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Discussion Starter #1
Fairly new to the wonderful world of pen making and really, heavy powertool machinery as well.
I've read that these Big Ben cigar pen tubes are 10mm and even on the site I ordered from (penn state) it says I need a 10mm drill bit. I purchased one from a local shop supply, but after drilling the holes, it seems like the hole is just a hair's width too small. Is it possible the bit might be sized just a bit off or is the tube supposed to fit into the hole so tightly that I have to take a hammer to it?
Also, does anyone know if 27/64" bit might work better? I saw something about using that size bit somewhere, but I don't recall where or if I am thinking of the right one.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jordan Keller
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It seems to be that way for at least three different kinds of woods. Red Oak, Cocobolo, Maccassar Ebony are what I've tried so far. Not sure I want to dare acrylic since it isn't as forgiving as wood. What I've done in the past is run the bit through the hole several times to make it just wide enough to hammer in. But doing that I run the risk of making odd angles and putting air pockets between the brass tube and material. I suppose I will just try grabbing a new one to see if anything changes. Maybe a manufacturing defect in the bit.

Reason I ask is because I have to drive nearly an hour to the closest woodworking shop.
 

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It is always a good idea to order bits when ordering kits. No, the tube needs to slide in easily so there is room for glue. If you have a set of calipers you may want to mic it.

To enlarge the hole you can wrap some sandpaper around a dowel and run it through the hole.
 

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I have heard complaints about tube size variances but never the bit themselves. I'd measure the bit and be sure its actually a 10mm. I buy and really like the WoodRiver pen makers bits from WC.

Your tube should not have to be hammered in. It should be a fairly loose fit and the tube should be glued in.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate the input. I'll have to get myself a different bit and try a few pens to see if it was the bit that is cutting strange. Can't really think of anything else it could be. I've tried drilling with the bit for multiple tubes, so I don't think it's the tubes.

Thanks!
 

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Vanquish17 said:
I appreciate the input. I'll have to get myself a different bit and try a few pens to see if it was the bit that is cutting strange. Can't really think of anything else it could be. I've tried drilling with the bit for multiple tubes, so I don't think it's the tubes.

Thanks!
How dry is the timber you are drilling?

Dave The Turning Cowboy
 

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If I have one that feels a bit tight, I run a rat tail file through and clean it out till the tube slides through easy. Antler seems to be the worst with me
 

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Vanquish17 said:
Fairly new to the wonderful world of pen making and really, heavy powertool machinery as well.
I've read that these Big Ben cigar pen tubes are 10mm and even on the site I ordered from (penn state) it says I need a 10mm drill bit. I purchased one from a local shop supply, but after drilling the holes, it seems like the hole is just a hair's width too small. Is it possible the bit might be sized just a bit off or is the tube supposed to fit into the hole so tightly that I have to take a hammer to it?
Also, does anyone know if 27/64" bit might work better? I saw something about using that size bit somewhere, but I don't recall where or if I am thinking of the right one.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jordan Keller
27/64 would be too big. 25/64 is relatively the same size as 10mm. It ultimately sounds like you need to get a new 10mm bit.
 

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davidpensfan87 said:
27/64 would be too big. 25/64 is relatively the same size as 10mm. It ultimately sounds like you need to get a new 10mm bit.
+1, if neither of those worked I would try 10.5 mm. If you are using an expanding glue that should work just fine. Seems odd you are having the problem with a 10 mm bit. If your timber is green that could cause issue this my earlier question about it being dry?

Dave The Turning Cowboy
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's got to be the bit. I just have to find the time to get out to the wood shop to get a different 10mm bit. I've been drilling other 7mm and 3/8" things without any problems on the same material I've had issues with the 10mm.

The bit I found that is giving me problems with size isn't great, either. Seems to be super dull and despite a "design" to avoid heating up. It heats up like crazy, sometimes starts smoking in less than a couple seconds. Other bits of larger sizes don't usually do that unless I'm really rough with them.
 

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It's got to be the bit. I just have to find the time to get out to the wood shop to get a different 10mm bit. I've been drilling other 7mm and 3/8" things without any problems on the same material I've had issues with the 10mm.

The bit I found that is giving me problems with size isn't great, either. Seems to be super dull and despite a "design" to avoid heating up. It heats up like crazy, sometimes starts smoking in less than a couple seconds. Other bits of larger sizes don't usually do that unless I'm really rough with them.
Thats the problem then, dull bit. Do you have access to a sharpener for drill bits? I would definitely get another bit. Having a backup tool in this case is pretty valuable.
 
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