I have to go with Mike, this sounds like a very unsafe operation. Drill your pen blanks on a drill press or lathe.
Pictures are coming, but not today.
I am only drilling WOOD blanks. Beech and Oak. No plastic or Not-Wood. The wood comes from items of personal significance to my family. Using the pens made from family "wood" seems to invoke a special feeling when using the pens.
What I found out...
1. Adequate quill travel
distance for drilling pen blanks on my drill press is a problem, so I looked for other means.
2. Using a sliding tailstock with a drill chuck
on my PSI lathe is way too sloppy and slow, so I set that method aside, too.
3. A jig setup using my radial arm saw and drill attachment
, works fine, and gives me as much drilling depth as the drill would allow. Very accurate (at 3450 rpm
), but the chuck is too small and restricts me to 5/16 drill bits or smaller.
4. Using my RBI mortising router table (Posted on this forum as an X-Y router table
or an X-Y-Z router table
), I set up my PC router with a special 10mm collet bought from Elaire Corp
. With the Powerlift speed at 100%, I drilled about 3 inches of a "cigar" pen blank in and out in about 10-15 seconds using the paddle switch. I am using German-made HSS pen drill bits, and they hold up fine. It takes longer to lock down the pen blank with a Bessey toggle clamp, and align the drill bit with the pen blank than to actually use the router.
I have drilled all the "personal" pen blanks I have in one 30 minute session and am now waiting for other people's "wood".
I will take pictures then.
The Radial-Arm-Saw (RAS)
method works fine... the drill chuck size is the problem.
The 7mm, 8mm, and 10mm Collets from Elaire Corp
. seem to have very little runout.
is a relative term, whether it's a tool, a pistol, or a car.