Pen Blank Drilling Jig




Introduction: Pen Blank Drilling Jig

About: I'm a stay at home dad and woodworker, I have a youtube channel where I upload builds, tips, and how-to videos.

In this Instructable I'll be showing you how I built a really quick pen blank drilling jig from a couple pieces of scrap wood. These jigs are 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

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Step 1: Check the Length of Your Base and Cut Out Two Small Pieces for the Fence

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

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

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.

Thanks very much for checking out this Instructable! I've also got a build video on this Jig on my youtube channel. Check it out for more info on this, and be sure to subscribe so you can keep up to date on my latest content.

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    2 Discussions


    11 months ago

    I've been having quite a few pen blanks split on me, and this is a nice and simple solution! Thanks for sharing.


    2 years ago

    Not certain why no one has comment on this. Great simple solution. Well talked out and documented. Thanks for sharing, definitely in my future make list.