Drill Blanks

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Best way to drill pen blanks with no press?

I don't have a drill press, but I love turning pens and other small items. What's the best way for me to drill blanks without a press? Space is at a premium in my home and I just don't have room for one...

A small bench drill press only takes up one square foot of bench/ table space.
The fixture I will describe below will take up more room on the bench but will be lighter to move and store when not in use.

I you own an electric drill, you can make a wooden fixture that you clamp the drill into.

Position the drill motor horizontally on a piece of plywood with a long drill bit installed in the chuck.
You will need to make some spacer blocks to support the drill motor so that the drill bit is parallel to the wooden base.
These can be carved or saw cut,
You need at least three blocks; 1 just behind the drill chuck, 1 under the motor and 1 under the handle.
Cutting or carving a slight V in the top of the blocks will keep the drill motor from moving around when you clamp it down.
Some experimenting with the height of the blocks will get the drill motor positioned correctly.
You then can make a wooden hold down that goes over the drill motor.
Use two carriage bolts and wing nuts to hold the hold down.

To position the pen blank, you need a V block made out of wood.
This you can screw down to the plywood base, after some testing to position it correctly.

You may want to cut finger notches in the pen blank V block as you need to be able to hold the pen blank and push it in to the running drill bit.

If you make different diameter pen blanks, you will need a different height V block for each pen blank, or shims to add or remove height from one V block.
In this case, instead of screwing down the pen blank V block, screw down to the base two, 1/2" by 1/2" by 4" pieces of wood on either side of the V block.

This gives you the option of just pushing/ sliding the entire V block and the pen blank into the drill bit.

You can add a separate toggle switch or a light switch and a receptacle to plug the drill motor into, to turn on and off the drill motor.
Tape the drill motor switch in the on position and use the toggle switch to turn on/ off the drill motor, this gives you both hands free to work the pen blank.

You should use what is called a center drill bit to start the hole in the pen blank.
This is a short, ridge drill that will accurately start the hole, then switch to the long drill bit to finish the hole.

Another option, since you have a lathe, get a tail stock drill chuck and drill the pen blank while the the pen blank is still in the lathe.

If you need more help building the fixture, You can click on my Avatar picture, go to my Activity page and email me.

Wingman

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01 101 044 Jobbers Length Drill Blanks Tool Material HSS SIZE 44 Over
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DRILL BLANKS 57 10 PCS LL0840
DRILL BLANKS 57 10 PCS LL0840
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TTC 42 HSS Jobbers Drill Blanks20 Pack
TTC 42 HSS Jobbers Drill Blanks20 Pack
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Vermont 551208120 6MM x 4 HSS Reamer Blank Tolerance +0002 New
Vermont 551208120 6MM x 4 HSS Reamer Blank Tolerance +0002 New
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Vermont 5212500010 1 4 x 6 Long Drill Blank New Tolerance 0005
Vermont 5212500010 1 4 x 6 Long Drill Blank New Tolerance 0005
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Vermont 5211125010 1 8 x 6 Long Drill Blank New Tolerance 0005
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TTC 790MM HSS Metric Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 5
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TTC 9 32 HSS Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 10
TTC 9 32 HSS Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 10
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Vermont 1 8 HSS Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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Vermont 5 32 HSS Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
Vermont 5 32 HSS Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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Norseman 2859 0 240 DB Bright Jobber Length Drill Blank Bit 12PK 11 64
Norseman 2859 0 240 DB Bright Jobber Length Drill Blank Bit 12PK 11 64
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11 32 x 4 3 4in HSS Jobber Drill Blanks Qty 6
11 32 x 4 3 4in HSS Jobber Drill Blanks Qty 6
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Drill America No 7 x 3 5 8in HSS Jobber Drill Blanks Qty 12NOS
Drill America No 7 x 3 5 8in HSS Jobber Drill Blanks Qty 12NOS
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Interstate 3 4 x 6 Drill Blank 060 Ground Groover End
Interstate 3 4 x 6 Drill Blank 060 Ground Groover End
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Interstate 5 16 x 4 1 2 Drill Blanks Qty 4
Interstate 5 16 x 4 1 2 Drill Blanks Qty 4
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Interstate 5 16 x 4 1 2 Drill Blanks Qty 6
Interstate 5 16 x 4 1 2 Drill Blanks Qty 6
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Vermont 157701 1 127 x 2 HSS Drill Blank
Vermont 157701 1 127 x 2 HSS Drill Blank
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Interstate No 49 Bright HSS JBR Drill Blanks Qty 12
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3 32 HIGH SPEED DRILL BLANK J 1 16 6 2
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501402700 270mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
501402700 270mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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501405000 500mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
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501115620 5 32 High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
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501406000 600mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
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01 102 901 A36 A Z HSS Letter Size Jobbers Length Drill Blank Set
01 102 901 A36 A Z HSS Letter Size Jobbers Length Drill Blank Set
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501131250 5 16 High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
501131250 5 16 High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
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501404000 400mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
501404000 400mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 6
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501401500 150mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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501401450 145mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
501401450 145mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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501107810 5 64 High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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501403000 300mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
501403000 300mm High Speed Steel Jobbers Length Drill Blank Pack of 12
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Vermont 501304200 58 Long Drill Blanks 1 5 8 Overall Length HSS 12 Pieces
Vermont 501304200 58 Long Drill Blanks 1 5 8 Overall Length HSS 12 Pieces
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Vermont 501304200 58 Long Drill Blanks 1 5 8 Overall Length HSS 4 Pieces
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Vermont 501609800 40 Long Drill Blank 2 3 8 OAL High Speed Steel 3 Pieces
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Vermont 501241300 Letter Z Long Drill Blank 5 1 4 OAL High Speed Steel
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