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Got a lathe not too long ago and am waiting on my mandrel for some pens. Been reading alot of stuff about it and got to thinking: why is it so important to have a hole drilled perfecty through the center like everything says you should. If I locate the dead center of on side of a blank and drill through to the other side with a hand drill and my hole ends up being, lets say, less than half a degree off on that other side, why does that matter. In my mind I see myself taking in down to make a pen, and that sightly off hole will go away as I start knocking down the blank and make it round. I don't understand that as long as you have a "pretty much" straight hole, why the rest won't work itself out on the lathe? As I haven't had the chance to try it yet, what am I missing?

Thanks, hope my explaination makes sense!
 

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Drilling a perfectly centered hole.Why?

I don't know for sure,but I think that when you get some blanks where there is not a lot of room for error and if you get to off center,you may loose a few blanks.
 

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4Woodturning
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My opinion if you are off a degree on your drilling is not that big of deal when doing pens, as long as you have enough wood to turn down to the bushings. The larger the pen less room for error. But the most important part is truing the ends to the barrel of you pens so when you turn them to the right diameter of your bushings, and when press together you have a tight fit. I hope this helps..Jeff


 

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Good question Civil. I have wondered this very question myself usually when I see a $75 pen drilling vise at Woodcraft and go wow. I cut a notch in a wood clamp to drill blanks with. I'm interested to see if there are more opinions on this though.

John
 

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Civil,
It normally doesn't make any difference as long as you don't run out too much that you can't true it back up, or if you get one of the fancy blanks like below. Also if you are turning something with stripes, it will make the stripes come out skewed.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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WoodTurner
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Basically, if you drill dead center you have more wood to turn (create) with.

Vince

Nice looking pepper mills Firehawk.
 

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Wow!! those are great pepper mills! I agree, it depends on the blank diameter, amount of wood to remove, and how accurate theends are cut. Good looking project!! :thumbsup:
 
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