Trying to make 120 pen holder


Trying to make the clear pen holder. I need a template to drill the holes, which will be 120. The material is 3/16 acrylic. Drill acrylic can be difficult if you don’t use the correct bits. I’m think I should have for sections twice. I’m thinking the center spine should be slotted to interlock the two center spines. Talking to my acrylic supplier I should just be able to glue the center spine and other components without any bracing since there is little weight. Each section is 30 pen holes. The holes will be 7/16", but has to have spacing to keep from chipping. I’m not sure on how to start the octagon. As a starting point I’m thinking 9" across on the points.


Some help with a project

Mike, is this instead of the wooden pen holder we worked on the other day?

Are you looking for help with how to draw the pattern?


I was think this might work better because I could make it on a swivel (lazy susan). I know when I picked up my scrap acrylic they suggested laser cut which they could from a dwg. I get their scrap acrylic and what I got today only cost $2.00. They are very reasonable on their scrap pieces.

I would like to figure it out. I want to try be myself to learn, but need suggestion on how to get started and I can show updates as I go along



Well, as far as laying out the holes, you can make an array sort of like we did with the wooden holder but with multiple rows to fit into a single triangular space. Then use Rotate/Copy to rotate the array to the other positions.


How do I rotate my octagon to fit on the axis point of the layout. I tried using the compass, but I must be grabbing the wrong area


The easy way would be to start with the center of the octagon on the origin. Actually, I think I would just draw a triangular sector of the octagon with its point on the origin and the base crossing either the red or green axis at a right angle.


I will have to work on that. My first try wasn’t quite correct when I copied and paste. Also, I’m learning how the compass tool works and starting to get the hang of that


The image to this explanation…


@DaveR is faster… but my picture moves!


Faster way for this step with “copy to clipboard” and “paste in place”…


I wish I could give you a bonus like for your watermark.


I’ve got a spare like you can use.




A post was split to a new topic: How do I cut holes in siding


I’m changing my design. I called the Mfg and they said the octagon was 11" with 1/2" holes. That’s to big for the desk area I want to use. Now I’m thinking 7’16" holes spaced at 3/8" on a 8" circle ( I’m using acrylic so I have to be careful of chipping if I drill them. Another option is to see if a friend has a laser cutter). The holes will also be 3/8" from the leading edge of the circle. The holes will not be closer than 1 1/2" from the center. The other thing that has to be done is have it set in quarter circles ( I think this would be best because I have to put in 90* support for the top and bottom so I have to have a clear path for the support with no holes in that area.

Now I need to know how many holes there will be.

I start with a circle, but how do I get a guideline for the circle



I don’t understand. What’s this “guideline for the circle” do?

I gather you are planning on quarter-circle sectors for this pen holder. Is that right?


Maybe my thinking was incorrect. I was thinking I need guideline to place my holes for the pen.

I was thinking quarter circle sectors unless I don’t need that. I have to have a clear path from the center going out to the edge for a cross member support.

Hopefully I described that correctly


You can place radial guidelines with the Protractor Tool.


Use wood drills for making holes in wood has the little corners for cutting a round hole straight down cuts the edges before making a hole . . Do test on blank to get the speed right or you can melt the material and get globs from heat !


If I did a radius from the center wouldn’t the outer edge of the holes on the circle be farther apart the the inner ones.