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Drill press needed for penturning?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by ernie garcia, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. ernie garcia

    ernie garcia

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Hello all,
    I'm a brand new woodturner in Eastern Washington (Ellensburg, WA).
    I just got my Jet 1014 VSI lathe and I've decided to start with penturning.
    Do I need a drill press? Which one? Also how about a penpress?
    Is penturning the way to start in this hobby?
    Any other suggestions? I retired in September and now have time to get into all these things I've always wanted to do.
    ernie garcia
     
  2. Rick M

    Rick M

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    180
    Welcome to the forum and to woodturning as well. If you work safely and have fun learning from others while doing what you like, you've joined a great community of folks. You've also posed a simple question that leads to a complex response.

    Local clubs and organizations like AAW, forums like this one, online videos, and woodworking/woodturning related sites are great resources. PSI offers a couple of free DVDs, one pertaining to pen making. Many other vendors also offer helpful resources for free on their web sites. Often better than a public library, a local club may offer their own library of books and videos you'll benefit by reading/viewing.

    A drill press can be handy not only for drilling pen blanks, but may also be utilized as an alternative to a dedicated pen press. So can a large enough vise (with proper jaw protection) or your lathe (by cranking the tailstock). Depending on your budget, IMO you should plan ahead, considering what else you may some day want to drill. Unless you start with something too small or underpowered, this may be the only drill press you ever purchase. Great savings can be found by checking CraigsList and other online resources for used equipment, or other reputable online vendors for special sales and closeouts.

    Are you limited to benchtop models or can you accommodate a floor standing press? You'll want funds left over for other things (over time) like various types of bits and the drill chuck capacity to match the bit stems. Various clamps and vises are available to secure material to the DP's table, enabling you to drill more accurately and safely. There's even accessories to use your DP as a buffer, sander, or vertical lathe.

    You may eventually need enough power in the motor to handle large diameter Forstner bits and hole saws. The range of speeds should go low enough to meet recommended rpm for the bit in use, one factor important toward minimizing heat buildup in the drilled stock.

    OTOH (and I almost forgot to add this) you can often use your lathe's tailstock to achieve horizontally what you'd do vertically with a drill press. It's just a matter of matching up the right components.

    Those are some general responses. Provide more data and you'll probably get lots of feedback specific to your decision making process.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  3. DOCworks

    DOCworks

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Location (City & State):
    Apopka, FL
    Home Page:
    Drill Press and Pen Press

    Ernie,
    I think the Drill press question was covered as well as the Pen Press except for one alternative. An Arbor Press I find much better than the pen presses out on the market, with a couple of comments; 1. it's not as portable as most pen presses. 2. it's larger. 3. more expensive - kind of. I got a 2 ton Arbor press off Craig's list for $35. I put some plastic on the base and it gives me great control and I don't have the sudden movement you get with a lighter presses. I also you my bench vise when in a hurry. Just one more thing to muddy the waters. You will find that there are a dozen or so answers for every question and finding the one you are comfortable with can be fun or frustrating. I agree with joining a club! That is the best way to try all kinds of stuff without spending much money.
    Bill
     
  4. ernie garcia

    ernie garcia

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Drill press question

    Thanks for the responses. I do have room for a floor-standing drill press. Are they more versatile than a bench one? I don't want to be limited to pens only, although I'm not sure what else I'd use a drill press for.
    I don't want to buy the cheapest drill press, but to get the "...best bang for the buck..."
    I'm new to woodturning & woodworking, in general. I was in computer support before I retired last September. No local woodturning clubs that I know of.
    ernie
     
  5. Rick M

    Rick M

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Messages:
    180
    Since I don't know your location, I'll point you to the AAW page for more details finding AAW affiliated Chapters. There may be others (I have no idea) but you'd be surprised how far away some of our local club's members live, yet drive in for meetings and special events, sharing their work, techniques, and lessons learned. Some even belong to more than 1 club.

    At this stage, it would boggle your mind if you could discover how fast other turners can boost you higher up the learning curve. If nothing else, try some cheap local advertising (classifieds, bulletin boards, etc.) to see if there's company in your neck of the woods.

    Finding out what others use (and turn) may provide insight. Spend some time and effort on a reasonable amount of research and I predict your long term appreciation for the resulting choice(s) will endure proportionally.

    I turn pens and whatever else can be done (no "specialization" yet) on my only current lathe (a midi), but as a long time "flat" woodworker, I've had my DP a lot longer than I've been turning. My 20+ year old floor-standing 15-inch, 12-speed, 1/2 hp Craftsman is still running well and unlike my band saw, I have no plans to replace or upgrade it.
     
  6. ernie garcia

    ernie garcia

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2010
    Messages:
    12
    Got a drill press!

    Finally got my drill press. I decided to get a 15", 1 HP, Porter-Cable, floor-standing one with a 4" quill from Lowe's. I looked at bench-top models, but couldn't look at one with a four inch quill. ( We're a pretty small area and not much in the way of choices). I just set it up and drilled a few holes. Very quiet. Has a built-in lamp & laser crosshairs. Seems very well-made. I'll never need to replace this! Thanks for all the help guys.
    I'm waiitng anxiously for my pen blanks.
    ernie garcia
    ellensburg, wa
     
  7. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    2,638
    Location (City & State):
    Plano, Texas
    Home Page:
    Famous last words
     
  8. Claude

    Claude

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Messages:
    111
    Location (City & State):
    Verona - Italy
    Home Page:
    Ernie, if you have a lathe then you have a fantastic press for your pens.
    Turn two pieces of wood MT 2 (id that is the dimention of your lathe) in the head and one in the tail stock.
    Hold the pieces between them and gently turn the wheel of the tail stock.
    It works beautifully
     

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