Drill Bits

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rockislandmike, May 6, 2002.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Do drill bits need to be cleaned and/or sharpened. I gave my 0.25" bit a real workout yesterday, used it for about six straight hours drilling holes for the legs and connections.

    I was also having a problem with burning the wood at times, but I think I was just pushing too hard on the drill, I have to let the drill do most of the work next time.

    Progress was substantial, however. Three of the five modules are now standing and connected to each other; the fourth module is standing on its own legs; the fifth module has all the lumber cut for the frame. I'm hoping to be laying track (or at least subroadbed) by the end of the month.
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Hhhmmm....first line should have read

    Do drill bits need to be cleaned and/or sharpened ?????

    <i.e., it was a question, not a statement>
  3. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member

    Mike, Drill bits do need to be sharpened occasionally. If your bit is burning the wood you need to sharpen or replace it. Sharpening requires a special attachment to a grinder or a dedicated sharpener. wood bits are not very expensive so, unless you know someone who works in a machine shop, I would suggest you just replace the bit. I know many machinists who just replace the bits intsead of sharpening them.


    Try here to get an idea of cost.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Replace it!

    Is this the first time you've worn out a bit?
    I suspect that this came as part of a set. My policy is that when i use something enough that it breaks or wears out, I buy a more expensive one that should last longer. Consider what you'll be drilling through and get a wood bit and maybe a metal bit.
    Your bit should seem to pull itself through the hole.
    If you plan to wear out your bits regularly (!), by all means consider a sharpener, but see how many you can buy for the price of the sharpener.
  5. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    A: Yes. Unsurprising, I suppose, since I've been using the cr-- out of the quarter-inch bit. I need a half-inch anyways, so I'll just go to REVY tonight to get both, preferably premium bits that won't wratch so quickly.

    THANKS!!!!! I had no idea the two issues were related.
  6. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Those are some big holes you're drilling...
    Are you using carriage bolts to bolt your framework together?
  7. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Yep; and to connect the legs to the framework too.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Also check your bit (especially if you're going to use it for 6 hours) to see if it's getting hot. Before it gets too warm to touch, you should give it a rest, either put it down or change it for a spare. If it gets too warm to touch, you're definitely working it too hard. It'll lose its temper or drill extra large holes.

    You wern't using it to drill into concrete walls were you?
  9. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Nope, just wood.

    Next time I'm doing a marathon session like that, perhaps it would be a good idea to get an extra one for when it needs a rest.

    Look at all the useful info I'm gathering today !!!!!
  10. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    Mike, next time you are at the hardware store see if they have a product called "dricote" it is made by Bostik. I have used it for years, it is a blade and bit (drill and router) lubricant. It is a spray that you spray on your saw blade and bits. It makes them work much easier and they will not gum up. I bought mine at the nearby reve store, just a small can, for $9.94 Canadian, (156 gram size,5.3 oz) and it has lasted me a long time. It makes your drill bits work much smoother and if you are working it hard and long like you were, just let the bit cool down for a while, or like others have suggested switch to another bit (a sprayed one), and respray the one you took out.
    Yes no matter how expensive the bit they only hold their sharpness for so long and then either need to be touched up using a proper jig and a proper file to sharpen or replaced.
    Ron.. B.C.
  11. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I've used a Hard Arkansas stone to sharpen #60-#80 bits for years. It took a while to learn, but a sharp bit makes holes quicker, and the bits don't break as often because less force is required to drill the hole.
  12. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict


    Mike, --- Just checking, were you using a pilot bit? ( one 1/2 the size of the one you are using for the final hole?)

    I had no problem with my supports for my layout. The bolts are 3/8" - I drilled the holes using a 1/4" bit first. The 3/8" bit "pulled itself through on almost every hole.. :)

    See Ya!!! -- Mikey
  13. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    good old bar soap works to and is cheap
  14. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Candle wax makes a good bit lubricant too. When you buy drill bits "don't spare the horses".... get the best quality. Bits are easy to sharpen on a bench grinder...just takes practice to get the angle just right.
  15. YakkoWarner

    YakkoWarner Member


    Vic, I strongly disagree with you on this. Miss-sharpened bits with off angle points can be very hazardous. The chances of "walking" are greatly increased and drilling into a harder material can result in binding or improper chip removal. Also, any irregularities in the bit edge can cause the bit to fail catastrophically.

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