Anyone sharpen drill bits?

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Hi All,
I have a pile of dull drill bits, that don't bite anymore. At one time there was an add on TV for some sharpening device. I'm always skeptical of TV adds for gadget, but...
Is it practical to sharpen drill bits? Where would I look for that? It's not something that comes up in a conversation very often.
Maybe I've bought cheap bits, but how you what's good v. just expensive. They all have some line about carbide etc., but for me they never last. These are for metal, under 1/2 dia.
Regards,
RichK
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Well, Rich, I'll get back to you.
I have about 300 drill bits, and I would estimate that probably half are dull.
I used to work conventions, and bought a Drill Doctor 750. The cherry on the machine is yet to be broken.
Yes, I think that sharpening bits can be a good thing. And, as drill bits can cost as much as ten cents at a yard sale, the potential for having a full index of sharp bits is pretty good.
That is, for people who actually take the time to sharpen them. My father was a flight engineer on bombers in WW2. He could take a three by one inch stone and sharpen any drill bit in a very short time.
For me, I have all the modern technology, and I still have a drawer full of dull bits.
Like I say, I'll get back to you.
Steve
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Well, you have 275 more than I do :-) It took me 20 years to get them all dull. Had to drill out some old rusted bolts on a car and some of the new bits I had would not even touch the bolt.
Now I all my bits are dull, but I did get those bolts out.

There are some on e-bay of that model. I assume this unit uses some grinding stones. Wonder if they are replacable, if I were to get a used sharpener. I can't see getting a new one, as I don't drill all that much.

Have not even considered it - but it you have a sharpener, it would be a great source.
Regards,
RichK
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I worked in the tool crib for 25+ years and we tried various and expensive machines to sharpen bits and we always went back to doing it by hand. It is much faster and easy to do when you get the hang of it. I could sharpen bits that would drill to within .005 of the drill diameter. Like I say all it takes is practice. Go to the library and get a book that shows the characteristics of a drill bit. Buy a cheap protracter ( for measuring the angles ) and if you have a grinder you are all set.
RichK wrote:

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Ask your question at rec.crafts.metalworking and you will get lots of spot on information.
Steve
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of
There are a number of automatic drill sharpeners. "Drill Doctor" is one. http://www.genext.drilldoctor.com / And a lot more: http://www.toolstorecentral.com/sharpeners,c42290,1.html
If you have a grinder you can buy a fixture to hold the drill at the proper angle. The smaller the bit, the harder it is to sharpen...
Al
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I have one of those jigs that holds the bit at the proper angle which you use in conjunction with a grinding wheel. Invariably I grind them into oblivion. Then I got a Black and Decker automatic bit sharpener. You just insert the bit and push a button, and it automatically grinds it into oblivion. I must admit it does take a lot less effort to destroy a bit with the B &D. If you find something affordable that works, please post it

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I've a friend that restores cars. He has hundreds of bits & when one gets dull he tosses it aside. He has a drill doctor & I believe paid over $100 for it. It will sharpen masony, metal & wood bits. For him it was worth it. He loves it.
For many, it might be cheaper to simply replace the bits.
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Sharpening them by hand isn't that hard. I'm sure there has to be a tutorial online. There is a drill sharpening scale you can buy to help you get started. After an hour you should be sharpening them like a champ. Once you get good at it, you can put different angles on them depending on the material you're cutting.

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tutorial
you
Have not even thought it was possible to do it by hand. I have a bench grinder that does not get much use, maybe I'll destroy one for practice. Will also look for a tutorial, although someone has already posted a few hints in this Group.
Regards,
RichK
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Possible, but difficult to get the angle exact on both flutes. Most people ruin them. Some simple guides are available at low cost.
I sharpen mine now that we have a Drill Doctor at work. I cannot justify buying one myself. They cost about $100 and for that money, I can buy a LOT of bits.
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RichK wrote:

Here's the best tutorial on drill sharpening by hand that I've seen.
http://www.desktopcnc.com/drill/sharpen.htm
I've been hand sharpening on a bench grinder for about 50 years now, and once you learn how, it's a snap.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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http://www.desktopcnc.com/drill/sharpen.htm

A noticed a carpenter put a bit in a drill and run it backwards on a belt sander...
Nick
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Thanks Jeff,
My search last night did not find that FAQ, yours did.

This is a case for picture (moving) is worth a thousand words. I read the FAQ and will try, but still hard to visulize exactly the describe motions. A little compressed movie would be ideal. I'd even recorde it, if I had an actor :-)
Regards,
richK
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RichK wrote:

With the right grit stone on a grinder you can manually master the trick of sharpening in a short time. Here is just a tip of how and practice makes perfect. (1) Grind the cutting edge at the proper angle for type of drill.. You'll get to where you can eyeball this. (2) Be sure that the cutting edge is higher than fluke behind,, but only micro in amount. in order that edge cuts. Keep cutting edges on even plane as possible. Go to it practice makes perfection. Automatics do work but hand held works just as good.
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It has been said one thousand times before, but I shall say it one more time -
"A two year old kid could do it with twenty years of practice."
Remember when you were learning to roller skate?
Now that you know how, how would you describe it to a newbie?
Steve
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Steve B wrote:

And, like riding a bicycle and fornicating, once you learn how, you never forget how.
Jeff (Who never mastered accomplishing the latter while riding on the former.)
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Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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Go over to rec metalworking and search for T Nut's article on sharpening twist drills.
RichK wrote:

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Don't really know but doesn't all steel contain carbon? Does that make it carbide?
I think what you need to drill steel is high speed steel. It's labeled HSS on the shank if the shank is big enough.
If you can't get high speed steel, get low speed steel, put it in your car, and try to go over 70 MPH. That ought to do it.
But seriously, can't you just break off the last quarter inch and get a new point. Or am I thinking of Scotch tape?

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So, that's what it means :-) I have some with HSS stamped on it.

Which begs another question, that I should have asked up front. For drilling out an old bolt (my most frequent use for steel drilling), what speed is best. Fast 2000RPM, or low in the 100's?
Regards,
RichK
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