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Forstner bit set

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I'm looking to buy a forstner bit set (and extension) for boring holes on the lathe for things like pepper mills.

I was orginally looking at the Planet brand but they seem to get poor reviews.

I then saw this set , which seems to get pretty good reviews (assuming it is actually the same thing).

But then £30 for 10 bits? probably junk, right?

Ideally I would like the saw tooth pattern as they're designed for end grain boring, and can easily be resharpened.
 

marcros

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I do a few pepper mills. my recommendation would be to buy a single decent one for the long hole. I had a Screwfix set, which were ok. £40 reduced to £20 or thereabouts some years ago. https://www.screwfix.com/p/forstner-dri ... eces/4369v The one that I needed for that long hole wasn't long enough so I got a fisch one from Axminster. I think it was https://www.axminster.co.uk/fisch-multi ... l-ax889239, but it was a slightly odd size in the clearance section. 1 1/8 or something daft. That hole size is one of the non critical ones for crush grind mechanisms. I dont know if it was a long series one, but I dont need an extension (only just dont need one) on a 250mm mill (60mm is lid). The difference between the Fisch and the set was night and day, I would never have believed it until I tried it. I am struggling to recommend the Screwfix set now based on that, but there seems to be a gap between cheap sets and premium £250+ sets.

On pepper mills, the rest of the holes that you need are less demanding in that they are not so deep but there is a lot of wood to shift. it is made worse by needing to use the biggest forstener bit first unlike other drilling. A cheaper set here may be ok, but make sure that they contain the ones that you need for the critical holes. The Screwfix set does except for a 22mm one which is used for the crushgrind mechanism into the lid.

it would be nice just to buy decent ones of those that you need, but sometimes you need a set for various jobs. I would suggest that you replace the ones that you use over most, but better single ones over time. some are bound to only be needed once or twice, others over and over.
 

Lonsdale73

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I bought a set off ebay years ago before I a) got more into woodworking and B) knew any better. In fairness, the three smaller ones were okay but the two larger ones would struggle to cut tissue paper, not that I tried. I replaced them with Trend Snappy equivalents and the difference is staggering.. That said, each Trend bit was probably twice to three times what I paid for the set.
 
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marcros":19tue2ds said:
I do a few pepper mills. my recommendation would be to buy a single decent one for the long hole. I had a Screwfix set, which were ok. £40 reduced to £20 or thereabouts some years ago. https://www.screwfix.com/p/forstner-dri ... eces/4369v The one that I needed for that long hole wasn't long enough so I got a fisch one from Axminster. I think it was https://www.axminster.co.uk/fisch-multi ... l-ax889239, but it was a slightly odd size in the clearance section. 1 1/8 or something daft. That hole size is one of the non critical ones for crush grind mechanisms. I dont know if it was a long series one, but I dont need an extension (only just dont need one) on a 250mm mill (60mm is lid). The difference between the Fisch and the set was night and day, I would never have believed it until I tried it. I am struggling to recommend the Screwfix set now based on that, but there seems to be a gap between cheap sets and premium £250+ sets.

On pepper mills, the rest of the holes that you need are less demanding in that they are not so deep but there is a lot of wood to shift. it is made worse by needing to use the biggest forstener bit first unlike other drilling. A cheaper set here may be ok, but make sure that they contain the ones that you need for the critical holes. The Screwfix set does except for a 22mm one which is used for the crushgrind mechanism into the lid.

it would be nice just to buy decent ones of those that you need, but sometimes you need a set for various jobs. I would suggest that you replace the ones that you use over most, but better single ones over time. some are bound to only be needed once or twice, others over and over.
It is indeed for the Crush Grind mechism. It's quite annoying that they chose to use such odd sizes, 15/16", 1-1/16, 1-9/16, 1-3/4, surely they could have just used common sizes 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 1-3/4". As you say, the 1-1/16" isn't critical.

I'll be using metric bits anyway, so mine won't be exact. I'm hoping a little epoxy will suffice.
 

Steve Maskery

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I've had an Axminster set for years. Continuous rim, not sawtooth. They were OK when they were new, they are barely OK now and I'm looking for replacements.
I have seen the ones sold by Dieter Schmid (and he sells even more expensive ones), but it's hard to justify the cost, TBH. So I'll follow this thread with interest.
 

marcros

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transatlantic":1peoh3jb said:
marcros":1peoh3jb said:
I do a few pepper mills. my recommendation would be to buy a single decent one for the long hole. I had a Screwfix set, which were ok. £40 reduced to £20 or thereabouts some years ago. https://www.screwfix.com/p/forstner-dri ... eces/4369v The one that I needed for that long hole wasn't long enough so I got a fisch one from Axminster. I think it was https://www.axminster.co.uk/fisch-multi ... l-ax889239, but it was a slightly odd size in the clearance section. 1 1/8 or something daft. That hole size is one of the non critical ones for crush grind mechanisms. I dont know if it was a long series one, but I dont need an extension (only just dont need one) on a 250mm mill (60mm is lid). The difference between the Fisch and the set was night and day, I would never have believed it until I tried it. I am struggling to recommend the Screwfix set now based on that, but there seems to be a gap between cheap sets and premium £250+ sets.

On pepper mills, the rest of the holes that you need are less demanding in that they are not so deep but there is a lot of wood to shift. it is made worse by needing to use the biggest forstener bit first unlike other drilling. A cheaper set here may be ok, but make sure that they contain the ones that you need for the critical holes. The Screwfix set does except for a 22mm one which is used for the crushgrind mechanism into the lid.

it would be nice just to buy decent ones of those that you need, but sometimes you need a set for various jobs. I would suggest that you replace the ones that you use over most, but better single ones over time. some are bound to only be needed once or twice, others over and over.
It is indeed for the Crush Grind mechism. It's quite annoying that they chose to use such odd sizes, 15/16", 1-1/16, 1-9/16, 1-3/4, surely they could have just used common sizes 3/4", 1", 1-1/2", 1-3/4". As you say, the 1-1/16" isn't critical.

I'll be using metric bits anyway, so mine won't be exact. I'm hoping a little epoxy will suffice.
I think that they are probably metric, aren't the mechanisms Danish? My set were metric and worked fine, although I have now bought the multi drilling tool thing.

The most useful instructions that I have seen are in the Stiles and bates catalogue. It tells you on a drawing the size and depth.
 

Lazurus

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I started with one of the slightly better junk sets, then as they individually wore out I gradually replaced with better quality, spreads the cost of quality items and still ensures you have a range of sizes to keep you going.
 

Phil Pascoe

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That's what I did with ordinary drill bits - I bought one of the boxes of 170 nearly twenty years ago, and to date I've only ever replaced 3mm and 6mm ones.
 

Steve Maskery

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Does anyone sell the good ones singly in the UK? The Dieter Schmid ones are a reasonable price (well in that bracket) but if I buy them one at a time, the P&P makes them much less attractive.
I used to have some nice Clicos. Sigh.
 

Doug B

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Steve Maskery":2kgw3h8i said:
Does anyone sell the good ones singly in the UK? The Dieter Schmid ones are a reasonable price (well in that bracket) but if I buy them one at a time, the P&P makes them much less attractive.
I used to have some nice Clicos. Sigh.
Rowland tools https://www.rowland-tools.co.uk distribute Famag & Bessey they stand at the wood shows & they are down on the list of exhibitors at Newark at the end of the month.
I bought a 12mm plug cutter & matching bormax sawtooth forstner bit from them at Harrogate & am really pleased with the quantity, better than any plug cutter I’ve ever used before.
You can definitely buy them individually as that’s what I did, they aren’t cheap but I wouldn’t expect them to be for the quality you get.
 
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Steve Maskery":4mhvbnw4 said:
Does anyone sell the good ones singly in the UK? The Dieter Schmid ones are a reasonable price (well in that bracket) but if I buy them one at a time, the P&P makes them much less attractive.
I used to have some nice Clicos. Sigh.
Workshop heaven sells a small range

I might take Marcos advice and treat myself to one nice bit.
 

Paul Hannaby

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If your forstner bits aren't cutting, they aren't that difficult to sharpen. I do that with mine - sometimes even new ones and it can make quite a difference.
 

Deadeye

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Ok... guilty confession.
I bought the cheapest of the cheapo chinesium set.
There are pros and cons:
The cons are that they are not properly sharp and they are hard (aka I don't know how) to sharpen - so it's easy to get some scorching. Second con is that the pilot spike isn't necessarily central to the cutter; this I was able to fix.
The pros are that they are cheap as chips and I'm not awash with cash (especially for occasional use). They do run true (my set do anyway). You get a full range of sizes... <**tangent alert** someone mentioned salt/pepper mills. Why do manufacturers require so many different sizes of bit to make the mills? At least standardise between salt and pepper!> but I do get round holes where I want them.
I have one single higher quality bit and, yes, it cuts with a nice noise but until I am rather more fully funded, these will do.
 

KimG

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I have the Axminster set and they are in the "OK" range, if you sharpen them, sharpening is best done with a small credit card diamond stone, they are cheap enough and a 600 grit does a good job. I run it a few times across the bevel and once or twice down the vertical section to remove the burr, and also you can run them around the rim (Axminster's are continuous rim) to hone that a bit, plus keeping the outside rim clean helps too. A set is handy as I use them for a wide variety of tasks, but if you are making the same size hole a lot of times then it would be worth investing in a quality item like a fisch.
 
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