Drilling Instructions For Scrolled Blanks

 

This is how to locate the center of a scrolled blank for drilling purposes.


Example one is the 360 degree flame design:

 

I build these as cap sections or as pen sections.  Where you see the ruler located is what I refer to as the base of the flames.  As you can see on this blank by viewing the ruler, the width at the very base of the flame is 3/8".  Divide 3/8 in half and place a mark in the center of the base of the flames.  Measure from the outside edge to the mark in the center of the base of the flames.  Transfer this measurement on to the top of the blank.  Turn the blank on it's side and repeat the exact same process.  On top of the pen blank you now have an x to mark the center of the flames where they should be drilled.  The blank is drilled extra long.  The tube is placed over the image so that the highest flame will be about 1/8" from the end of the tube.  Mark both ends of the tube.  Trim the blank just outside of the pencil marks and then glue in the tube.  Flames are acrylic, so be sure you painted those tubes.  The example shown is for a JR series pen section.  If it was for a JR series cap section, the width at the base of the flames would have been 1/2".


 

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Example 2 is how to center a scrolled wood picture:

 

The example used is a Dragon design for a JR Series cap section. Measure the furthest outside peice and draw a line down the outside of the image, repeating for both sides of the image.  Divide the line in half and that is the center of the image.  Measure from the outside edge of the blank to the center line of the image and transfer that line on the top of the blank.  Wooden blanks with images in them are actually 2 pieces of wood laminated together.  The lamination prevent the image from being visible on both sides of the pen.  The seam between the two pieces of wood is the second reference mark for drilling!


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How to center a scrolled acrylic blank with imbedded image:

 

A scrolled acrylic blank is exactly the same steps as a scrolled wood blank.  The only difference is that the acrylic blanks have no lamination seam.  All images in my scrolled acrylic blanks are 7/16 thick.  Simply measure down from the face of the blank 7/16 and that is your second reference mark.  The concept for both styles of blanks is that the center of the drill bit rides exactly behind the image.  There is some forgiveness as far as how far forward or back from center that you can drill.  A 1/16 either way will not create any issues at all.  Drilling a blank off center to the side of an image is what you need to concentrate on the most.  There is very little forgiveness for drilling to the side of an image.  An image like a tiny heart will be somewhat forgiving, but a large full size dragon image requires precise drilling.

 

More Hints and Tips for working with scrolled pen blanks:

 

Skulls:  Skulls are 100% Crystal Clear Alumilite.  Alumilite does not stick to itself as good as Polyester Resin.  Do not let chips build up in the drill bit. Chips can push on the skull, especially the eyes/nose/mouth pieces, causing them to release and pop out of their holes.  A good way to combat this is to simply put a piece of masking tape over the skull before drilling.   Trim the blank after drilling and then glue in the painted tube.  Push on the eyes/nose/mouth pieces.  If any of them worked loose from drilling, simply push them down against the tube and pour some thin CA over them.  Let the glue dry 20 min or so and then spin  your pen.

 

Dragons: Center and drill the dragon as per instructions above.  Place tube over the dragon or flame section to determine where tube should be, mark and trim the drilled blank.  Color your epoxy and glue in the painted tubes.  If you have a dragon made out of Maple, do not power sand the blank!  Maple burns very easy, especially figured maple.  If the wood is a bit fuzzy, gently hand sand it.  Apply your finish.  Any blank containing wood will require a finish.