How many drill bits?

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TurnKC

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Aug 17, 2018
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Kansas City
I’m working on making a drill bit storage case and am wondering how many different ones you guys have. I’m still new so only have about 10 right now. How many do you think I should plan for? Metric vs Imperial? letters? Thanks.


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ed4copies

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Racine, WI, USA.
How many styles of pens and other projects do you plan to turn?
We stock about 40 sizes, which does not cover everything possible, but does handle most. Letter, metric and imperial.
 

TurnKC

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Thanks for the replies. I guess I should have written my last sentence better! I meant how many Imperial bits, how many metric, and how many letters? For example, do you think 15 Imperial, 15 metric, and 10 letters would be enough place holders?


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leehljp

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Tunica, MS,
I have about 30 specialty sizes for pen tubes, but except for about 10, most are available in the HF, or Grizzly or other 115 piece set of Letter, Number and fractional sizes for 1/16 to 1/2 by 64ths.

HF Cobalt: https://www.harborfreight.com/115-pc-cobalt-drill-bit-set-61886.html at $105.00
HF Titanium/HS: https://www.harborfreight.com/115-Pc-Titanium-M2-High-Speed-Steel-Drill-Bit-Set-61543.html at $48.00

Both can be had 20% cheaper with 20% coupons.

Either of those sets plus a reference chart in the Library:
Library Index - International Association of Penturners

Look up "Reference" and then look for drill charts. In some cases some substitute sizes work well if close enough. I have a chart printed out, laminated and hanging by my drill press.
 
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magpens

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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
I have found on many occasions that I need more bits than anyone told me in the beginning of my pen turning days.

I cannot fully explain and would not want to have to !

Drill bits specified for kits are an approximation and don't work ideally for all blank materials. . The reason for this statement is that I like to make my holes only just big enough for a smooth sliding fit over the brass tubes. . Sometimes I prefer a snug fit. . In other cases, depending on the kit, I like "snug" to mean "tight" so that I can get away with very little glue (ends only), or even no glue as appropriate for the particular case at hand.

I have never regretted purchasing complete sets of high quality bits in fractional, number, letter and metric sizes. . All mine are jobber lengths. . I drill on the lathe. .

Sometimes I drill more than once, if enlargement is deemed necessary.

I also use adjustable reamers to get a hole size that is not quite matched by any drill that I have.
 

jttheclockman

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Feb 22, 2005
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NJ, USA.
Don't you do work outside of penturning??

Yeah, I know...! Still new here so I got some time to work up to the bigger stuff!



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All I am saying to you is do not limit yourself to pen kits because everyone is different to the type of bits they use and what kits they use. Many times the instructions for kits are just suggestions and you may need to either step up or down for various reasons. Painted blank inside, wood shrink, acrylics do not drill like woods and so on. You are better buying larger good quality kits with numbered and letter bits. At some point you may want brad point bits, spade bits longer jobber bits, starting bits and so on, so making shelves to house individual bits to me is a waste of time. If you want to have a designated pen section of bits then look at the kits you will make and the more you get into this it will grow so will the bit list and then you will not have enough room on that shelve. I think others here are also telling you to buy large kits. Peachtree sells nice sets. Some people like Horrible Freight for bits( I do not)

Do work around the house and larger projects then forstner bits come into play so when you say drill bits that is endless in my eyes. I have sets of bits I used in my trade when I was working. Again my point is do not look at pen turning the be all hobby thing.
 

randyrls

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Feb 2, 2006
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Harrisburg, PA 17112
I agree with Mal; I have a full set of both Imperial and metric drill bits. I often find the best fit IS NOT the drill bit specified on the instructions. I write the best size on the instructions and it goes in my binder. I also have several "odd ball" sizes like 12.3mm and 13.2mm

Odd size drill bits can be purchase from MSC https://www.mscdirect.com/


OOPS; Forgot this. Visit the Library. There are several drill bit size charts there.

Drill bits specified for kits are an approximation and don't work ideally for all blank materials. . The reason for this statement is that I like to make my holes only just big enough for a smooth sliding fit over the brass tubes. .
 
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