James Krenov taught me to make wood boring drill bits

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James Krenov, whose work and writings I admire, taught me how to take ordinary HSS twist drill bits and make them into high quality wood boring bits.
Master woodworker James Krenov says, "A simple way to make what we in Europe call a cabinetmaker's drill is to regrind an ordinary straight-shank metal drill. This may sound complicated but...you can easily produce drills with a sharp center spur and very sharp, clean-cutting edges." (The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking, page 133) A center spur or brad point reduces the chance of error. I use my belt sander to regrind my drills. Some supply houses are selling brad point drills in slightly under and over sizes today. Years ago I had to make my own and still do. It's much cheaper.
You can see a photograph of one resulting bit on page 31 of my free downloadable book at
<http://www.woodentoy.com/horsebook/horsebookcover.html
The availability of number and letter sized bits has really added to the quality of my dowel joinery and I encourage anyone to try Krenov's technique. The mass produced letter sized bits are cheap and bore wood very nicely with the simple regringing Krenov suggests.
good luck
john the toymaker
www.woodentoy.com
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Thinly disguised spam.
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Dear mp,
Spam? I'm a bit surprised. I thought I was talking about drill bits. I thought long and hard about giving my woodworking book away for free. The lessons learned in 4 decades of woodworking seemed like they might be helpful to those new at the craft. I know Krenov's "A Cabinetmakers Notebook" sure inspired and educated me 30 years ago and he didn't give it away. I still recommend it to any woodworker I meet. Now, I'm not claiming that my book approaches Krenov's in any way, probably wouldn't be free if it did. Yet, should I keep my hard won lessons to myself? Might others end up competing and taking my means of making a living? I'm not too worried I guess. I'm always behind in my work and will no doubt retire before the Chinese become real threats in fine toymaking, though those of you making furniture better look for back up careers. I guess I'm fool enough to always respond to questions I get about technique or sources of supply. Seems only decent to help others in the craft.
(BTW- Krenov's homemade drill bits do work very well.)
Take a look at my book and see if there is good information there. It really is free and beginners can use my experience to save lots of hard knocks. The info presented can help on many projects and I would be pleased to receive feedback to make it a better book. You must have read where I offer full size rocking horse plans for sale. Am I wrong to ask compensation if someone wants to benefit from my creative energy by using my toy design? My attorney tells me this payment helps secure my copyright. There seem lots of sites benevolently giving away free plans (often mentioned in rec.woodworking). I can't as I am not independently wealthy like they must be since they no doubt have no hidden revenue goals in mind or their mention would call forth your accusation of spam. But, you can use my book and their plans and likely make a fine horse and not spend a nickle. You can have my hard won woodworking lessons for free. But, my rocking horse design will cost you about the price of a woodworking magazine, or a couple of stops at Starbucks, not that I think rec.woodworking would be a profitable place for my marketing energies. Most of what I see posted suggests a very frugal readership.
By the way, there is also a link on my site pointing to an article in the New York Times. Please don't think that I am shilling for them and asking you to subscribe.
Get a life! Enjoy the book! Or not! Its free! Don't buy the plans if my need to protect my copyright or feed my family offends you. And certainly don't venture further into my site where I actually ask folks to buy my toys. Oh, the capitalistic evil!
john the toymaker
http://www.woodentoy.com
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Hi John,
I was going to drop you a note via e-mail when I saw this ... figured one good comment outweighs at least one bad comment!
I downloaded your book and I have to say I sat and read the whole thing through ... AFTER I jumped to the brad-point drill bit information.
Nice writing style, easy to follow directions, and well laid out. Only one photo encroached on the text but I could still make out what you were getting at, so absolutely no complaints.
Now ... IF ever I should make any rocking horses it will be for the local pre-schools (when I get the time ... sigh). I certainly know where I'll start off. I missed the plans section on your website ... I'll have to go back and take a second look.
Thank you for sharing your work and your knowledge.
I'm still trying to understand the constant tension between people looking for free plans, and those complaining when someone provides them with a well written, thoughtful set of plans, or a link to them (Hi JOAT). I don't know ... maybe it's because you're running a business (like Steve Knight, Tom Planman, Rob Lee, Ron Hock and a host of others) and DARED to put a link to your website (like some of them do) ... or perhaps MP was just having a bad day.
Anyway, don't let MP's comments speak for all of us. He certainly doesn't speak for me on this subject.
Regards,
Rick
Postscript
I'm quite surprised when I see how few comments are generated on straight information on the wreck, yet let an opinion out and it's discussed endlessly (the word THRASHED comes to mind ... upper case letters and all). To counter that, I've started what can be described as a sport ... one that does: (a) plant a phrase in people's heads and see how often it turns up in unrelated topics as a means of judging readership or (b) absolutely KILL a running argument by posting facts. Guess I'll have to add (c) thoughtful thanks for outstanding deeds. Might work if people wouldn't keep looking down, shuffling their feet and saying "oh gosh" and going the other way.
Guess it's time to remember the following:
It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them -- Beaumarchais (LJ ... do you have this in a XXL?)
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On Mon, 14 Feb 2005 20:29:34 GMT, the inscrutable "Rick"
--snip--

--snip--
Heh heh heh. With whom are you playing this sport, Rick? Looks like fun.

Sure, I can make custom tees. $30 gets you any saying on the front or back. What's your white/light color choice? (I don't do black tees.)
(P.S: I was skipping through/past this message when my vewwy own initials caught my eye.)
---------------------------------- VIRTUE...is its own punishment http://www.diversify.com Website Applications =================================================
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Mon, Feb 14, 2005, 8:29pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@cabel.triad.rr.com (Rick) waves wildly and calls out: <snip>Hi JOAT <snip> Hi Rick.
JOAT Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong. - David Fasold
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Nor me. I've d/l'd the book but haven't read it yet.
Still, John, thanks! It's appreciated.
djb
--
"The thing about saying the wrong words is that A, I don't notice it, and B,
sometimes orange water gibbon bucket and plastic." -- Mr. Burrows
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If you wanted to promote your book why didn't you just come out and say so?
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I agree. The info on drill bits was hardly the central topic and there was nothing there but a picture of one stating that you can do it on your beltsander for cheap.
Nice book, but wrong approach towards promoting it.
-j

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Look at all the publicity he got though. The book is FREE, so he didn't try to sell anything that was not mentioned. IMO, the book is pretty good and the author has a lot of time invested. So what if he happens to sell plans, he gives a good start for free.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Well no one is compalining oabout that.
--

FF


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on 2/14/2005 2:35 PM mp said the following:

If Krenov taught you about spam, perhaps you should have paid closer attention while he was talking instead of putting the pencils in your ears and nose.
If someone responds to a question about left-handed widgets by posting a website where one may purchase them is that SPAM? Not really, especially if it's the site of a third party.
If someone posts a site showing an example of a drill bit that was home-made and responsive to the topic of woodworking AND offers the entire book from which the example comes for FREE, is that SPAM?
Only to someone who doesn't know what they are talking about, I think.
Bob - who has absolutely no confusion about this.
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Why? If he had just promoted his book someone would have jumped on him about that.
I downloaded the book and it looks good to me. Of course, I am not a professional woodworker, just a novice that has fun making a lot of saw dust on the way to some fun projects. I've received some good advice and some good opinions form some of you, and I guess I have been lucky enough (to this point) not to sound stupid enough is some peoples minds to require some of the venomous replies I have seen as evidenced in this thread.
Too bad this is becoming such a pain in the ass group to read and communicate with.
Oh and JT, I'm sure there are a couple punctuations and spelling errors in here to whine about.

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He's GIVING AWAY his book, not "promoting" it.
Geez...
djb
--
"Modern technology has enabled us to communicate and organize with speed and
efficiency never before possible. People have gotten less competent to
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THANK YOU!
wrote:

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Dave Balderstone wrote:

To be precise, he's promoting the give-away.
Actually, he promoted a method for making your own brad-point bits, but when I went to his site to read about I found nothing of the sort which I found to be very annoying as I was hoping to see how to make my own brad point bits.
He wasted my time, just like I'm wasting yours....
--

FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

Pg. 31 of his FREE BOOK.

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snipped-for-privacy@gdinet.net (John) wrote:

Downloaded the book. Will read it. FREE is a very good price!
I'll be back to buy a plan for grandkids!
Ignore the whiners.
Thanks for sharing.
LD
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John wrote:

I thought you were too. Then I went to your website and didn;t see anything about drill bits.
That doesn't make your article spam, it does make it deceptive.
--

FF


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All spam is deceptive. The post was deceptive ... Socrates is immortal.
-j
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