Drill bits, possibly a group buy opportunity

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Daniel

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I have several questions and an idea or two.
First has anyone ever heard from a company from china named Quanzhou L&V Tools Industry Co., Ltd. another name associated with the e-mail I received is, XiaoVera.
I received a quote for high speed drill bits and an offer to send free samples (cost of shipping would be on me) and simply had the idea to try and put together penturners drill bit kits. these kits would include every size drill bit needed to make any pen kit to date.
A couple of issues with this idea.
1. the min order quantity is around 300 bits or more in some cases. I am working with the company to come up with a single min order for all bits.
2. Are they really a better price or quality??? Example is a 27/64 bit there price $0.723 ea with a min order of 300 bits. remember all postage pay pal fees ay other fees and shipping will be added to that and could easily double the final cost of the bit.

Finally I need a complete list of bit sizes needed to actually make a set. I also hope to get a min order quantity closer to 200 sets. but this woudl still be a hard number of orders to get together.

any comments or suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
 
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Monty

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Daniel, Keep in mind that you can get a complete set of TiN drill buts fro HF for around $30. That takes care of 99% of the drill bits needed. Only one's missing are the one or two over 1/2 inch.
 

IPD_Mrs

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Daniel,
Check the posting rules. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but this type of marketing inquiry post is no longer allowed on IAP. You might want to PM a hand full of people you know and solicit their opinion off off the forum.


Mike
 

JohnU

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I dont know either company mentioned, but Ive had a little experience ordering from other countries and all I can say is Watch the Shipping Costs! With the weight of drill bits, Im guessing it will probably end with an overall expense, not much less than what you can buy them for in the USA. There is a difference in material that matters to many but Ive never worried about bit material because I have a drill doctor to resharpen mine. I hope to see responses from those who have a preference because Im curious to see what kind of deal you can offer here, since I cant find mm pen sizes in my area without ordering online.
 

Daniel

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OK maybe it didn't come through so clearly so here are my questions without all the editorial.
1. what would be a really good price for a full set of HSS bits for penmaking?
2. what are all the bit sizes used for all current pen kits?

Monty, I was thinking the HF Ti set was about $40 on sale. ??? Been a long time since I bought mine. I think I have 4 or 5 bits that needed to be added to that set and they ran about $15.00 each or more. making a total cost for a set about 100 to 115 dollars. Those numbers are just off the top of my head so I might be wrong.
I also see a lot of people mention that they have the HF set but still do not have the metric sizes. I know in the end that there are suitable sizes in the HF set but was still wondering if people would rather actually have the metric sizes and be able to do away with the other 98 bits in the HF set that are not needed lol.

Basically does anyone know where there is already a list of bit sizes for kits that is complete?

And Mike, I am not gouging interest with this thread. I am trying to gather information to determine if a group buy is even feasible, What current prices on drill bits are.
 
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Hey Daniel, I for one would like to see a complete set of drill bits just for penturning (matching all kits available) as you mentioned, and still surprised nobody's offered something along those lines yet. I say go for it, if they're quality bits you really can't go wrong:wink:
 

Monty

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Daniel, regular price is $49.99, on sale most of the time for $39.99, but I've seen them as low as $29.99. HF used to have a 29 piece metric brad point set for $10, but I couldn't find it on their site.
 

Jarheaded

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Daniel,
I know this won't help much, but Grizzly has a metric set for $20. It is a 50 piece set and I would probably use 4 or 5 bits from it, but the extra drill bits in the set would cover me if they come out with something new. I would like to see a full pen drill bit set and think it is a great idea while at the same time, it will limit the set to just pens and I use my bits for a lot of other things besides the pens.
 

bitshird

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From my experience in machine shops, Quality in a drill bit is everything, Not just the steel, but the angels, the precision of the point placement, which has been my main gripe with the Chinese drill bits, I really hate off size, off center oval holes, also how true are the margins, how much meat is in the web? there are reasons Cleavland Latrobe and Norseman and Greenfield bits are expensive, they consistently create round precisely sized holes. which is something I've yet to see from set to set in the Chinese drill sets.
 
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I dont know either company mentioned, but Ive had a little experience ordering from other countries and all I can say is Watch the Shipping Costs! With the weight of drill bits, Im guessing it will probably end with an overall expense, not much less than what you can buy them for in the USA. There is a difference in material that matters to many but Ive never worried about bit material because I have a drill doctor to resharpen mine. I hope to see responses from those who have a preference because Im curious to see what kind of deal you can offer here, since I cant find mm pen sizes in my area without ordering online.
Second this post... I'm former forwarding agent and international shipping manager... make sure you have a firm and confirmed shipping prices.
 

IPD_Mrs

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And Mike, I am not gouging interest with this thread. I am trying to gather information to determine if a group buy is even feasible, What current prices on drill bits are.
Daniel I am sorry about my post earlier. For some reason I was not thinking in regards to a group buy even though you clearly stated it.

Mike
 

Daniel

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Mike, no problem. I just did not want everyone shying away from the topic wondering if it was "Legal" lol.
Issues of quality are well noted folks, this is always a concern when considering new items for group buys. Some of you know there are very few items that Rizheng offers that I, or anyone else it seems, are willing to do group buys on. Mainly for one reason alone, Quality or lack of I should say.
As for determining some of these things. I am in no way an expert on drill bits, although I may be willing to go as far as getting samples. I will most likely be looking for a more qualified person to evaluate them. for now this is just one more thought rolling around in my head so I will cross that bridge when and if it comes to needing to be crossed.

I also use my HF drill bit set for other things. But my pen turning bits are used only for drilling blanks. My other bits get abused a lot and I want my pen bits to be in the best shape possible. So that is another plug to have a set of bits dedicated for pen turning that includes only what is needed.

This company may very well offer better quality bits as well. I am still waiting for a reply to my last e-mail.

Keep in mind that at times group buy interest has shown suppliers that a demand exists for some things, and they pick up the ball and run with it themselves. So making this work even one time may cause pen turning sets to become available through traditional sources. Just another thought.

In the event that payment etc. becomes to complicated I may need to surrender this idea to someone with more importing experience. The group buys from Rizheng work in part because they accept pay pal payments. Any more complicated than that will require more homework on my part at least.

In short right now I have far more questions than answers, so stay tuned as bits and pieces fall into place. And thanks for all the comments.
 

Daniel

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Here is a list of bits I have so far. PLEASE add any that you know of that I do not have on this list. It would be a real pain to go through all this and still be one or two short.
in total there are only 29 bits.
In order from smallest to largest.

7mm
J
9/32
L
8mm
O
8.2mm
21/64
11/32
S
23/64
T
U
3/8
V
10mm
25/64
13/32
27/64
11mm
7/16
31/64
1/2
33/64
17/32
14mm
35/64
37/64
19/32

In some cases there is only a small difference in size between bits. 7mm and J for example. But there is a difference and in the interest of having a complete set I think they should all be included.
 

marcruby

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There ought to be a law...

No disrespect or argument intended, but what rules exactly? The only thing I can find is a reference to 'sneaky marketing.' That this wasn't very sneaky.

There oughtta be a rule that whenever you tell someone something is against the rules you have to include a pointer to the rule. Or put a blank in the coffee fund.

Marc

Daniel,
Check the posting rules. Hate to be the bearer of bad news but this type of marketing inquiry post is no longer allowed on IAP. You might want to PM a hand full of people you know and solicit their opinion off off the forum.


Mike
 

OKLAHOMAN

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Daniel,
You might want to add the Z, IMHO its a much better fit for the Jr.'s than the 27/64th.
Here is a list of bits I have so far. PLEASE add any that you know of that I do not have on this list. It would be a real pain to go through all this and still be one or two short.
in total there are only 29 bits.
In order from smallest to largest.

7mm
J
9/32
L
8mm
O
8.2mm
21/64
11/32
S
23/64
T
U
3/8
V
10mm
25/64
13/32
27/64
11mm
7/16
31/64
1/2
33/64
17/32
14mm
35/64
37/64
19/32

In some cases there is only a small difference in size between bits. 7mm and J for example. But there is a difference and in the interest of having a complete set I think they should all be included.
 

kirkfranks

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I would also add an "X" bit. I use that instead of the 10mm when painting the tubes and blank on acrylic.

One other thought if this is strictly a "pen turners set" would be to have all the bits run the same length. This would help to avoid some of the setup needed to center the bit to the drill vise after raising or lowering the table. If I want to drill Slimline blanks and Barron blanks in the same session requires moving the table and readjusting the pen drilling vise.
 

Daniel

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I added the I, X, and Z bits to the list. I'm not sure I put them in correct as to size (smallest to largest) but that is only a monor detail. that they are on the list is what is important. The quote sheet I was sent did not have the 8.2mm bit on it or any of the letter size bits. So I e-mailed them to see if they even carry them. In the event they don't I am going to try and search for a different source that gives us better selection not only in sizes but in quality and even types of bits. I'm sort of on a quest now.
 

Daniel

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Kirk, Although I agree with you about the same length for all bits. I'm not sure anyone makes bits like that, certainly not across the sizes we are looking for. Anyone know if there is such a thing? I was thinking that all the bits being about 5 inches long regardless of diameter. A I understand it the length of a bit is tied to it's diameter in some way. Any tool makers out there? here is your spot light, lol
 

Daniel

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I finally got a reply fromQUANZHOU L&V TOOL INDUSTRY CO.,LTD
That name is from there letterhead

here is what I know now.
they accept payment through Western union and require 50% payment in advance and remainder of payment before shipping on orders of $5000 or more. orders of less than $5000 requires 100% payment in advance. there is nothing new in this actually compaired to doing bulk buys for mills that we buy from China. They gave me an estimated shipping cost of $6.30 per kg (that is about $3.15 a lb.) for orders over 45kg (about 90lb). With a min order of 100 sets i think an order woudl already have to be more than 45kg. They do say that price fluctuates for peak seasons etc so exact shipping will not be known until it is actually shipped.
There are some things about group buys from china that are never really nailed down. Due to this I organize them a little different than other group buy as far as pricing. I add a couple of cents to each item and this actully creats a decent pool of "oops money" which anyone that saw the last pen mill group buy knows can go from oops to OMG what a disaster in a hurry.


They are willing to go as low as 100 set minimum order for "Sets" this is compaired to at least 300/500 pc min for individual bits, so it is really a big drop in the min. order requirment.

they listed the following bit styles that they carry but I am not sure this is a complete list.
center drill, spotting drill, push drill, diamond glass drill and so on. They say they could produce pilot drill & brad point drill if "you could send us the samples". I had asked about Titanium coated bits but did not get that question answered. So I e-mailed them again asking that as well as a couple of other questions.

It all still looks workable at this point but I cannot seem to get them to confirm that they carry letter size bits. Will post more as i get it.

I have not forgotten to come up with at least a ball park price for a set. I don't have price quotes for any of the letter size bits yet. i will come up with somehting that will at least give us all an idea of a total cost for a set by using prices on comparable size bits. as all new group buys require a few changes, this one will not be the exception. In this case I might have to post an estimated price to take orders, with an actual adjusted price at the time of collecting payments, or something like that. In the event of that I always try to estimate high rather than low so that any news will hopefully be good news.

alright this has already gotten to long and I'm sure has more info than most of you care to know. but any thoughts on this info is again welcome.

They are willing to send a complete set as a sample for the cost of
 

Daniel

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I got anouther e-mail this morning. they have all letter size bits as well as Titanium coated. I have a really important question that I might make a pole out of. Do you prefer HSS or Ti coated bits? I will work on the cost of a set of each but of course Ti will be higher.
 

Daniel

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HI folks, well I finally got through all the pricing, and comparison shopping etc. I am not ready to post anything as far as a final price as some of my info is still estimated. but I will say that the price looks very good.
I have requested samples of sets in both Ti and HSS for now so it may be a while before there is much more info.
When looking up prices I almost by casual browsing found two more bit sizes that where not on the list. It is going to be a real pain to go through all this and still end up one or two bits short of a complete set. Please take a few minutes to compair this list to the bits you use. Certainly if you turn any of the not so common kits. Not complaining but just as a way of showing that asking for a little help is not asking much I have spent over 12 hours on this project in the last two days alone, I will end up forking over some cash to get samples etc. So asking the collective mind of this group to make a small effort is not really asking a ton. Help me get this list complete...Please.
as i see it right now you can drive to HF and buy 5 times the bits needed, then come home and order the next 9 bits from three different sources and still be 3 bits short fo a set. or I can put this together, have all the sizes with them all it Ti coating and still save everyone nearly half the money. or I can sell you a set that ends up leaving everyone looking for one or two more bits. I don't have the time to look up every bit used for every kit from every supplier, but that is exactly what needs to be done.
the current list is
7mm​
I​
J​
9/32nd​
L​
8mm​
O​
8.2mm​
21/64th​
11/32nd​
S​
23/64th​
T​
U​
3/8th​
V​
10mm​
10.5mm​
X​
25/64​
13/32​
27/64​
Z​
11mm​
12.5mm​
7/16th​
15/32​
31/64​
1/2nd​
33/64​
17/32​
14mm​
35/64​
37/64​
19/32​
 

Daniel

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I have had it pointed out that I had a typo in my price for the 27/64 bit it is 73 cents not 8 cents as I had it written. sorry for any hearts that just broke.
I now have 35 bits on the list. Price quotes for both HSS and Ti coatd bits in all sizes. and have requested samples. What I can get in the way of samples is partially determined by what they have available in there sample pile.

I hae anouther question though. there are a few bits that we use far more often than others. many of us are in need of "extra" bits in these sizes. I am thinking the 7mm 10mm and 3/8 at this time but feel free to add to that. I know mine tend to get overheated removing the temper fromt he steel etc. And I have had to replace mine a couple of times. i woudl like to offer people the chance to order just those sizes so they can stock up. if you have individual bit you would like to buy let me know. I will try to get them in. keep in mind that any individual bits have to meet the 300 pc min order so not all bits will be able to be included. Mainly I'm trying to figure out how to make all this benefit the old timers in the group that have already ran around gathering up the majority of there bits.
In addition I am thinking of offering all the bits larger than 1/2 inch seperatly as well. this way everyone that already has the HF set can finish of there bit sets with all Ti Coated bits. so what do you think of a set that is all bits larger than 1/2 inch and all the metric bits?
 

Daniel

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I have almost a full set of HSS samples ready to be shipped from China, But have to make paypment for the shipping costs via Western Union. Anyone ever done this? I never have and at pretty much a total loss as to how to go about it. Vera said you can do it from any post office. I will give it a shot in an hour or so so any hints or tips would be appreciated. I am also getting some of the Ti coated bits as samples as well.
 

Daniel

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WOW! here is a tip for anyone, flat out refuse to send payment via Western Union. I was charged over 33%. That is flat sick no matter how they try to justify it since Pay Pal would have charged 3.9% and depositied it directly to the recipients account to boot. 33% and the person at the other end still has to go pick up the money.
 

Buzz

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I wonder how many people get their bits from the usual pen kit sellers? This is something I try to avoid if at all possible. I would rather buy quality bits that are many times the price of the cheap Asian ones, knowing that they are quite capable of outlasting me. The only one of these I have had to sharpen so far is the 7mm, because of all the Slimlines and Streamlines I do.

Not trying to be a doomsayer, but am I in the minority when it comes to avoiding cheaper bits?
 
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Daniel

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Hello Vera, Nice to see you made it.
Everyone I would like to take a second to introduce you to the person i have been dealing with in China over these drill bits. Vera123 here, simply Vera through e-mail.

By the way Western Union is much easier to swallow if you are sending enough money.

Chris, At least amoung penturners I would agree you are in a very small minority. This would not necessarily be true amoung other crafts people though. Having said that low price does not necessarily mean low quality. and in order to determin that I have ordered samples to be checked out by 3 other member of the group as well as myself. So quality is yet to be determined. Of course these are HSS bits so they will not be compaired to cobalt and other types of bits.
since the first advice a person would get when looking for drill bit would be to go to Harbor Freight. by far the majority of penturners are already using low price, low quality bits. I also do not know of anyone that has Ti coated bits in there collection in the sizes over 1/2 inch.
Anouther issue is the hassle most turners have to go though to even get a complete set of bits. I have an idea or two that will help everyone benefit from this.
I plan to offer bits in three different ways. One is a complete set for the new penturner jsut getting started out.
second is what I have decided to call the Harbor Freight completion set that will include only the bits that you do not have if you already bought the HF 115 piece set.
Finally I will offer any bit on the list above individually. this way anyone that still need that really odd size bit can take this chance to round out there set. You can also use this as an opportunity to get a couple extra of those well used sizes.

this is just a teaser since quality of the bit still needs to be tested, and that all of this is pending those results. but price savings looks like it is going to be in the neighborhood of 75% over finding all the bits from one source in other places.
it will be about a 50%-60% savings over running all over and ordering a couple of bits here and a couple of bits there like I had to do.

I am having a bit of a struggle with myself. on one hand there is trying to put together a set of bits that are needed for any situation. (example including oversized bits for when people paint tubes etc) or sticking with just the bit sizes that are called for by the kit manufacturers. I have already added about 5 bits to the set but this also increases the overall cost of the set. Not everyone will realize that the X bit is an alternative to the 10mm. Or should I simply stay with the recommended bits for a set?
 

Daniel

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Due to Chris' comment above about higher qulity bits I asked Vera what other types of bits are available. The ones i am getting samples of are made from 4241 HSS. Which is the lowest priced, most comman steel bits for woodworking. They also have 9241 HSS steel bits avaibale at approx 3 times the price of the 4241 bits. Above that they have Cobalt bits at approx 10 times the price of 4241 bits. In my opinion Cobalt is extreme overkill for what we need. but many of you might prefer the 9241 which gives better quality at still a good price. let me know what you think on that one. just for general information other metals that HSS bits are made from are. HSS 4241, 4341, 9341, 6542, M35.
 
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Daniel

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I will be posting a thread to start accepting orders under Individual classifieds.
Although this will be conducted like a group buy it iwll not qualify as a group buy.
I will be charging more than the actual cost in order to purchase extra sets to keep on hand.
This is necessary due to bulk buys that are for items from overseas are far more complicated, and not nearly as frequent asn bulk buys for item purchased int he U.S.
i order to accomodate those that cannot afford these sets in the 1 to 2 weeks that bul buys usually give people to place orders. I prefer to have these sets on hand full time. I also plan to do this for pen mills and cutter heads as well ones this order is finished.
this not only makes these items more available to the members, it greatly simplifies the process for me. In short group buys for items overseas cannot be conducted as usual. it has become a situation that considerable money is being paid out of my pocket in order to organize new ones. In this case nearly $100 just to have the quality of the bits tested. The above two factors along with just the shear amount of time required has become far greater than ever before. I have spent well over 75 hours this last week working on this group buy alone. This is not a complaint it is simply a fact that the products becoming available for group buys are also bringing greater complications. i for one think these complications are worth overcoming, But this requires change in how buys are conducted.
 

Daniel

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Just dropping in to let you all know this idea has not been forgotten. I am expecting the samples today, I have about 4 people to do testing so I will have to get some of the bits to each of them and give them time to play. hopefully we will have some results in a week to a week and a half.
In the mean time I have been talking to Vera about different quality bits and what challenges there are to drilling a pen blank. So far the bits I am getting samples of are still coming out as our best choice. Harbor Freight lists there 115 pc. Ti set as M2. I asked Vera how this would compare to the bits we will be getting and the samples should be slightly better quality steel so hopefully these bits will add just a touch in the quality category. I might have found another source for pen mills as well. I am trying to make sure that we are thinking about the same tool when we say pen mill.
So as usual I have only managed to make myself busier.
At this time I have put just how I will go about offering these on hold. I know it cannot be as a traditional group buy. I do not have the time to deal with this many orders in a short period of time. I found out through one of the pen mill group buys that getting close to 100 orders is beyond the record keeping set up I have. Not only that but everything about a group buy is much harder, becomes days of work rather than hours, and even finding a specific payment in my pay pal account becomes a search through pages of payments. so there are a lot of problems that need to get answered so that chances of mistakes get reduced and streamlining the process time wise.
 

Daniel

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I got the samples yesterday and spent last evening just giving them a good eying over and sorting them into piles to mail out to the testers. out of 29 bits ranging in size from 7mm to 14mm I found only two machining issues and one of those was minor and one may only look like a problem. the one that I am not sure about is that one bit may have the point ground off center, my eye is not as good as it used to be so I am not all that certain it is just by looking at it.
The Ti bits are identical to the ones in my Harbor Freight set. the stamps on them are actually better than most of my HF bits. out of 29 bits only one was a little hard to read. all the rest are very well stamped and readable.
the machining is good and consistent throughout all the bits, I found only one small burr on the tip of one bit.
I expect to find out more about how well they wear after the testers are finished with them as well as how well they resharpen. Remember all bits wear out and get dull. We will be trying to find out just how soon they do and how well they take a new edge once they have.
I was talking to a machine shop person yesterday when i first got the bits. He mentioned several times that what you are drilling will matter a lot as to how long a bit will wear. He pointed out that in some cases he can get longer life from a bit by drilling stainless steel than he can by drilling aluminum with the same bit. so harder does not necessarily equate to faster dulling. some materials are simply more abrasive for various reasons.
In all I am happy with what I see and just by looking I think the Ti bits are at least equal to what most of use already use, and the HSS are better than ones I have gotten from both P.S.I. or CSUSA. they look much nicer than any HSS bits I have gotten from HF. At this point I see no reason to stop a group buy for reasons of quality of product. At a cost of Nearly $100 to me I think this little report cost me about one dollar per word. so I hope you all enjoyed it.

I have to rework my prices because shipping cost on a set will be about 2 and a half times what I guessed. I just took the per Kilo price for shipping and added that to the cost of a set. in reality the weight of a set is more like 2 1/2 kilos or about 5 lbs.
Since I did not actually get a complete set as samples I had to do some creative manipulation to even come up with that. But I now have far more accurate info about weights than I did before. Still shipping is not a huge factor in the cost of the bits at least when it comes to final price for them.

I weighed each bit individually as well for future information. included int he samples where three 25/64 bits. when I weighed each of these I got different weight on each of them. 1.6oz,1.7oz, and 1.9oz. the tenth of an ounce difference did not concern me but 3 tenths seemed a little weird. I did not find this with any of the other bits at all and I compared them all to my HF set and all weights agreed.

OK well for now I see this still moving forward, I still have some decisions to make as to just how these will be offered but unless testing shows they will not even drill I don't see much reason I will not be running a buy for them due to quality issues.

In addition the more I talk with Vera the more I learn they have to offer us. I am looking into getting pen mills at an even lower cost than we are getting them now from China, not by a lot but every little bit helps.

there are some bits that are 3 times the cost of these that I will be getting samples of with our first order. Vera still recommends these bits for woodworking for the quality vs cost. and does not think that even the bits that cost three times as much are worth the cost compared to the quality upgrade they have.

I want to mention again how helpful this company has been. they have been aware of this group and already have a lot of understanding of our needs. they contacted me offering some exceptions that woudl be required to make this work without me even having to mention them. I realize few members would have any idea just how helpful that is at my end. But it really is huge for me. I appreciate it and just want to try and pass that along to the rest of you.
 
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