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.


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

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The image to this explanation…

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@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.



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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.