar idea using flat bars and a single aluminum angle. This is my version using 3 pieces of angle with 1” legs and 1/8” thick. I cut 2 of the pieces into ‘L’ shapes for clearance at the center. I just recently installed the magnets and that makes their use much easier. I can get within a sixteenth of an inch from end to end on a 2.5” blank. Believe it or not these are held together with gorilla super glue and have shown no signs of coming apart and I have drilled about a dozen blanks so far.

-- Website is finally up and

3 replies so far

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 2446 days

#1 posted 03-09-2012 02:28 AM

That’s a neat idea!

I have the same chuck myself, and I just bought the PSI pen blank drilling jaws, like these here.

They’re not expensive at $22, and they really work awesome. I had seen something similar to what you have there posted elsewhere, though admittedly not quite a nice, but I felt for the $22 the PSI solution was cheap enough and was almost guaranteed to be accurate, which they are.

I do like what you have though, and I may go down and make myself a set anyway, as I have a welder and a ton of smaller steel angle. That way, if I have the step jaws on, I won’t need to swap jaws to drill, big plus!

Good jig though, I like it a lot! Thanks for sharing!

-- Kenny

View Kenny 's profile


260 posts in 2446 days

#2 posted 03-09-2012 02:31 AM

Oh yeah, if they do ever come apart, file some ridges in the angle and use JB Weld. It will never come apart for sure!

There are also aluminum brazing kits for sale cheap in most hardware stores. It’s just a special flux and some aluminum solder of sorts. It does work good, and should be fine for the application at hand.

Though CA is tough, you’ll likely never have to worry!

-- Kenny

View lew's profile


12056 posts in 3753 days

#3 posted 03-09-2012 03:26 AM

Sweet Idea!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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