Drill bits

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flarud

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Jun 18, 2020
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8
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Deltona, FL
Howdy guys, I'm curious to what kind of drill bits everyone is using. Most of my pens are "plastic". I don't like to use that word but I think everyone knows what I am talking about when I use it. Mica's, acrylics, acrylester, etc. I have used a few different types. High speed steel, black oxide, and titanium. I have a couple chrome vanadium brad point Fisch bits from Woodcraft that I liked, but all seem to dull fast when going thru "plastic", especially the Mica. Woodcraft had another Fisch that was about $10 more I don't remember what material it was, maybe HSS.
I have read thru some old threads here, I saw a 115 pieces bit set from Harbor Freight mentioned a few times. I do buy items from Harbor Freight, but have never tried their drill bits. I would think that they are on the very cheap end of the spectrum.

Thanks,
Barry
 
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magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
I use the Norseman brand of drill bits ... jobber size. . I use them for all materials ... wood, "plastic", brass and aluminum. . They have lasted well.

Right at the beginning of my pen-making days, about 10 years ago, I formed the opinion that the hole drilled in the blank was the "foundation" for every part of the process that followed. . So I bit the bullet and bought quality. . There may in fact be better drills but I have been well served by these Norseman bits. . I bought three full sets (approx 28 or so bits per set) in SAE, Metric, and Letter sizes. . Quite expensive, but I have never regretted my decision. . Buying the full set there are, of course, some drill sizes that you rarely, if ever use, but purchasing that way the cost is still cheaper than buying individual bits .... provided, of course, that your work covers quite a wide range of pen styles and sizes. . I don't like brad point drills for pen-making but that opinion may be due to the rather cheap drills of that type that I tried early on. . Also, I have not had satisfaction with the drill bits from the 115 piece set that I tried more than 10 years ago. . A straight and accurately-sized hole is very important to me. . I should perhaps add that I do my drilling on the lathe. . Also, I never use bushings any more, preferring the turning-between-centers technique (TBC), but perhaps that is a somewhat more distantly related topic.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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14,774
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NJ, USA.
I too use Norseman. I would stay away from HF bits unless you can sharpen them with a drill doctor. They will dull fast. They are a good source for that quick need to have on spur of the moment bit but you get what you pay for.
 

greenacres2

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May 2, 2017
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Northwest IN
Another Norseman user here. Though my metrics are their Viking line. It hurt the night i ordered them, but the day they came in and i used the first one...the pain went away. There is a difference.
earl
 

EricRN

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Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
376
I use jobber length Norseman's, too. Their split-point magnum bits with the black/gold coating. Have been using them for a year plus and haven't found the need to sharpen them yet. Just out of curiousity--will a drill doctor work to sharpen those?
 

walshjp17

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Jul 29, 2012
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Weddington, NC
I use the Norseman brand of drill bits ... jobber size. . I use them for all materials ... wood, "plastic", brass and aluminum. . They have lasted well.

I bought three full sets (approx 28 or so bits per set) in SAE, Metric, and Letter sizes. .

Where did you get the metric bits. On this side of the border they are a tough find.
 

carlmorrell

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May 14, 2013
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Cary, NC
I have an older Craftsman black oxide 115 piece index and a drill doctor. No complaints, but I have been looking on ebay, since I am missing some bits, and thought perhaps it is time to get a new set, at 62, I think I will not need too many more sets. I have been watching Chicago-Latrobe cobalt sets sell in the $200 range (MSRP $750). But what stops me is the 118 -vs- 135 degree angle. Any opinions on that?
 

monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
But what stops me is the 118 -vs- 135 degree angle. Any opinions on that?

The ideal angle for a drill bit depends on the material being drilled - in theory, it is preferable to use a sharper angle in softer materials (including wood and plastics), and a flatter angle in harder materials (metals), but outside of specialty shops, most bits are either 118 or 135 degrees. As a practical matter, 118 degrees is considered 'universal' and is most common angle encountered for general purpose applications. 135 degree bits are specialty bits that are intended for use with steel and other hard metals.
 

carlmorrell

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May 14, 2013
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Cary, NC
The ideal angle for a drill bit depends on the material being drilled - in theory, it is preferable to use a sharper angle in softer materials (including wood and plastics), and a flatter angle in harder materials (metals), but outside of specialty shops, most bits are either 118 or 135 degrees. As a practical matter, 118 degrees is considered 'universal' and is most common angle encountered for general purpose applications. 135 degree bits are specialty bits that are intended for use with steel and other hard metals.

I know that. I read that in about a dozen places. From what i have read, The main disadvantage of the 135 degree angle is the issue of drifting when starting the hole. I drill on a drill press, clamped, so is that not a moot issue? I also read that angle is harder to sharpen. Is that true considering I have a drill doctor? Does anyone have both 118 & 135 bits and find themselves not reaching for the 135 and opting for 118? If I bit the bullet and bought the 135 degree points would I regret it? I almost never drill any type of metal. But I do find myself drilling many other materials.
 

egnald

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Jun 9, 2017
Messages
501
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Greetings,

I use LMT Onsrud bits designed for drilling plastics from McMaster Carr. They are jobber's length and are ground with a steep angle (somewhere between 60 and 90 degrees) to allow for a more gradual penetration to reduce friction and to eliminate cracking and chipping caused by catches when drilling in plastic.

I used to manage an equipment design and fabrication shop where we used them extensively for drilling plexiglass and polycarbonate materials. The other nice thing is that they are available in Standard, Metric, Wire Gauge, and Letter drill sizes. So, for example, since I make a lot of Cigar type pens, I have a 10mm bit (0.394 inches), an "X" drill (0.397 inches) and a "Y" drill which is 0.404 inches. This let's me pick an oversized drill depending on the actual tube OD and the number of coats of paint I plan on using for tube and back painting.

Water is a good lubricant if needed, but I rarely use it. Most problems like chipping or melting are simply due to an improper feed rate for the material. Chipping when the feed rate is too fast and melting when the feed rate is too slow, or the RPM is too high, or there is a heavy chip load and the bit is not cleared and permitted to cool off.

So far I have had very good luck with them on all of the plastic blanks I have drilled.

Regards,
Dave
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
Messages
1,680
Location
Tehachapi, CA
I vote for Colt drill bits for both plastic and wood. I drill plenty and they always work well. Try Arizona Silhouette for the best selection.
 

ianpowell

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Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Provo Utah
Fisch Drill bits - In my experience the best bits are the Fisch Drill bits. They are designed specifically to meet the needs of woodturners(i.e. Super sharp, m2 steel, less breakout, and longer). Here is a link Fisch Drill Bit.
 

MPVic

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Joined
Dec 23, 2011
Messages
341
Location
Hamilton, ON, Canada
I use the Norseman brand of drill bits ... jobber size. . I use them for all materials ... wood, "plastic", brass and aluminum. . They have lasted well.

Right at the beginning of my pen-making days, about 10 years ago, I formed the opinion that the hole drilled in the blank was the "foundation" for every part of the process that followed. . So I bit the bullet and bought quality. . There may in fact be better drills but I have been well served by these Norseman bits. . I bought three full sets (approx 28 or so bits per set) in SAE, Metric, and Letter sizes. . Quite expensive, but I have never regretted my decision. . Buying the full set there are, of course, some drill sizes that you rarely, if ever use, but purchasing that way the cost is still cheaper than buying individual bits .... provided, of course, that your work covers quite a wide range of pen styles and sizes. . I don't like brad point drills for pen-making but that opinion may be due to the rather cheap drills of that type that I tried early on. . Also, I have not had satisfaction with the drill bits from the 115 piece set that I tried more than 10 years ago. . A straight and accurately-sized hole is very important to me. . I should perhaps add that I do my drilling on the lathe. . Also, I never use bushings any more, preferring the turning-between-centers technique (TBC), but perhaps that is a somewhat more distantly related topic.
Hi Mal:
I asked Tony as well, but what "model" of Norseman JOBBER bits do you prefer? There are quite a few different ones.
 

howsitwork

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Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
1,082
Location
Thirsk
Well I use cobalt bullet point bits ( they have a small centre drill section to start off then move to a regular section at118 degrees).

I have tried brad point” lip and spur “ bits but with variable success. Even decent Bosch ones sometimes follow the grain or deflect, not often and it maybe due to me not clearing the flutes by frequent withdrawal from the hole.

I like CK brand of brad point drills as they give a nice clean entrance and , provided you drill slowly as you nearly go through, they give minimal breakout too.
 

magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Location
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
@MPVic

Hi Mal:
I asked Tony as well, but what "model" of Norseman JOBBER bits do you prefer? There are quite a few different ones.

Mark, I was not aware of there being such a variety of "models".

I'll send you in a "conversation" all the details I can find on the drill bit boxes that enclose my most recently purchased SAE set of drill bits.

Let me know if I can be of any further help. . I'd appreciate hearing about the various "models" and how they differ when/if you find out more.
 

wouldentu2?

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Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
692
Location
Oak Creek WI
Fisch pen drill, about $14 for a 7mm. I have drilled 200 Corian blanks and still using it. Start your hole with a center drill since the point is flatter than standard bit. The flatter end reduce blowout when exiting.
Flutes are twice the size of regular bits so they are not prone to clogging
 

TonyL

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Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
8,146
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Tony:
I just checked the site you mentioned - thanks for the link. I noticed that under JOBBER bits there are 17 different "models" - any particular one that you prefer?
The magnums. Call them. The guy Daryn or Daryl know the ones I buy. He can look up my order. My last name is Lobello. They used to be easier to find. I wound up calling them. Nice folks too. Great prices and reasonable shipping.
 
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