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I personally wouldn't use aluminum without a lathe, but with enough time and elbow grease you can do anything. This works better on softer materials like wood or plastic, but you can do most of the tapers by clamping rods in a drill chuck and using a combination of sandpaper/files and can make fairly precise holes with either a drill press or careful use of a handheld drill. You can use a die to make threads on aluminum, or you can cannibalize plastic pens for their threaded sections and glue them onto your penblank. You can tap most materials (not wood) to make receiving threads, or you can use a nut and file the outside smooth.Good luck!Ava