HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Reply
Thread Tools
Old Dec 12, 2014, 04:55 AM
Registered User
ForeverFlying's Avatar
Christiansburg, VA
Joined Sep 2002
790 Posts
Discussion
Small Drill Bit Sharpener?

Hi Group,
This may be asking alot, but has anyone ever seen a sharpener for small and very small drill bits? I hate buying these things all the time, and would like to be thrifty!
Thanks!
Mike
ForeverFlying is offline Find More Posts by ForeverFlying
Reply With Quote
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Dec 12, 2014, 06:45 AM
Registered User
Denver, CO
Joined Dec 2005
6,445 Posts
Yes, new sharpeners can get expensive though. A few micro drill grinders are available. The SDR dg 80-s drill grinder, or Optima. The Optima type has been cloned, so various similar cheaper ones might be found.
http://www.johnsonstooling.com/index-5.html
Usually I just do it by hand with a sharpening stone, since machines have to be really precise to get very small bits done correctly. Of course it depends on what you mean by small drill bits.
Roto Rob is offline Find More Posts by Roto Rob
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2014, 10:30 AM
Registered User
LesUyeda's Avatar
San Diego, California
Joined Dec 2004
3,600 Posts
just from the looks of that machine, I would imagine I could buy an awful lot of bits, before sharpening would pay for itself.

Les
LesUyeda is online now Find More Posts by LesUyeda
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2014, 03:11 PM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Cottam
Joined Jan 2012
1,540 Posts
This guy does it like I do.
Sharpening drill bits (2 min 52 sec)
I have easily done hundreds that way. It is hard to get them to drill within .001", but it works well. A very fine wheel and good glasses would be needed for small drills. I hold the bit up to a light with my hand over the top to get rid of shadows and glare to see that the angles and lengths are both the same. After a few it is pretty easy. Once the drill gets too short, the web needs to be thinned out by split pointing it, but little drill bits are cheap, and it is not worth the trouble. I have used universal cutter grinders and drill sharpeners, but doing it by hand is fine, and better than some other machines anyway.
aspeed is online now Find More Posts by aspeed
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2014, 04:14 PM
Registered User
Joined Feb 2011
20 Posts
Small Drill Bit Sharpener?

There used to be a gadget called a wishbone drill sharpener that worked for small drills, say # 40 downwards, but I believe that's no longer made.

These links may be useful though, and many of us make our own jigs.

http://modelengineeringwebsite.com/Small_drills.html

http://www.homemodelenginemachinist....ead.php?t=6946

http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/DrillSharp.html
Buster11 is offline Find More Posts by Buster11
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 12, 2014, 07:02 PM
The Prez....... again
kenh3497's Avatar
United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
4,272 Posts
Hand sharping a drill bit is not difficult. It just takes a bit of practice to get the technique down. Start with a larger bit so you can see what you are doing. A trick I use is when changing from one flute to the other is not to move your hands any more than necessary. The less the movement the less likely the two flutes will be different. Count on grinding the first bit to a nub while practicing.

Once you get the technique down you will save the cost of that first bit ten fold plus. AND you have the satisfaction of learning a new skill. Good luck on which ever way you decide to go.

Ken
kenh3497 is online now Find More Posts by kenh3497
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 12:09 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,616 Posts
For basic sharpening the hand held grinder method above is fine. If it looks right to the eye it'll chew a decent enough hole through wood, plastics and metal well enough for most folks.

But I also do a lot of metal work where the holes must be to size. So I tended to relegate hand sharpened drills to less demanding duty once the factory edge was worn off. Or I'd laboriously work at getting them good enough to drill a correctly sized hole.

Then I got a Drill Doctor and after learning to use it I can now sharpen bits far more accurately than I could ever do by hand and eye.

But the DD doesn't work well for anything under about 3/32. And even at that it's a touchy job using karma as much as settings. 1/8 is really about where using the DD with the brain on auto pilot works. Smaller is progressively more touchy and fussy.

So for the truly small drills I'm still stuck with either grinding by eye or faced with having to make some form of drill bit honing guide. But the trick is to find a good jig that doesn't require a week and a half in the shop to make..... I'm still looking.

Sadly searching for a honing guide to use with the really small drills turned up nothing at all other than a couple of home shop made units that require some significant metal working machines and skills to build.
BMatthews is offline Find More Posts by BMatthews
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 01:30 AM
Registered User
Denver, CO
Joined Dec 2005
6,445 Posts
I never made a guide for the really small ones, maybe some day.
I just put them in a pin vise, and sharpen them by hand against a stone. Use my hand against the table for the guide. Look it over, and do just one side if its needs pulled back to center.
Roto Rob is offline Find More Posts by Roto Rob
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 03:35 AM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,616 Posts
With a good magnifying system that can work pretty well. Or if my eyes were about two decades younger....

I remember when it was no big deal at all to read the numbers clearly on a TO-92 transistor. With eyes like that I could likely sharpen and see the end of a #60 well enough to call it good or not. No more though....
BMatthews is offline Find More Posts by BMatthews
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 10:26 AM
Registered User
LesUyeda's Avatar
San Diego, California
Joined Dec 2004
3,600 Posts
"touchy job using karma as much as settings"

And not having enough karma, I gave up on mine:-))))))))))))))) Looked good; on paper.

Les
LesUyeda is online now Find More Posts by LesUyeda
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 10:28 AM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Cottam
Joined Jan 2012
1,540 Posts
I use the dollar store 2.5 times magnification glasses a lot for the small stuff. You have to look at stuff 6 inches from your nose, but it works well.
aspeed is online now Find More Posts by aspeed
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 02:53 PM
B for Bruce
BMatthews's Avatar
The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Joined Oct 2002
11,616 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspeed View Post
I use the dollar store 2.5 times magnification glasses a lot for the small stuff. You have to look at stuff 6 inches from your nose, but it works well.
Next up from those would be the hoods with lenses used by watch makers and other close up small parts workers.

Beyond that an old large lens (low f number) 50mm camera lens makes a SUPERB magnifier. The coated multi lens format means that you can see clearly and sharply across the whole field of coverage. I've got a couple that are used pretty regularly when the reading glasses aren't enough. Like those pesky "noseeum" slivers that need removing now and then.
BMatthews is offline Find More Posts by BMatthews
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 03:39 PM
Registered User
Bradford West Yorkshire, UK
Joined Apr 2010
1,709 Posts
Define "Small and very small" Down to 1/16" offhand grinding should be acceptable but less than that, the four facet jig is the way to go.

Regards Ian.
Circlip is offline Find More Posts by Circlip
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 13, 2014, 04:14 PM
Registered User
United States, NC, Durham
Joined Jul 2004
103 Posts
I sharpen small drill bits all the time, down to #74, even smaller. Granted I'm a goldsmith and I work with tiny things for a living, but it ain't rocket science. I use a small (1"), thin cut off wheel in my high-speed handpiece (like a Dremel) holding it so the disk is horizontal (like a record turntable) and wedging the handpiece against a bench so it stays put. Putting it in a small vise is even better, just don't crank it down too tight. I hold the drill bit in my other hand, pinched between my thumb and two first fingers and touch it to the flat side of the disk. Look at a 1/4" bit held with the flat side of the tip that forms the cutting edge flat on a table top for reference. High speed (10K or so) and a light touch works best. Shouldn't take more than about ten seconds per edge for small bits.

Use eye protection and avoid looking at the wheel edge-on as those little disks can shatter! At 10K RPM, the shards are like little pieces of shrapnel.

The trick is to angle the bit back as well as out, and keep both bevels even, with the break centered. If the rake of the bevel is parallel to the rotation, or if the break is off center, it will cut but it will want to wander. If the bevel rake is angled in the wrong direction, it won't cut at all. The angle from vertical is less important than the angle of rake, as long as it's more or less the same on both sides and doesn't get too extreme. You can test sharpness by twisting it against a fingernail or a piece of hardwood. You'll know in about a quarter turn whether you got it right or not.

2.5X reading glasses will help tremendously.

Dave
OverKill is online now Find More Posts by OverKill
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 14, 2014, 10:04 AM
The Junk Man
Jacksonville, Florida
Joined Jul 2006
1,673 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesUyeda View Post
"touchy job using karma as much as settings"

And not having enough karma, I gave up on mine:-))))))))))))))) Looked good; on paper.

Les
If I depended on karma, I wouldn't be able to see anything below about a half inch.

Tom
T_om is online now Find More Posts by T_om
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale Drill Baby Drill with these 25" long bits unclegeorge Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 0 Mar 14, 2014 07:27 PM
For Sale Drill Baby Drill with these 25" long bits unclegeorge Aircraft - General - Miscellaneous (FS/W) 0 Oct 11, 2013 05:23 PM
Discussion small drill bits 50olds Beginner Training Area (Aircraft-Electric) 8 Jun 17, 2010 12:33 AM