The Pen Is Mighter

With all due respect to Mr. Sean Connery, Mark V owners are sitting on a gold mine.  Pen turning is fun and challenging, and there are very few lathes that pack the pen-power of the Shopsmith.   While most pen turners are working on tiny little lathes, Mark V users have 1 1/8hp of juice behind them.
And have you seen the puny little tool rests on those little lathes?  The tool rest on the Mark V is the ideal length for pens.

OK, so we have the lathe covered, but what about the drill press?  That's right, many new turners think all they need is a lathe, but many of the projects we make require prep work prior to turning.  A saw of some sort, such as a bandsaw is invaluable; but if you have pens in mind you must use a drill press to bore for the tube that is glued into the blank.  The Mark V is an excellent drill press, but you'll soon find out that you'll need some help supporting the blank when drilling.  For years I used a wooden-jaw hand screw clamp, but I've always have been keeping an eye out for a better way.  Imagine what I thought when I saw the bad-boy in the photo above!  This new Self Centering Pen and Bottle Stopper Drilling Vise solves the problem of position the blank perfectly every time.  Click the link to check it out.

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