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Drill bit set for pen making?

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Forum topic by Fridgecritter posted 03-28-2014 05:40 PM 842 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Fridgecritter

170 posts in 864 days


03-28-2014 05:40 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource question

I have been branching out into different kits, and I have about 5 different sets of bushings and drill bits. I was wondering if someone could refer a specific set of drill bits that include the most common pen sizes? Or am I overcomplicating things and any good set has those sizes?

-- "Anyone can post a quote on the internet and attribute the quote to a famous person." -Abraham Lincoln


14 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3980 posts in 2411 days


#1 posted 03-28-2014 06:20 PM

You cannot beat Whiteside bits … they are available at WoodCraft (see: http://www.woodcraft.com/search2/search.aspx?query=whiteside%20drill%20bits ).

Yes, they are a little pricey, but they are well worth the money. I went through a bunch of cheaper bits that dulled easy (read: blow-out on blanks) and wondered all over the place. Since I switched to Whiteside (2 years ago) the holes in my blanks are straight and true and the brass tubes fit snug. I turn 25 to 50 pens a month and I think the Whiteside bits have actually saved me money.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1239 posts in 882 days


#2 posted 03-28-2014 08:44 PM

Catalogs & web sites already tell you what drill bit is needed to make their pen kits. I recommend getting a drill chart index online like this one.

http://www.upstatenymachinist.com/plans/drill_chart.pdf

Man named Eagle now deceased talked about buying drill index set and measure your tubes with digital calipers on various message boards. He was also a big fan of a drill doctor to keep his bits sharp. This is the drill index set he talked about:

http://www.harborfreight.com/115-piece-high-speed-drill-bit-set-with-index-528.html

You will get many recommendations on drill bits. All I can say is buy an index you can afford. Use your index chart & calipers picking a drill bit for whatever kit you are making. Do not want to force tubes into the blank, will push glue out needed to hold the tube. If you use slightly larger bit switch thick CA or use epoxy to glue in tubes.

-- Bill

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TheDane

3980 posts in 2411 days


#3 posted 03-28-2014 10:23 PM

If you are using brad point bits to drill pen blanks, you cannot sharpen with a Drill Doctor.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1239 posts in 882 days


#4 posted 03-29-2014 04:21 PM

Gerry when first started lurking at the IAP some old sages over there claimed sharpening brad point bits in a drill doctor produces split or pilot point bits. Now days will get do not do it or yes you can over there. Never saw the wisdom or would recommend someone sharpen their brad or pilot point bits in a drill doctor. All about buying a new brad, pilot, or split point bit or index vice buying replacement sharpening stone for drill doctor.

Must have three or four small & large twist drill indexes and no idea whether 118 or 135 degrees. Do have one brad point index. Do not own a drill doctor, because more prone to bend or break a drill bit before it needs sharpening.

I drill both acrylic and wood pen blanks with either brad point or twist drill bits. Experience has taught me use a straight bit and clear chips often if want a straight hole. No longer get out of round holes or drill bit wandering in the material.

Early on if had a drill bit index chart could have saved myself from buying two different size 7 mm drill bits. Got a 7 mm drill bit from Packard Woodworks when ordered some Slimline kits. Hole too small for tubes Slimline kits ordered from WoodturningZ. Already had a J size bit in an index that would have worked vice ordering another bit.

Ordered a parabolic bit from Berea Hardwood to make their Button Click pen kit that gave me out of round bits and wandered on several blanks. Made it hard to assemble make those kits. Several years later made another order and used a bit from my index without any problems.

A drill bit chart, and drill index set can save you time and money regardless type of bits you prefer.

-- Bill

View moke's profile

moke

556 posts in 1524 days


#5 posted 03-29-2014 05:22 PM

I agree with Wildwood, a drill index ( full set) is a good investment. I bought my set from grainger and paid big bucks..a friend bought his from HF and it is exactly the same set…it is the set up from the one Wildwood had linked to ….I think you can get them for about 115.00, before coupons.

I would also order a digital caliper (Wood craft has a nice one) and use the closet bit to the recommended size and use it. ( Make sure that you get one that is fractional, metric and thousnds). I most often reverse paint the blank and spray the tubes in acrylics. ( I rarely use wood) With this method I can use a slightly bigger bit to accommidate the paint thickness. I rarely use brad points. they can tear up acrylics and if you segment, they will tear up a metal segment piece. As wildwood said, I too have found that a straight bit and going slow will get me the best most consistant result. Besides clearling the chips often, I also shoot air down the flute of the bit during the drilling. I also cool the bit inbetween with air. A hot bit will warm the blank and it will not make as smooth a hole inside. You can correct that however by running a copper bore brush made for cleaning a pistol barrel, in the hole. ( it works really well, and takes maybe 10 seconds) If you buy 6 or 7 of the dedicated drill bits you will have paid for a full indexed set and the caliper.

Also if you are drilling on the drill press, you will be much better off to drill on the lathe. Now days there are chucks to hold the blanks or chucks that will adapt to blank holding jaws. Be sure to use centering bits before drilling to size. It is far more accurate and if you go slow it will yeild better results. With a dedicated drilling chuck it will not take much longer at all.
Mike

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3980 posts in 2411 days


#6 posted 03-29-2014 07:11 PM

Bill—I have a Drill Doctor … I assure you if anybody sharpens a brad point bit in a Drill Doctor, they won’t have a brad point bit anymore! Every Drill Doctor I have ever seen sharpens to a 118 degree point angle. They do make a machine that will sharpen spade bits and allow you to choose any angle from 115 degree to 140 degrees, but no brad points.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Marcus's profile

Marcus

1080 posts in 767 days


#7 posted 03-29-2014 08:11 PM

On a related note, does anyone else thing that the different pen kits are just a scam to get you to buy more expensive drill bits? From what i’ve seen, most of pen kits I’ve seen would all work fine with a 7 or 10mm hole. meanwhile we all have to buy 25/65, 27/64, 10mm, 12.5 mm….and so on and so on.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1239 posts in 882 days


#8 posted 03-29-2014 09:01 PM

Jerry before responding did a search at IAP. I am sure if went back further would find even more post.

http://www.penturners.org/forum/f30/drill-bit-sharpener-24335/

http://www.penturners.org/forum/f14/drill-sharpening-63613/

None of the models here talk about sharpening brad point drill bits. That is why do not recommend doing it! Can only guess going to pay $20 + shipping for a new wheel for your drill doctor. Can buy new HSS brad point index at HF without coupon for less money.

http://www.drilldoctor.com/

Marcus, that is why advocate buying a drill index set, fractional calipers, and consulting drill bit chart. Remember pen kits vendors do not always get pen components from the same factories.

-- Bill

View Fridgecritter's profile

Fridgecritter

170 posts in 864 days


#9 posted 03-29-2014 10:22 PM

You know, it’s funny, but most often it’s the easiest route that is the most effective. While I’m thinking of a place where I can get the set of good bits, I already have a nice digital caliper! So I ordered the nice 115 dollar set of bits from Grizzly. It had really good reviews on Amazon. That’s the last time I buy a bit from a kit supplier.

I appreciate all of the advice, and I will put it to good use.

-- "Anyone can post a quote on the internet and attribute the quote to a famous person." -Abraham Lincoln

View Fridgecritter's profile

Fridgecritter

170 posts in 864 days


#10 posted 03-29-2014 10:28 PM

I meant 115 piece set, not dollar.

-- "Anyone can post a quote on the internet and attribute the quote to a famous person." -Abraham Lincoln

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3980 posts in 2411 days


#11 posted 03-29-2014 10:53 PM

Marcus—Good point (no pun intended) ... I have wondered about that myself!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View moke's profile

moke

556 posts in 1524 days


#12 posted 04-03-2014 04:49 PM

Fridgecritter..
Yesterday I recieved the Grizzly sale catalog, there appears to be two 115 sets on sale one for 59.00 and one for 49.00…
Check it out! www.Grizzly.com
Mike

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12302 posts in 2845 days


#13 posted 04-03-2014 05:00 PM

I tend to keep everything related to a specific kit in a gallon plastic bag. Instructions, bushings, kits and drill bits. For me this is simpler than hunting things up every time I change kits.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View PaulDoug's profile

PaulDoug

626 posts in 451 days


#14 posted 04-03-2014 05:16 PM

I have always found this site very useful. http://www.penventory.com/inv.pl?command=drillbitcheatform If you don’t have the specific size bit called for it will easily tell you the closest size to it. Most pens call for metric bits. If you have a SAE set this will quickly show you the closet bit you could use.

And no, the drill doctor will not sharpen brad point, forstner, spade, auger, or….

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

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