How do you sharpen your drill bits?

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spiritwoodturner

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And how often? About a year ago I got a Drill Doctor 500X, and I have to say, once you get the hang of it, it is a very amazing tool! I suppose someone has come up with a jig to do it, or even do it freehand on a grinder. I've done that in the past, and watched a 4 inch bit turn into a 1 inch bit fast. I know Drill Docter has won a number of new innovative toll awards, and I can sure see how.

When I snap the point off a brad point drill bit, I just use the Doctor to turn it into a 118 degree bit that is SO much easier to sharpen in a second. No more dull blades for me, and I just ordered the larger chuck for the big shanked bits, so I will be able to sharpen anything I own.

How do you sharpen? Is it easy to set up and get to, so you can sharpen often? I'd be interested to know how different people do this!

Thanks,
Dale
 
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Daniel

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I also use the drill doctor. it sets on a bench right between my drill press and the bits. not many excuses with that set up.
I also have a little jig that is used with a bench grinder that is pretty nifty but is harder to set up. the DD makes it a snap.
 

leehljp

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Drill Doctor for me too.

About a year ago, there was a fellow on this forum that had one, a 750, and offered it for sale here because he couldn't figure it out. It isn't too complicated, but it does take following a few prescribed steps.

For a person to do it manually, this has to be at least almost weekly routine and daily tool handling person, to be good at all. (Paul is like this :biggrin: )
 
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Paul in OKC

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I am the odd duck here. Wouldn't own a DD. The one the shop had is totally worthless for us. Of course we are drilling 4140 heat treated steel. Drills I have done with the DD wouldn't make it through a hole, no matter how I tried to adjust it. Even had the company send us new chucks and cam, for free. No difference.
I sharpen by hand.
 

Daniel

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The drill doctor sharpens in a series of little facets. I wonder if that had anything to do with why it would not drill the steel? There should still be a relief behind the chisel edge though. I was talking to a guy in one of the machine shops at work and he did mention that not all bits work well in certain metals and that it is not always a more expensive bit that is best. I would think that fast dulling would indicate a different alloy drill bit is needed for that particular steel.
 

btboone

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I use a Drill Doctor too. I mainly use it on 1/2" straight shank carbide drills that I use to drill titanium. At 70 bucks a pop, the DD has saved huge amounts of dollars compared to what I used to have to spend on them. I haven't bought one in years now.
 

Paul in OKC

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The drill doctor sharpens in a series of little facets. I wonder if that had anything to do with why it would not drill the steel? There should still be a relief behind the chisel edge though. I was talking to a guy in one of the machine shops at work and he did mention that not all bits work well in certain metals and that it is not always a more expensive bit that is best. I would think that fast dulling would indicate a different alloy drill bit is needed for that particular steel.
The problem I have seen is that there is just the slightest roll on the flute to a negative edge. Nothing I did would position the bit to get rid of it. For wood, no problem drilling after using the DD. But not worth me having one.
 
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amosfella

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I have sharpened everything freehand on a belt grinder for years. That includes my gouges, skews, scrapers, drill bits (wood, metal, brad point, lipped brad point, forsner, saw tooth, and few others I can't remember the name of right now). I do my straight razor by hand though, as well as my finishing planes.
 

igran7

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I use the JoolTool for all my Drill Bits, Router Bits, Turning Tools etc...I also have a Drill Doctor, but find I can get them much sharper with the JoolTool.
 

byounghusband

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Put me on the Drill Doctor list too... I currently don't do too much metal work, so it works for my purposes. I have used it for regular bits through steel and it helped, but I wasn't doing anything precision....
 

Chasper

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You actually sharpen drill bits? I know it is done and know I about the DD, but is it needed for a shop that is doing mostly pen making? I've only been making pens for 2-3 years and I've only made something like 1500 of them. I replaced my 7mm and 10mm bits, one seemed to be wandering off center and the other made a lot of smoke. I've got 16 bits that I use for pen making, at $7-8 each I could replace them all twice for the price of a DD. At 1000 pens per year it would take me 10 years to get a payback on the cost.

I know that dull bits can cause a blow out once in a while and that sharper bits drill faster, but do sharper bits drill cleaner, sharper holes and does that make better pens? I'm struggling to find purchase justification.
 
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spiritwoodturner

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I figured there were a few like Paul and some others that do this by hand, but they are "old hands" (no offense intended!) at metalworking and I am definitely not. I tried it, and it was not pretty.

Now, here's another twist. I have a Fisch 7mm brad point bit where the tip broke off in something hard like ebony, and I figured I'd grind it down with my DD to 118 degrees. Even now, when razor sharp, that thing won't drill through margarine! It's one of the reasons I don't like brad points, because the tips can and do break off, and how the heck would one sharpen these even when intact? But I wonder why now that I've taken the tip off it will not drill right.

Somebody mentioned they keep drilling with dull bits until they smoke. My guess is someday you'll get a nasty catch that could result in things spinning. Usually, for some reason that I'm sure is related to Physics, when things spin they always hit ME! That's my personal cost justification. That, and like someone mentioned, blowing out one of Eugene's "Stained Glass" blanks at 16 bucks a pop, and that 70 bucks for basically a lifetime of effortless cuts is cheap. But that's just my 2 bits!

I'm learning a lot from this.

Dale
 

alphageek

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You actually sharpen drill bits? I know it is done and know I about the DD, but is it needed for a shop that is doing mostly pen making? I've only been making pens for 2-3 years and I've only made something like 1500 of them. I replaced my 7mm and 10mm bits, one seemed to be wandering off center and the other made a lot of smoke. I've got 16 bits that I use for pen making, at $7-8 each I could replace them all twice for the price of a DD. At 1000 pens per year it would take me 10 years to get a payback on the cost.

I know that dull bits can cause a blow out once in a while and that sharper bits drill faster, but do sharper bits drill cleaner, sharper holes and does that make better pens? I'm struggling to find purchase justification.
Ok.. I don't have a DD, but its on my wishlist. I have to just say, though that the math above have me discombobulated even though I've had alot of math in my experience.
16 bits * $7 each *replace 2 times = $224.... Even replacing them once is $112... The base DD is $80. I'm lost. :confused::confused:
 
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spiritwoodturner

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Just an FYI, Amazon has the 500X for 100 bucks, shipping free. Wish I was getting a kickback from this, but I'm not! I think it lists for 164bucks. Note that for larger than 1/2" shank bits, you'll need the large chuck, and they don't give that away either. I think I just paid 35 bucks from Amazon for mine.

Dale
 
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Daniel

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One bit that is dull will not cut well, increase risk of blowing out the blank, most likely bore an oversize hole. and very likely overheat the bit until it has removed the temper in the metal causing the bit to not be able to hold an edge. Ruined bit and sloppy bore. A drill doctor and 2 minutes and the work will remain quality. The other way is at least a trip to the hardware store. Also keep in mind that in one of the evaluations of the bits I just got through the group buy showed that the bit preformed better after being sharpened with the drill doctor than when brand new. So even that brand new bit you ran to the store for may not preform as well as the bit you could have sharpened in two minutes with a DD.
 
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