Drill bits...

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Alchemist

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Aug 13, 2020
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So, I have used different types of drill bits, but find that some of the MM sizes I use don’t really match up to some tube sizes. I’ve also come across heating issues with some. I’m curious of what kind of bits people use. I do almost all my drilling on the lathe.

I know this can be a personal preference but that’s what I like to see.

What works best for you? The brand? The type?
Brad point? Bullnose? Etc...

I’m looking into expansion for better bits.


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Dehn0045

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Norseman Jobber. I do like the "bit cooler" case made popular by Drill America, now there are several companies using this case or similar. I have found that some of the ultra cheap Jobber bits aren't properly ground. Can be reground using a drill doctor or by a skilled hand. I think brad points are technically the best, but are much more difficult to sharpen, and more expensive to manufacture, therefore their cost factor is a lot higher.
 

magpens

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I use Norseman drill bits and have been very happy with them. . I have full jobber sets in SAE, Metric, Letter, and Number sizes.
I do all my drilling on the lathe (metal-working).

These are what I think are called twist drills as used by machinists for standard drilling applications ... nothing special as far as I know.

I think these Norseman drill bits are known as "Black and Gold" because those colors stand out when you view the bits. . I don't know if those colors have anything to do with the metallic composition of the bits.
 
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greenacres2

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Norseman here as well. My metrics are Viking--almost as good. It was an investment--but after over a year, i still smile when i use them, the old memories live on.
earl
 

SteveG

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Eugene, Oregon 97404
I am on the same wagon with others responding. Norseman has a few different styles or grades. Long ago I was directed toward the Norseman SP (Super Premium) bits, and have been completely satisfied.
 

TonyL

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You are welcome. I do not know what a dry lubricant is. I have used this for 5 + years on all materials. I never had to clean out the barrel (excess lubricant). I do paint the inside of "plastic" barrels without a problem. I also really don't drill more than 3/4 of an inch at a time. This is just the way that I approach it.
 

Alchemist

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You are welcome. I do not know what a dry lubricant is. I have used this for 5 + years on all materials. I never had to clean out the barrel (excess lubricant). I do paint the inside of "plastic" barrels without a problem. I also really don't drill more than 3/4 of an inch at a time. This is just the way that I approach it.
I’ve used dry lubricants before, but not for pens. It works well for door hinges, stuff you don’t want a mess made of, and parts that have friction like plastic on plastic. I do 1/4 to half inch slow plunges and it works well enough. I’ve noticed that my bits are inconsistent and probably just way cheap to be using as much as I do. So, I went ahead and ordered a Norseman’s metric set.
 

More4dan

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Mar 17, 2016
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Katy, TX
Norge Titanium coated 115 bit set that include number, letter, and fractional sizes. Cheap China made set similar to what one would get from Harbor Freight (maybe a bit better). They have worked for all different materials I've drilled mostly used on my metal lathe. I also have a Drill Doctor 750. IF my budget was limited, and it was, I would buy the lower cost bits along with a good sharpening system. The materials for the cheaper bits will be adequate for most of the things we use them for. Ability to improve the tip geometry and keeping them sharp will make the most difference in performance. I regrind my tips to a 135 degrees from the standard 118 degrees. I also hone and touch up the cutting edge with a diamond card between sharpening. It would take a very long time to completely use up a drill bit due to sharpening. I can't see for hobby work spending a huge investment in "quality" bits. I'd rather have the size I need in the shop when I need it. I do plan to replace bits as I lose or break them with better quality replacements. The most used will be upgraded while those that I almost never need will be there if I do need them without having to invest $$$.

I have found that I get POOR results using Brad tip bits with a tendency to drift off center through the blank.

When it's critical I have spent $$$ on quality carbide bits/reamers/mills when necessary, just not for making pens.

Danny
 

Alchemist

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Joined
Aug 13, 2020
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Location
Central Valley, California
Norge Titanium coated 115 bit set that include number, letter, and fractional sizes. Cheap China made set similar to what one would get from Harbor Freight (maybe a bit better). They have worked for all different materials I've drilled mostly used on my metal lathe. I also have a Drill Doctor 750. IF my budget was limited, and it was, I would buy the lower cost bits along with a good sharpening system. The materials for the cheaper bits will be adequate for most of the things we use them for. Ability to improve the tip geometry and keeping them sharp will make the most difference in performance. I regrind my tips to a 135 degrees from the standard 118 degrees. I also hone and touch up the cutting edge with a diamond card between sharpening. It would take a very long time to completely use up a drill bit due to sharpening. I can't see for hobby work spending a huge investment in "quality" bits. I'd rather have the size I need in the shop when I need it. I do plan to replace bits as I lose or break them with better quality replacements. The most used will be upgraded while those that I almost never need will be there if I do need them without having to invest $$$.

I have found that I get POOR results using Brad tip bits with a tendency to drift off center through the blank.

When it's critical I have spent $$$ on quality carbide bits/reamers/mills when necessary, just not for making pens.

Danny
Yea, I do understand that. I have several different kinds and brands I’ve accumulated over the years. I think i should invest in a sharpener. I lost the skill of sharpening by eye and hand.
As far as money, it’s a “meh” i figure If I have them I will use them and the bits I have work, but not as nicely as I wanted. I figure I’d go for some something more. I’ve had plenty of HF bits and they have been hit and miss, but always nice to have on hand.
 

magpens

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On the other hand ....... in my opinion, there is no way I would be without quality bits ....... they are the single most important tool I have.

I have a Drill Doctor 750 and I have forgotten how to use it. . My Norseman bits have never cohabited with the Drill Doctor.

Of course, I only use these Norseman bits on brass, aluminum, plastics and wood. . NEVER on steel. . But I only make pens !!
 

howsitwork

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I have found lip and spur wood bits can tend to wander as the different grain density between old and new growth , in end grain wood drilling throws the bit off track.

I found a few years ago a black and decker drill bit range called HSS- CNC Piranha bits. These are a type of spurred drill designed apparently for steel pipe drilling but are , I found , excellent at end grain drilling in both plastics ( slow speed essential ) and end grain. They do caused blow out at the end of blanks unless you take it slow, or support under the end before they break through.

I do have and use a drill doctor 750 but the end geometry on these is unusual , and very efficient.
 

KenB259

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Dec 24, 2017
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The problem I have run into with cheap bits, in the past has more to do with them not being straight and true. Sharpness is not an issue, that can be rectified. I bought a Norseman set awhile ago and am very happy I did. Remember you are only as good as your tools are capable of.


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