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Tips: Using a Barrel Trimmer to Make Pens
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Using a Barrel Trimmer to Make Pens

I don’t make a lot of pens so I haven’t invested in many of the pen-making gadgets. I use a screw clamp instead of a pen press. I cut a “V”-shaped slot in a hand screw clamp to hold the blank in place while drilling the holes with my drill press. All pretty low-tech stuff.
But one of the problems I’ve never been able to overcome, until now, is how to actually make the barrel trimmer trim the ends of the pen blanks. I certainly can’t do it by hand. I’ve tried mounting the trimmer in my drill press and holding the blanks up to it manually to be trimmed. No luck.
It finally dawned on me that I needed more muscle power—rather, machine power. So, I mounted the barrel trimmer into my drill press then clamped the pen blank into the “V” cut I had made in my hand screw jaws. After that, it was a simple matter to lightly pull on the drill press handle and watch the shavings fly! After a few light pulls on the handle, the blank was nicely trimmed and ready for the assembly process.
~Janice Levi
Brazos Valley Woodturners
Gulf Coast Woodturners Association





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