Self Centering Vise (Pen Drilling Vise)

Photo: Self Centering Vise 1
I decided to turn some Pens and Bottle Stoppers. I need some cheaper items to draw people in at Craft Shows, etc.

I then decided it’s time to invest in one of those Pen Drilling Vises for my drill press. I need a vise that will allow me to drill center holes in pen and bottler stopper blanks, etc without a lot of dorking around centering each blank.
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Woodburners & Pyrography

Photo: Woodburners & Pyrography 1
Here is my response to an e-mail asking about woodburners.

I currently own and use a Detail Master Excalibre (the silver one with 2 ports) with lots of different Fixed Tip Detail Master Vented pens (the silver aluminum ones). I also have a couple of Razertip Tips sets that I mount in a Razertip interchangeable tip pen.

If I was buying a new system today I would purchase a Burnmaster Eagle (the red one with 2 ports) with Burnmaster Replaceable Tip Pen and Tips. The 10 tips available from Burnmaster are good for beginners. In the long run you can add more tips by purchasing sets of tips from Razertip.

Photo: Woodburners and Pyrography 1
Currently the $259 “Burnmaster Eagle” available from “Packard Woodworks and other retailers for roughly the same price looks real good to me. I like having 2 pens and only need one set of 10 interchangeable tips.

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Collet Chucks

Updated: 6/5/2020. Also check out my “Collet Chuck Revisited” blog entry and my “Shopmade Collet Chuck” blog entry.

I find collet chucks convenient for holding small work.  

Photo: Collet Chucks 1

Collets typically come in standard dowel sizes 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, or 3/4″.   So it is very easy to mount a chunk of dowel as a turning blank.  Or you can mount a turning blank between centers and turn a tenon.  I like to use 3/4″ diameter tenons when possible. Continue reading Collet Chucks


Photo: McMaster-Carr 1

People are always asking me where did you get that?   And, my answer is always “Mcmaster”.

Mcmaster-Carr is an old time industrial supply company with a very efficient modern business model.  It’s a big cut above all of it competitors like Travelers, Enco, MSC, Grainger, etc for the following reasons.  

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Red Box Heater & Blue Blower

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Photo: Red Box Heater & Blue Blower 2Is it time to think about investing in a heater?
Are you tired of standing in a cold studio or work shop? Continue reading Red Box Heater & Blue Blower

Low Cost Industrial Bench Grinder

Photo: Low Cost Industrial Bench Grinder 1
I love my new bench grinder!   I purchased it in Sept of 2012.

I had to replace a 10 year old Delta 8″ bench grinder that was giving me trouble.
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Life's Too Short To Use Crappy Tools!