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Showcase cover image for Cheap & Easy Pen Press

Project Information

If you're new to wood turning like me, by the time you've bought the lathe, chisels, and all the accessories, dropping another $50 on a pen press just seems ridiculous. Before you say "but you don't know", I do know; I used one extensively at a friend's shop and I don't really see the reasoning behind such an expense.

My first idea was to use a toggle clamp but the good quality Bessey ones are close to $30 and that's really getting close to $50. The second idea was a pipe clamp but again you're into the $20 range and you will do quite a bit more of work to stabilize a round pipe. I settled on a standard aluminum bar clamp because those can be had for $9.99 at Harbor Freight or even cheaper at some discount tool stores.

Quick video and photos http://www.gowoodwork.com/2017/cheap-and-easy-pen-press/

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10,969 Posts
Good idea and the price is good. Under $10 and some time not bad. I have a fancy press someone gave me and it worked but I did make some modifications over the years to tweek it some.
 

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177 Posts
great idea! thanks!
 

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15 Posts
Very nice! The next time I am at Harbor Freight I will pick up one of these clamps so I can build this press. Your video is excellent!
 

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10,969 Posts
Here is a idea for a jig for drilling pen blanks. here is link with more pics, sorry no video.

 

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1,510 Posts
Nice idea thanks for the write up and pics.
 

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1,137 Posts
Great idea, which I intend to borrow. I make a lot of pens for church, and this will help.
 
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