Drill Sharpening


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One of my best ever buys is a 170 piece set, bought about 20 years ago. I've replaced 3mms and 6mms but other than that there are more bits in it now than it came with - everything acquired along the way gets put in it. If you're doing a lot of repair work the 1/2mm sizes are more useful than you'd first think.
I learnt way back in 1984 when I started my engineering apprenticeship
We had to sharpen everything from about 1/64 all the way to around 3" along with different point types
Standard, Flat Bottom Hole, Sheet Metal along with off centre sharpening on 3ft and 4ft long drills which we used to drill oil and grease ways in long shafts being off centre slightly meant that they didn't rub or bind
It just takes practice practice practice as others have said I inherited my 8" bench grinder from my dad course wheel on one end finer wheel on the other keep a pot of water handy to keep the bits cool if it goes blue its no good grind it away and start again invest in a wheel dresser / flattener to keep the surface of your wheel flat
I flatten Spade bits, Augers and Forstners by hand using diamond cards and files.
If you can try to have a multiples of the few of the common sizes you use when they blunt just put them in a box and when you have a spare hour with no pressure to get a job done sharpen everything in the box you will get better results as you arnt in a rush and trying to force a hole though a job
I have a few friends and neighbours that don't sharpen and throw them away so i ask them to throw them in my direction i do return a few shrp but the majority I keep, I haven't brought a common size metric drill in years
I run my own business and to chuck them away is like throwing money in the bin yes it take time to sharpen them but a short while when tidying the workshop or sat waiting for delivery is time well spent
Its a useful skill and and once you know how to do it it will stay with you
+1 for Drill Doctor, took a bit of getting used to, but does the job.
Eclipse 39 drill sharpeners work, all be it slowly, best used on nearly blunt, rather than well rounded.

I would be ashamed to admit that as my 'practice' :eek:

It is the attitude that pervades the minds of those that have no regard for resourses (scarce or not) simply because 'I can pass the cost on, so it doesn't affect my profit'.

It also contributes to inflation !

You are right that I am not thinking about resources in relation to the paint brushes and the drillbits; although I do when it comes to items like timber and larger building/joinery materials. But I don’t know if I agree that I am passing some sort of unreasonable cost on to the customer. It is arguably cheaper for the customer. Drill bits in the box I copied in above are 22p each. And the throw away paint brushes from Toolstation are 30p each. Say I make you a casement window and come around to install it and have to trim one edge to make it fit well. The paintbrush I use to touch up the primer on the cut and a drillbit that may be used to fit it add up to 55p. That equates to around a minutes worth of labour. Cleaning a paint brush alone takes longer than that. Furthermore, find me a customer that is happy for you to clean a paintbrush on their property; where do you do this, in their sink, in their garden. I suppose I could be carrying some sort of solvent/water container around in the van to clean paintbrushes but I know this risks being upended somehow so I don’t.

So I plead partially guilty as charged. But I have to be competitive to survive and like it or not the same sort of commercial decision making is built into the price of the car you drive and almost all of the products you buy.
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,, same for me,, I worked with one of those Harries back in the 60s, at the time thought he was a difficult old b,,,,,,,,, but I"ve turned into one,,
My Harry was a good bloke, took time to explain things. When using the surface grinder i wound the workpiece into the revolving stone going the wrong way. There was a bloody great bang like a shotgun and i buggered up the magnetic chuck, he just asked me if i was alright. great bloke.
at what point does carbide get expensive?
I can say it's not cheap buying cobalt beyond say 8 or 9mm, locally around just under a tenner in Euros, if I only was aware of this sooner :cry:
at what point does carbide get expensive?
I buy Carbide 'Micro' drills (1/8" shank) between 0.3 & 6mm cutting dia. (though it has been some while since I needed any) - most mid-range are ~£1 - £2 but extremes do get up to £6-£8 ish.
as an engineering apprentice sharpening drills was very common. I'm laughing at trying to get 118 degrees instead of 120! the main thing is to have a clearance angle behind the cutting edge. the action on the grinder is a twist up. the rake is pre built into the wrist.
when your done twist the drill into your palm you can feel the edges. also try and grind a drill off centre to drill and larger hole( deliberately. it's not that simple. it should be but it's not....try it.
btw I use the side of a white wheel.
A little long winded but worth a watch This Old Tony

I can sharpen my drill bit freehand but the bits seem to be getting bigger before I can do so now as the smaller ones are not easy on the eyes. And just when I thought I cracked it I am now learning about negative rake grinds on them:devilish: