Pen Blank Drilling Jig

pen blank drilling jig pen turning lathe general drill press turned pens

These jigs are quick to build and easily made from a couple of pieces of scrap wood. They are also really handy for drilling nice straight holes through the middle of your pen blanks before installing the brass tubes.

Materials used
1. one piece of maple about 16″ long, 2 1/4″ wide, and 3/4″ thick
2. a piece of cherry 1 1/2″ tall, 3/4″ thick, cut in to two short pieces
3. CA glue and accelerator spray

Step 1: Check the length of your base and cut out two small pieces for the fence

Picture of Check the length of your base and cut out two small pieces for the fence
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For the base of the jig I used a scrap piece of maple that was about 16″ long, 2 1/4″ wide, and 3/4″ thick. This size isn’t super important, but one thing you want to make sure of, is the piece you use for the base is long enough to cover the width of your drill press table. That way you’ll be able to clamp the jig nice and tight to your drill press.

The second scrap piece I had was a piece of cherry that was roughly the same length as the maple, 1 1/2″ wide, and 3/4″ thick. The length of this piece isn’t important because you’ll be cutting two smaller pieces off of it.
Using my miter saw I cut two pieces that were 1 3/4″ long, these will act as the fence that the pen blank rests against when drilling them out.

Step 2: Assemble the jig

Picture of Assemble the jig
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After you’ve verified your base piece is as at least as wide as your drill press table, and you’ve cut your two fence pieces, it’s time to assemble the jig.

Start by finding the center of your base piece and marking a line across it.

Next, place the first fence piece on the base and align it so the bottom corner thats facing you lands on the center line you marked and is at a 45 degree angle to the base piece. I like to use a speed square for this step.

Once you’ve found the correct placement of the first piece apply a liberal amount of CA glue to the bottom, spray a bit of accelerator on the base piece, place the fence piece on the base, and align it using the speed square to assure that it’s at a perfect 45 degree angle.

The second piece will be glued down at a 90 degree angle opposite the first piece to create a corner. I applied CA glue to the bottom of the second piece, sprayed the base will accelerator, and then butted the second piece up to the end grain of the first piece at a 90 degree angle and flush with the back.

Step 3: Testing out your new jig

Picture of Testing out your new jig
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Now that your jig is glued together you’re ready to roll.

In order to use this jig I start by installing the drill bit I’ll be using to drill the blank and set the depth on my drill press.

Next I mark the center of the pen blank I’ll be drilling, place it in the jig, align the jig on the drill press table so the drill bit will hit the center of the blank, and then clamp the jig to the drill press table.

Once you get the jig aligned and clamped down you’re all set to batch out blanks with nice straight centered holes.

 

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