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Pen Makers' Center Drilling Vise
Worked OK for a while, but eventually gears locked up and could not get the jaws to open any more. Also experienced the flexing problem mentioned by another reviewer which causes uncentered holes.
No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Does the job
Bought this item when I started making pens. Works well and seems well built.
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Overpriced, Not Very Versatile
I have owned this vice for a month, and have used it to make a few pens. So, that said, it does work in some capacity.
Last week, I clamped a blank in the vise, and when I went to loosen it, the whole knob unthreaded on me. Rather than turning the internal gear mechanism, it simply spun right off the threaded length of bar it's mounted on. A little encouragement with some vice grips fixed that, but it was a pain, and wasn't very encouraging. I thought it was a poor design.
In all fairness, my shop set up leaves a little to be desired. Sometimes, I need to improvise. I think this is made a little too cheaply for that kind of finagling.
Bottom line: I have a feeling I should have spent the extra $40 and gone w/ the higher end version.
I would buy this product again and again
Once the main gear is lose, you are done
I have been using this vise for about 3 years. When I first received it, I was more then pleased with it and it's performance.
Then last week, it jammed on me. I could not turn the handle to close the jaws, so I backed it off a little and kept trying. But the vise would not close and eventually locked up.
I disassembled the vise and found that the two gears were jammed against one another. After further investigation and finally getting the main gear off. I found that the shaft which the gear was on, was completely round. I expected to find a flat spot for the set screw to push against. I could tell that over time, the set screw was dragging over the surface of the shaft and finally had let go. I reassembled the vise and tightened the set screw. This only lasted a few turns before the gear moved again, jamming the two gears together.
So, I will either disassemble the vise one more time and alter the shaft by using a grinder to create a flat area for the set screw to land on, or I will simply just go buy a different one.
Very good, just what i needed
Gastonia North Carolina
I use it to drill out pin blanks does a good job
This is a great device for penturners
This is a great vise, not just centering pen blanks, but also for small ornament blanks.
Good, Practical Tool
Unit is ideal for center drilling pen blanks, however I wish it were made with a little more sturdy material. All in all a good buy.
Good value for the $
This is a good deal for the price. Nice weight makes it sturdy on the table. Clamping it to the table is recommended. Easy center set up by locking the press quill down and lightly clamping the vise on the bit, then clamping it to the table. The only "con" I notice so far is a slight flex to the alignment shafts when applying drilling pressure which could cause the bore to "elipse". I slide a couple pieces of cardstock between the jaws and the base to help support it. Other than that it is great for keeping blanks stable and maintaining a good center.
OK with modification
Rick the Bodhran Player
The problem with this vise is that it flexes from the pressure of the drill. A centered entry hole will give you an off-center exit hole. The fix is to place a small wood block below your pen blank, so all the pressure is transferred to the base of the vice: I use the waste pieces I saw off the blanks. I also set the depth gauge so the bit drills about a quarter-inch into the block.
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Rick the Bodhran Player
My Jet Drill Press & pen blank vise from Woodcraft
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