Monday 14 December 2020

DIY CNC Pen Holder - Episode 250

 This project is to make a pen holder that will hopefully be easy for you to make using off the shelf parts and basic tools. It seems now that the key piece of this project may not be available in other countries. I hope that even if the same piece is not readily available there will be something similar that can be used. Hopefully this project will serve as inspiration for making your own pen holder.

What use is a pen holder other than drawing pretty pictures.
A pen can be used to draw on stock to mark locations for hold downs. It can also mark out where machining will take place before you commit to doing the actual machining. This works better for metal stock where the pen can be cleaned off, rather than wood which will soak in the pen but it is a possibility.


Parts used to make the pen holder

Tools used

  • 12mm drill to mark center of the endcap
  • 11mm drill to drill hole in center of the endcap
  • 1/4 - 20 tap 


Make don't buy
When you look on line for CNC pen holders you find very expensive ones up to 140USD.
They will work no better than a homemade one that you can make yourself for $10.
I'm sure the commercial version will look very nice but it won't work 14 times better.
The more elaborate one I made on the lathe does not make any real difference when it comes to drawing. There is no plan for this as it will depend on available parts. The only thing you need to remember is that the tail of a Sharpie Mini is a 2 degree taper.
With the dampening caused by the neat fit of the pen holder the solution is to either drill a breather hole in the rear of the tool holder to allow air in and out or to mill a shallow groove or file a flat from front to back of the acetyl Sharpie holder to allow air to move between one end and the other. As it stands the dampening is no a problem.

The Spring
Finding and specifying a spring of the right diameter and strength is a problem especially when others have to find the same item for their project. Fortunately I had a set of 3M earplugs that I accidentally left in my pocket and put in the wash. To my annoyance I found they lost the slow expansion needed for an earplug but it turns out to be exactly what I needed for the spring in this project. I'm sure you will have no problem finding one for your project.


Merry Christmas
I'd like to take the opportunity to thank you guys for your continued support of my channel  and for taking the time to watch.Christmas is just about here so I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Until next time
Cheers Peter