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Breaking drill bits


#1

Was: Stuller - and the state of loyalty

36 drills size 0.8 and 36 drills size 0.5 ( I keep breaking this
dam things!) plus the dvd from Fretz Hamering and Forming. So I do
not believe that my orders are a danger to the USA safety. (any
suggestions to help me stop breaking drills are welcome!) 

I learned (from Stuller!) that wintergreen oil makes an excellent
cutting oil. I buy this oil from Walmart. The only kind I can find
there or anywhere is synthetic, but it works beautifully.


#2

I love wintergreen oil! I use it on my bits (drill bits, that is) as
well, and have always used it when engraving. Plus, it smells great!
You can find wintergreen oil in health food stores and Whole Foods.

Jeff Herman
hermansilver.com


#3
I learned (from Stuller!) that wintergreen oil makes an
excellent cutting oil. 

Oil of wintergreen might just be the oldest jewelry lubricant there
is. Be aware that some people get an allergic reaction to it. If you
use it and get a stuffy nose all the time then it’s probably not for
you. “Bur life” or comparable brands work well, too. They are just
silicone…


#4

I use wintergreen oil on my stone seat cutting burrs and sewing
machine oil on my drill bits not had any problems.

TTFN
Richard


#5

Greetings,

The sizes you mentioned aren’t especially small, but one thing to
remember about small drill bits is that they work best in a drill
press. If your hand tilts off to the side even for a second, even a
little, with a #60 bit, it’s gone. They also need to spin
surprisingly fast. (8K rpm or more, for tiny ones.) The drill press
gives support, and keeps the drill pressing down straight in line,
and concentric.

FWIW,
Brian


#6

Fine vegetable oil works pretty well, you can also use it as a clock
oil if you want. I use kerosene for my smaller drill sizes and also
for thread cutting on silver. WD40 is another good one. I also use
that as a degreaser before using solvents, saves using large
quantities of the solvent. Again, kerosesne would be a cheap
precursor to acetone etc.

Nick Royall


#7

I attended a jewelry school in Florida years ago owned by Jim
Stewart. There was a thimble tacked on to the front of every bench,
with a cotton ball in it, soaked in oil of wintergreen. I’ve done the
same on my benches ever since. Perfectly agreeable in every way and
non toxic (I would imagine).


#8

Yes, oil of wintergreen is a good lubricant. However, I avoid it!
When I was sick as a kid, my mother always dosed me with
pepto-bismol… guess what it smells like. Uh-huh… wintergreen.
(gag)

Judy in Kansas, where the beans have finally begun to produce.
Extension says the cooler nights are the reason. Love being able to
open windows at night.


#9

Also, keep it away from certain plastics as it dissolves them. And
keep it away from your eyes!!!


#10

I don’t know how much credence to give it, but a hand engraver
acquaintance of mine blamed her loss of sense of smell from her oil
of wintergreen use. Anyone else heard of this problem?

Larry


#11
"Bur life" or comparable brands work well, too. They are just
silicone... 

Not so far as I recall being told by the manufacturers (Rio, at the
time…) They described it as a dry, fatty alcohol compound which
worked by putting what might be thought of as molecular sized ball
bearings around a cutting edge, rather than the usual fluid cutting
agent, which can be displaced by cutting forces from the actual exact
sharp cutting edge. At least, that’s how it was described, and so far
as I know, this is still the same stuff.

Peter


#12
They are just silicone... 

Not so far as I recall being told by the manufacturers (Rio, at
thetime…) They described it as a dry, fatty alcohol compound which
Thanks Peter - you learn something every day here on Orchid. I just
assumed it was silicone because it feels like silicone.

As for the oil of wintergreen thing, the typical thing to do is to
make a tiny cup out of 1/2" brass tubing. Then get a spade drill of
1/2" - those flat wood drills with the point on the end, or a
Forstner bit if you have one. Drill a little depression in the back
corner of your bench pen so it stays put, right there handy.


#13
The sizes you mentioned aren't especially small, but one thing to
remember about small drill bits is that they work best in a drill
press. If your hand tilts off to the side even for a second, even
a little, with a #60 bit, it's gone. They also need to spin
surprisingly fast. (8K rpm or more, for tiny ones.) The drill
press gives support, and keeps the drill pressing down straight in
line, and concentric. 

And if you use a drill press, you can also use “pecking” technique.
Especially for thick metal, this ensures that your drill bit doesn’t
overheat and lose its temper on the cutting edge. Of course, you
still need to use lubricant on the drill bit to help reduce the heat
build-up.

Jamie King,
http://www.laurasjewelryworkshop.com


#14

Methyl salicylate AKA oil of wintergreen is an organic ester produced
by some plants it is also synthesized industrially. It is rated toxic
to ingest and rated as hazardous for skin and eyes contact and
inhalation. It is one of the main ingredients in heating balms like
Ben Gay so in controlled dosage it is useful to some although there
is speculation that the irritation it causes just makes your other
pain less noticeable:-) It is also used as a flavoring agent in some
foods but in very tiny amounts, less than .04%. Esters are often
good lubricants most fats and organic oils are fatty acid esters. As
Peter pointed out bur life is another fatty acid ester which is
available in a liquid form as well as the stick and it is non toxic
so might be a better choice but use whatever floats your boat.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#15

I also use wintergreen oil on my buffs… keeps the polishing
compound on them longer and helps with the polishing…

Vernon Wilson


#16

Hello!

Several years ago I purchased a mini drill stand designed for a
rotary tool made by Craftsman. I purchased it at my local Sears
store for about $40.00. It uses a corded rotary tool Since mine is
cordless, I purchased a solo rotary tool that stays in the drill
stand. So, for about $70.00 plus tax I have a mini drill press in my
garage. I have never broken a drill bit in this device. I am limited
to size, however with the items I make the range is pretty much
covered. As long as I can get the bit in a collet it works. Another
tip is to drill or punch smaller pilot holes prior to drilling the
final hole.

Kindest Regards, R


#17

The only problem I ever had with wintergreen oil was that once or
thrice a year I would put my spinning bur into my little tray of
wintergreen oil soaked cotton and spray oil all over myself and
bench. I eventually switched to a cake of bur-life attached to my
bench just to avoid the oil shower. Heaven only knows if wintergreen
oil could cause you to lose your sense of smell, we expose ourselves
to so many things in the shop and in life I’d think it would be hard
to isolate the culprit?

Mark


#18

I use the Burr Life on drill bits and burs, and oil of wintergreen
on engraving tools. Making sure the drill bits are sharp is very
important to prevent them breaking. I resharpen drill bits as soon
as I sense them beginning to not cut well.


#19

I never heard of using wintergreen oil. My lube of choice for drill
and endmill bits is extra virgin olive oil - especially useful when
yourbit has never penetrated anything before. Andrew Jonathan Fine


#20
I never heard of using wintergreen oil. My lube of choice for
drill and endmill bits is extra virgin olive oil 

I think that this thread puts too much emphasis on lube and not
enough on the technique of drilling and sharpening of drills. Drill
presses are nice, but limited in application. Goldsmith must know how
to drill by hand and in case of small drills, drilling practice used
with drill presses does not apply. One must understand the reasons
why small drills break. Lube is only part of the puzzle and not a big
one. One can drill with spit and as long as other things are taken
care of, the one will be just fine.

First is speed. The notion that small drills require higher speed
than larger ones is a good advice for drill presses, but not for had
drilling at the bench. The first skill to learn is to control
flexshaft so one can visually count number of revolutions. Those who
have my DVDs know what I am talking about.

Second thing is feed or pressure that one applies to drill. It must
be feather light. Under no circumstances your elbow or wrist should
be in the air. I use my pinkie and ring fingers together to support
weight of my hand. The other fingers should support the weight of
handpiece, because it’s weight if unsupported is also too much for
small drill. The feed is generated by relaxing fingers to allow some
of weight to take part in drilling. That is an important technique to
master! One must carefully observe the drill and once drill starts
to bite, that is all the pressure that should be used.

Drill must not be allowed to overheat. Even with slow rotation and
light pressure, the temperature inside drilling tunnel can still
overwhelm small drill. Lube is helpful, but not enough. Small drill
cannot carry sufficient amount of lube to reduce temperature bellow
critical. Drill must be extracted frequently and re-lubricated. Those
who have my DVDs know that I drill in series of small steps and
never attempt to drill through in one set.

Small drill sharpening skills should not be underestimated. It
requires a lot of practice. Drill should be held in pinvise or small
chuck. I use separating disks for sharpening. For very fine work,
hard arkansas stone should be used. Drilling theory recommends
decreasing angle of sharpening for softer metals. I ignore this
recommendation. Decreasing the angle would make drill more efficient,
but it will also increase drilling forces and thereby increase
chances of breakage.

The most dangerous phase of drilling is when drill is about to break
through. This phase requires special technique. For the purposes of
this discussion, consider drilling forces to be comprised of feed
and rotational speed and force can be quantified by multiplying these
two. When drill is about to break through the feed must be lightened
and the rotation must increase. However, the total must remain the
same. That is an ideal situation. In practice however small deviation
from ideal are acceptable as long as general principle is observed.

The last thing I want to mentioned is the subject of the lube.
Wintergreen oil is fine, but evaporates too quickly. It is more
useful for engraving than for drilling. Oil used to lubricate sewing
machines is very nice. If one does not object to rather strong smell,
dissolve some beeswax in turpentine and use it for drilling. The
idea is that turpentine will evaporate at the beginning of drilling
and leave thin coat of beeswax for the later stages.

Well, here we are. A very long post about very small subject and I
only scratched the surface.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com