Forstner bits.

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I am in need of a few sizes of flat-bottomed holes.
The difference between HCS and HSS is well established, and worth the extra few bucks to go to HSS. But what about carbide? Any sets you guys like? ( 1/4 - 1" in 1/8 increments would be fine.) Lee Valley has a nice set. Any other suggestions?
Thanks in advance
r
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Robatoy wrote: > I am in need of a few sizes of flat-bottomed holes. > > The difference between HCS and HSS is well established, and worth the > extra few bucks to go to HSS. > But what about carbide? > Any sets you guys like? ( 1/4 - 1" in 1/8 increments would be fine.) > Lee Valley has a nice set. > Any other suggestions?
I have a set of Freud carbide forstner bits.
I wouldn't leave home without them.
SFWIW, the set comes with a 1-3/8 for 35mm hinges, but no 7/8 which I added.
Use HHS brad points below 1/2" except for the 1/4 & 3/8 which are Freud.
If you want very good brad point drills, find a supplier to the die cutting industry such as gasket houses.
My landlord is a gasket maker & has some very neat brad point drills.
Lew
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Robatoy (in snipped-for-privacy@m73g2000cwd.googlegroups.com) said:
| I am in need of a few sizes of flat-bottomed holes. | | The difference between HCS and HSS is well established, and worth | the extra few bucks to go to HSS. | But what about carbide?
In my experience, Forstners tend to heat up pretty quickly. I've been excruciatingly careful with mine to avoid burning - and have been wishing that I'd bought a carbide-tipped set. (The HSS set I have came from Woodcraft Supply.)
| Any sets you guys like? ( 1/4 - 1" in 1/8 increments would be fine.) | Lee Valley has a nice set. | Any other suggestions?
Nope. On the basis of other purchases from LV (especially their carbide-tipped lipped brad point bits), I'd be inclined to go ahead and order 'em from Lee Valley - that way if it turns out that you don't like them, you can return the set without a lot of hassle.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Morris Dovey wrote:

I thought the whole point of HSS that it's air-quenched, and thus can't be "burnt" because it hardens again as soon as it cools?
Chris
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It is.

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In the interest of full disclosure, I have only used the set I own, so this is not a compare/contrast endorsement.
I've got a $20 7-pc set of "Columbian" brand Forsner bits, and they've been going strong for about three years. They see a fair amount of use, and most of the work I do is in hard maple, so I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. The cuts are smooth and clean, and they don't seem to be dulling at all, so I don't see how spending more $$$ would be an improvement. IIRC, they are HSS with a TiN coating, but they could be carbide- it's been a while since I threw the info that came with them away.
A few notes on carbide in general, though- while it's very hard, and doesn't dull easily, you're not going to be able to touch it up with anything short of a diamond hone. It is also a grained material- which means that it is tough in one direction, but fairly brittle in the perpendicular direction. I'm sure they work out the best grain direction when they manufacture the bits, but you had better be sure your drill press is pretty steady- I know that when using carbide taps, even the slightest side-to-side movement can snap even a fairly stout tap very easily. Don't know about the forsner bits, but it's something to consider.
For the cost of a high-end set, I think I'd go with the HSS, so that I had the option to touch them up with a file if they get dull. But then again, I'm awfully happy with the cheap set. They're perfectly servicable, and when they do eventually wear out, $20 won't put me in the poorhouse to replace them.
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If you keep your eye on all the HF catalogs you receive... you can find their 7 piece forstner set in Titanium for $7.95 and once in a while I find them for $3.99... yes I did say $3.99. I usually buy 3 or four sets at that price and after a few holes, I sell them at my next garage sale and open up a new box!
Dennis Slabaugh Hobbyist Wood Worker www.woodworkinghobby.com
wrote:

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Dennis wrote:

I'll second that. I got a cheapo set from HF a few years ago, planning to replace them as soon as they wore out. I've been using them semi-regularly since then, and have yet to wear them out! I did get some of the HSS forstners from LV in my more commonly used sizes, and they do cut cleaner and spin truer, but I find I'm more worried about burning them, just because each bit cost more than my whole HF set. When I need a really smooth or precise hole, I look for the LV bits, but if I'm drilling through melamine-coated chipboard or something that would tend to dull the bits, or if I just need a quick deepish hole for doweling or countersinking or something, the HF bits are more than adequate. Mine aren't even the gold-colored TiN. Maybe $5 for the 7-piece set IIRC? Hope this helps, Andy
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Carbide does not seem to come or sharpen as sharp as freshly sharpened HSS. Carbide does however hold the edge that it has, longer.
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I'd recommend carbide Forstners. I've got plenty of HSS Forstners, but tend to heat up and in one case blued, resulting in no sharpness at all. D*mn! That's when I learned about the carbide tipped ones. That carbide replacement stays sharp. Well, as sharp as carbide gets. I'm not sure, but it seems a little more heat resistant too.
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I know there's a limit, but the whole point of HSS is that it can get hot and still keep it's temper. With good HSS the wood would start smoking and burning before the bit would be harmed.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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On Mon, 09 Oct 2006 12:57:52 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@fellspt.charm.net () wrote:

I guess I must've seriously abused that one bit. My bad. The carbide replacement however is a more than worthy successor. I'm not unhappy going with a carbide tipped replacement.
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one thing to be aware of with the cheapo ones is that they can't cut well unless you have a starter hole in the middle.
The good ones can cut without a center support.
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Bruce Barnett wrote:

In my experience with the HF set, they cut fine without a center hole (using a drill press). Maybe I just got lucky and have a particularly good cheap set, but I've never needed a pilot hole when using them in my drill press. YMMV Andy
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I also have a cheapo from HF - absolutely no problem w/o a center hole in pine, oak, mahogany, walnut or hard maple. Bottom line - they work perfectly fine.
V
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Heck, you can put an adjustable "wing" hole saw in a drillpress and get it to cut. But a good Forstner bit will work in a handheld drill, even when there is no center hole. (It does need to get a small bite first.)
The ones I'm talking about have a circular cutting edge on the rim, like shown here:
http://www.woodcraft.com/images/articles/bit4.jpg
I bought a cheapo set on sale, and it doesn't have the cutting rim. Instead it has a spur on the edge, like the Stanley PowerBore bits. I HAVE to use the cheapos in a drillpress when I can't use a center guide. Otherwise they walk all over the place.
The cheap ones I have are easier to sharpen, like the PowerBore bits. Sharpening the rim-type is tricky.
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2006 14:32:33 +0000 (UTC), Bruce Barnett

Hmm. Mine seem to be fine, though I don't know about the HF ones. Though I never used anything from them- the prices are so low, I get visions of Big Lots.
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To me, its all about what and how often I need a particular size and what I'm drilling. I have several carbide forstners and several HSS (Freud) and a whole slew of HCS for the occasional hole. I don't know the name of the HCS set as they are quite old.
As you said you only needed a few flat bottom holes, If it good hardwood, get a good HSS bit for the size, If its into particle board, get the specific bit in carbide.
Dave
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Robatoy wrote:

Unless you'll be doing production work with them I don't think I'd spend the extra money for carbide. I'd opt for quality HSS. Fisch bits are an excellent choice. See:
http://groups-beta.google.com/groups/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&num &q=fisch+forstner+bits+group%3Arec.woodworking&safe=off&qt_s=Search
and
http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/11383
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Hey Rob,
Buy GOOD bits, and _only_ the ones you need. The urge to get the "free" box with the set is strong ... resist it you must!
We did just that a few years back during a machine-building frenzy; the GOOD bits did their job, and are still sharp, but are only taking up a fraction of the space the others would occupy had they been purchased. Not to mention, the few needed good bits were less than the "inexpensive" sets.
Regards,
Rick
BTW, how's your Sis?
"Robatoy" wrote

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