Pen Blank Drilling- What is the Best...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by JMillerWoodworks posted 06-07-2018 09:27 PM 1989 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JMillerWoodworks's profile


52 posts in 1226 days

06-07-2018 09:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question drill press drilling

I have been wanting to get a pen drilling vise for a while now and am wondering- would it be a good idea to skip the idea of getting a drilling vise and to simply buy a cross-sliding vise and then get v-grips for it? The idea I had would be then I could drill the blanks without having to loosen the locks and re-adjust the vise each time by simple twisting to adjust. Feel free to comment- I would love to hear your opinion!

cross sliding vise I had in mind-

-- - Joel Miller "Striving to be like the Carpenter of Galilee"

13 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2721 posts in 1042 days

#1 posted 06-07-2018 09:45 PM

Joel, I don’t do any pen turning.
but – I do have that vise and once you get it all adjusted and tuned up,
it is a pretty nifty addition to the drill press. (I have the HF version that came
loaded with grease and must be cleaned thoroughly before setting it up).
making “V” blocks out of hardwood would be fairly simple. they would be
mounted to the jaws with the existing screws. a new high quality and sharp
drill bit would probably suit your needs well.
the best mounting method that I found was to mount the vise securely to
a piece of 3/4” plywood – then securing the plywood to the DP table as the
itty bitty feet on the vise do not match anything on the DP table.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View TheDane's profile


5865 posts in 4543 days

#2 posted 06-07-2018 10:17 PM

Joel … I have two drilling vises (1 shop-made, 1 commercial) ... I don’t use either of them.

Bought a set of Nova 6034 Pen Plus Jaws for about $30 and do all of my drilling on the lathe.

I had a Nova G3 that wasn’t getting much use, so the pen jaws live on it.

More accurate, no screwing around adjusting a vise, and (IMHO) it is faster.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Woodmaster1's profile


1552 posts in 3467 days

#3 posted 06-08-2018 12:16 AM

I use a wooden parallel jaw clamp. It seems to work fine for me.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6286 posts in 3289 days

#4 posted 06-08-2018 02:08 AM

Made this one a number of years ago. Still works and does alot more than originally intended.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View jeff's profile


1244 posts in 4345 days

#5 posted 06-08-2018 08:18 AM

Nova pen jaws and they live in one of my Nova G3 chucks. Fast and accurate…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View tonylumps's profile


4 posts in 1715 days

#6 posted 06-08-2018 10:45 AM

Nova Jaws and Chuck.I do not think you would get more accurate or easier than that.

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1620 days

#7 posted 06-08-2018 11:41 AM

Another one for the Nova pen jaws and drilling on the lathe. No guess work, always centered.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View OSU55's profile


2658 posts in 2869 days

#8 posted 06-08-2018 12:30 PM

The few I have done were with PSI Barracuda chuck pen jaws – worked great.

View lew's profile


13194 posts in 4635 days

#9 posted 06-08-2018 02:36 PM

+1 for drilling on the lathe.

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

View Notw's profile


795 posts in 2633 days

#10 posted 06-08-2018 03:31 PM

I would say save your money on the dedicated vise and either use a wood clamp or drill on the lathe, your money is better spent on a barrel trimmer

View moke's profile


1613 posts in 3656 days

#11 posted 06-08-2018 04:52 PM

I used one of these for years,

I have the g3 with pens jaws but I still use this occasionally with no issues and far cheaper than a Nova chuck!!!

-- Mike

View JMillerWoodworks's profile


52 posts in 1226 days

#12 posted 06-08-2018 07:13 PM

Thanks for the comments! The reason that I have not bought a chuck for drilling is because my lathe is an old craftsman and it would probably take me at least 10 minutes to drill 1 blanks due to the slowness of the tailstock. I will look into building a clamp though.

-- - Joel Miller "Striving to be like the Carpenter of Galilee"

View Wildwood's profile


2899 posts in 3014 days

#13 posted 06-08-2018 07:18 PM

Have same vice and prefer to use that & drill press over lathe. Have done it both ways using drill press & lathe just feel have more control drilling using the drill press. JMHO, drill press lot easier for me.

-- Bill

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics