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Old 01-17-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
gilessim
 
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Default sharpening small drill bits

Hi, does anyone have any good tips for accurately sharpening small drill bits, i.e. number drills, I have to send to England to get them and anyway it's a shame just to bin them!...Giles



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Old 01-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Giles,

Guy Lautard "The Mchinist Bedside Reader", (first book of three), has a small fixture in it that he built to sharpen 1/8" to #60 drills. I could explain it but probably I would get carpral tunnel from typing.

I would hghly recomend getting the Bedside Reader set. They are invaluable for the HSMer.

Here's his website: http://lautard.com/

Regards,
Bernd



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Old 01-17-2008, 04:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Lautard's books are great, get all 3!

Meanwhile, the quickest and easiest is probably to buy one of these little fixtures:



They're readily available at hardware stores or online, and they're cheap.

A step up might be a Drill Doctor. Seems like about 1/4 to 1/3 of the folks who buy one find they can't make it work well. Many of these "figure it out" or adjust the machine and join the other 2/3's who seem quite happy with them.

Cheers,

BW

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Old 01-17-2008, 05:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Drill Doctors are cleverly designed reading comprehension tests. I've yet to encounter a DD I couldn't make sharpen a drill by following the directions carefully. No, they won't sharpen #60 and like drills. For these tiny drills, the best solution is to sharpen with flat facets rather than trying to grind the traditional conical tip.

IIRC, Lautard's device makes flat facets but it, like so many of his projects, is overly complicated. There are simpler devices. Mine is nothing more than two pieces of steel which clamp together and hold the drill, point exposed, in a V-groove. Flats with the proper compound sharpening angles are milled into the ends of these steel bars. A small diamond stone slid over these flats produces the proper facet on the drill end.

Another approach I've seen employs a pin vise attached to a piece of angle. The angle provides guide surfaces for rubbing the exposed drill tip on a diamond plate. My HSM index reports an article in 11/12-1987 issue by Trevor Robinson which may be this device I'm too lazy to dig out the mag and look).

Anything smaller than #60 I consider expendable and don't attempt to resharpen. They're used so seldom that buying new ones isn't going to strain the budget.

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Old 01-17-2008, 07:31 PM   #5
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Thanks guys, I've got an idea now, I've seen the dd but didn't realize that it was up to small bits, anyway I don't use many bits below #55, Lautard's books look interesting and I may order them out of interest, one thing, someone said ,on another post, I'm sorry I can't remember who it was just now, mentioned that for brass, flat facets are better, is that right?

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Old 01-18-2008, 12:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Whatever model of DD I have works great, but it isn't real happy below about #40 size-- the sharpening isn't the problem, it's the little setup jaws that are a pain to set. I snap those far more often than blunting them anyway.


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Old 01-18-2008, 09:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Make sure you get the Guy lautard books, they are a minefield of valuable information. Do make the small drill sharpener he suggests as it does work, after a while you will then just grab the drill and into it on the oil stone.
If you are going to use a bench grinder, then the main thing to look out for is the grit of the grinding wheel, if it's a rough one, when you offer the drill up, the tip will jag in the heavy grit and break the tip of. Been there, done that, don't want to see a repeat of that movie again.
The best way I have found is to put them in a pin vise, real short tip showing, then just rub them on the oil stone and they are sharp again, remember that you only need a flat face that has a sharp cutting edge and a bit of relief behind it, for the drill to actually cut.
Try the pin vise and oil stone and see what you can achieve.

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Old 01-19-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Here is a picture of Guy Lautard drill bit sharpener.It was one of my first projects.Tom

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Old 01-30-2008, 01:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

I have very little good to say about Drill doctor sharpeners. If you ever attempted to resharpen a broken drill like they show in their ads................. you will grow old before you get it into shape to cut again. For slightly dull drills it is OK. If the lip is chipped at all the DD is a exercise in futility. Just my two cents. BTW my use of a tool is considered gross abuse by most people.

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Old 01-30-2008, 03:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: sharpening small drill bits

Quote:
Originally Posted by mklotz
There are simpler devices. Mine is nothing more than two pieces of steel which clamp together and hold the drill, point exposed, in a V-groove. Flats with the proper compound sharpening angles are milled into the ends of these steel bars. A small diamond stone slid over these flats produces the proper facet on the drill end.
Marv, can you post a pic or 2 of your jig and describe briefly what angles you used and how you setup to mill them? Oh yes, I'd like an egg in my beer too.

Apparently I somehow missed this thread earlier as I generally bookmark all discussions of drill sharpening. I'm very interested in making a device or 2 to extend the life of my drills. Not to resharpen broken bits, just to keep a keen edge on my most frequently used ones. I recently bought a few Eze-Lap diamond sticks and am amazed what a few strokes on the edges of a well-used but unchipped drill will do for it. If I get improvements freehanding them, I should get even better results with a device to set the proper angles.


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