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Old 02-13-2016, 11:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Providence Forge VA
Posts: 148
Photos: 2

Default Drilling and Drill Sharpening

Just got back to making some pens, after 6 months of scrolling, flat work, and non-pen woodturning. My favorite types of pens are segmented, embedded castings, and scrolled pens, with and without casting.

Anyway, I know (from experience like many of you) that having a sharp bit for drilling segmented pens is one of the keys to success (in addition to going slow and wrapping the blank with duct tape or something for added support).

My questions are:

1) How do you sharpen your bits?
2) Do you always sharpen before drilling a blank that has taken many hours to make?
3) Do you use any kind of lubricating fluid when drilling, especially when some of the segmented material is aluminum or brass?

Appreciate any help I can get and, yes, I will do some posts once I get some acceptable results with my pen and picture (that's another issue!) making.
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: West Henrietta, NY, USA.
Posts: 4,402
Photos: 11


I use a Drill Doctor to sharpen my drill bits. I can't answer your other questions because I don't do segmented pens.
West Henrietta, NY
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NJ, USA.
Photos: 83


Welcome to the site Jim.

A segmenter. Music to my ears. Hopefully you jumped in on one of the contests going on. Always good to see other woodworkers that enjoy the things I do. Scrolling is my number one passion but all the things you mentioned are on my list also.

As to your question. Sharp bit as well as sharp tools are a must. Just as is sharp blades. there are many here that sharpen their own bits which I do also and we use the Drill Doctor. In fact one will be raffled off in a few days here so you can take a look at what it is and what it looks like in the raffle forum. The 750 is the popular choice because of the size bits it can go up to. more than what we need but you never know. It is a pretty easy tool to use once you get to know it.

As far as sharpening every time, I do not. I can tell right away if the bit does need sharpening though. Keeping the bit sharp is half the problem with segmented blanks. You are drilling through various materials and they each present their own problems. All I can say is experience and basic trial an error works. Supporting the blank in some way, continue putting CA on it, wrapping in guaze, wrapping in popsicle sticks, or wrapping in tape all help. Drill at slow speed, keep the heat in check and i highly suggest drill on a lathe.

look forward to seeing your work. Check out the segmenting forum and see some of the work others have done.
John T.
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