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pen making


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John Stevenson15/01/2008 10:10:00
26 forum posts

 I am a newcomer to turning and would like to make pens.Could anyone tell me the best drill bits to use as mine do not seem long enough and I can't seem to source  anywhere that may sell longer ones of small diameter.

I would be grateful for any assistance.

Malc15/01/2008 11:33:00
411 forum posts
63 photos


Have a look at they have the bits you need and also have pen kits. When you are on thier site you can request a free catalogue and spend hours drooling over the contents.

Hope this helps,



John Stevenson17/01/2008 12:33:00
26 forum posts


Thanks for your reply I have ordered the Rutlands catalogue. Thanks again.

dennis wake21/01/2008 21:00:00
2044 forum posts
1451 photos
1 articles

hi john

i have made several pens and find that craft supplies are the cheapest. the price is reasonable for starting off.

John Stevenson22/01/2008 09:33:00
26 forum posts

Hi Dennis,

Thanks for your reply. I have tried Craft Supplies but they never seem to have the long bore bits in stock and can't give me any idea if they will have anymore.

Thanks again for your reply.

Bob Chapman24/01/2008 09:34:00
47 forum posts

Hi John,

I'm not sure why you need especially long drill bits. Are you trying to drill the blank in one piece? Most pen kits require the blank to be cut into two pieces and I've found that these are then short enough to be drilled with an ordinary twist drill.


John Stevenson26/01/2008 11:12:00
26 forum posts

Hi Bob,

I now realise that I can use standard bits but thank you anyway. As a matter of interest though Reg Slack produced a DVD on which he makes a desk pen without any barrel; just a 4mm bore using a bit he designed and then inserting a normal biro refill.     


Bob Chapman26/01/2008 18:49:00
47 forum posts

Hi John,

Yes, I've made pens that way myself, and now recall that I did indeed need an extra long drill bit and had a job finding one. Can't remember now where I got it from.


George Arnold27/01/2008 17:24:00
1834 forum posts
191 photos
Hi John I make alot of pens using biro inserts I obtained the long drill from Simbles in Watford if you are near there it's lika an alladins cave, I think they are still about they used to have a stand at the Wood turning Show  at the Aly Pally. George
Steve Jones27/01/2008 22:08:00
75 forum posts
37 photos

Hi John,

Any good quality and SHARP drill bit will do the job, but if you can get to a home base store have a look at the bullet point drill bits, I think they are probably the ones I'll be going for next time I am buying drills. One more tip Is to keep the drill bit clear by drilling a little then withdrawing the bit to clear the chips then drilling a little more etc. This will stop any heat build up in the blank as well as keeping the bit from wandering.  Hope this helps, best of luck Stevie .

John Stevenson28/01/2008 12:45:00
26 forum posts


Thanks for your reply, I am afraid that Watford is too far for me (Derby)but if I can find a number for them I may try them for mail order. John

John Stevenson28/01/2008 12:48:00
26 forum posts


Thanks for your reply. I shall look into your suggestion. I have only just joined this site and have already been amazed by the help I have been offered. Thanks again. John

George Arnold28/01/2008 17:44:00
1834 forum posts
191 photos
Hi John The number is 01923 467 676 J Simble and Sons Watford , you can also try Axminister 0800 371822 you can get their catalogue lots of good things for the wood turner in there George
John Stevenson29/01/2008 13:44:00
26 forum posts


Many thanks for the number I'll give them a ring. John

Woodie11/03/2008 19:46:00
103 forum posts
12 photos
Another good source of supplies are Stiles and Bates.  Very quick turn round and if you are stuck help is at the end of a telephone.

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