Where does one find the video on sharpening drill bits? Would be very
Where does one find the video on sharpening drill bits? Would be very
Are you taking the little jewelry size bits
Are you referring to little twist-drill? The little ones that are
used for drilling holes through 1-2 mm of metal?..I’ll do that for
"Gerry, the maven-videographer!"
I don’t have a video but it’s easy to sharpen twist drills, I have
to do it all the time. Put a separating disc in your flex shaft and
cut the two faces of the cutting edges at the same angle and same
positioning as a new drill. Just wear your head loupe, look close
and cut it just like a new drill. Easy peasy.
Those two faces are actually cut at a slight curve on new drills,
but don’t worry about that, if you get the angles right and have the
faces meet at the center top it will work great. If it doesn’t work
compare it to the new drill and resharpen. It’s a good thing to know
how to do.
Put a separating disc in your flex shaft and cut the two faces of the cutting edges at the same angle and same positioning as a new drill.
A couple added notes to Marks description (which is dead on). I like
to use the super thin seperating disks (made in.006 and.009"
thicknesses. They’re fragile, so handle them with care) The reason
is that they are made with smoother sides, so the face they cut on a
tiny drill is a bit smoother, slightly sharper, and the sides of
these disks cut very slightly slower, making it easier to control.
Second is that it can be tricky to get the two faces 180 degrees
apart, so they both get the same rake angle, which is important to
the drill working really well. Take care, before starting, to get a
good visual idea of where the flute is positioned. Usually, looking
from the side straight on where one is cutting that face, the
diagonal edge of the flute will be almost, but not quite, even with
the right hand vertical edge of the drill. This varies according to
how you’re holding and looking at the drill. But examine that visual
picture before you start. Cut one face, then rotate the drill so the
second face makes that same visual picture. If your hands are holding
the flex shaft handpiece/seperating disk and the drill in the same
positions, then that second face will be pretty close to the desired
180 degrees apart. I also find it useful to hold the drill being
sharpened in a spare #30 handpiece. It’s then easy to rotate the
drill 180 degrees, and looking at the positions of the chuck jaws
gives another cue to whether one is 180 degrees apart. Master that,
and then it’s pretty simple to make sure the two faces you cut are
the same depth, same size, so the center cutting point of the drill
All this sounds complicated. It isn’t. Takes maybe ten seconds once
you’ve got the drill mounted in that chuck or a pin vise (or your
fingers, if you’re steady enough).
On drills that have been resharpened many times, and are getting
shorter, you’ll notice that the center web gets thicker and thicker,
and the drill doesn’t work as well. If you take a look at a larger
size industrial dril bit, which often have split points, you can see
that it’s possible to extend that diagonal flute up into a second
small cut on each side, extending the cutting edge of the main flute
inwards toward the center web, thinning it again. For small jewelers
drills, it’s much simpler than the larger geometry. Just a small
extra cut inside the diagonal groove with the edge of the seperating
disk, in the same diagonal direction. Again, simple enough once you
figure out what the hell I just described…
Have fun. Oh, and don’t forget eye protection when doing this.
Seperating disks can shatter, and you don’t want bits in your eyes.
Usually, the optivisor will be enough, but I mention it anyway.
Jeanne mark has got it. It’s trial and error. I told someone else I
would make her a video of how I do it so I will have something soon
and I’ll stick it on you tube. I don’t think there is a video on
sharpening those little bits. I’m sure most people get a new one but
I’m cheap and have a hard time throwing things away so either Gerald
or I will have something for you. The only thing I do different than
mark is using a diamond wheel instead of a cutoff disk, but that’s
what I used to use, and I do it under the scope cause I’m old and
can’t see. Sometimes you get them to cut better than new.
A better discussion is how to get the broken bits out of the
impossible spots they wind up in.
Do you mean the one on BenchTube called “how to sharpen a twist
drill”? Here’s the link:
A better discussion is how to get the broken bits out of the
impossible spots they wind up in. The tip of a 004 ball bur broke
off and stuck in a hole I was making in a tiny 22k termination for a
chain on a dangle earring. I tried using a tiny drill bit to drill
through the ball bur which did not work. Have to make the part again
but would love any suggestions on how I might have removed the head
of the ball bur and continued making the hole. Thank you. Kind
regards, Lois Gore
If the bur you used is high speed steel you can sometimes drill it
out using a carbide burr.
Take care, Paul Le May, Bracebridge, Ontario. Canada.
try putting the piece in boiling water, that should expand the
diameter of the hole and maybe enough that the bur will release.
Typically you have to drill to it from behind as if the hole goes all
the way through and then punch it out from the back. Most things I
break off drill bits in are rings and the holes are supposed to go
all the way through. Grind a broken bit down so the tip is slender
enough, but not pointed at the end, to fit into the drilled hole
that you just made. Make the point flat like a punch. Carefully grind
these with a bench grinder and keep a few of these around. Now you
have to get the piece laying on wood, leather, or hard rubber so the
item you are trying to remove is down facing the rubber, or block.
Insert the punch you made into the backside hole and tap it with
your hammer. Try a couple blows then remove it and look. Keep
drilling and tapping till you get it out. Ironically a ball burr
might work good to get the backside hole big enough.
You can’t drill a burr or drill bit cause they are both hardened high
carbon steel. They are made to do the drilling.
Supposedly you can soak the piece in nitric acid if it is gold or
Plat but I don’t have that kind of patients. The acid will attack
the steel not the precious metal.
We manufacture a product. Multi-Etch. that works great for removing
drill bits in 22-14k, platinum, silver, and palladium. You just need
to dissolve the bit enough so that it can be picked out or removed
in an ultrasonic. http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep7ztd
A better discussion is how to get the broken bits out of the impossible spots they wind up in.;-) The tip of a 004 ball bur broke off and stuck in a hole I was making in a tiny 22k termination for a chain on a dangle earring. I tried using a tiny drill bit to drill through the ball bur which did not work. Have to make the part again
You don’t need to remake the part. You just need to get the broken
bur or drill or other such tool fragment out. Easy. Mix up some
fresh pickle, the Sparex type, which is sodium bisulphate, a
sulphuric acid salt. You mix up a bit of fresh pickle so there’s no
copper already in solution. That way, the contact with iron won’t
copper plate your workpiece. Warm up that bit of pickle, put your
piece in to soak, and go have a snack or something. In a half hour or
so, the steel will be gone. This will take out carbon steel, high
speed steel, or even carbide burs or drills. You can speed it up by
putting the pickle in a beaker that you can suspend in your
ultrasonic cleaner, and let the ultrasonic energy speed up the whole
thing by quite a bit. Depending on how much bit is broken off, and
how deep it’s buried, cleaning it out can take anywhere from ten
minutes to an hour or so. Rarely more than that. Safe for silver,
gold, platinum, palladium. If you break off a drill when making steel
jewelry, well, then you may have more of a problem…
Whatever happened to boiling, or even just soaking in an alum
solution? I know its a bit old fashioned, but…
I’ve dissolved carbon steel drill bits and taps using fresh pickle.
Just stick a glass beaker full of fresh pickle into your normal
pickle pot (so it’s hot) and then stick the piece in there with the
drill bit for a while. Eventually the bit corrodes to black sludge,
and you can get it out. Takes an hour or so for most smallish things.
I’ve tried the old boiling alum trick, and it just would not work. I
even tried 48 hours in a hot super saturated solution with a magnetic
stirring rig. No dice. But pickle works just fine.
…I have seen on a few occasions, where broken drill bit(s) have
been soaked or boiled away using only Alum. with zero damage to the
gold or platinum pieces they were badly stuck into… iirc, it does
take a fair amount of time to dissolve the steel enough to get it
out, but it does work, with patience. broken bits always seem to
happen on a rush or time pressure job!
Supposedly you can soak the piece in nitric acid if it is gold or Plat but I don't have that kind of patients. The acid will attack the steel not the precious metal.
You don’t need as nasty an acid as nitric. Both hydrochloric and
sulphuric also attack steel, and the easy one is sulphuric, in the
form of it’s salt, sodium bisulphate, better known ad pickle (Sparex
and a number of other brands). This has the advantage of being safe
to use with silver as well as gold and platinum.
Mix up a small fresh batch so there’s no copper dissolved in it the
way your pickle pot might have, and then you don’t get copper plating
from the steel drill bit. Use this hot, and if speed is needed,
dangle the beaker in the ultrasonic cleaner. It’s faster than you’d
guess. Probably not much slower than fussing around with trying to
drill out the broken bit from the back and punching, which tends to
distort the holes and can make it’s own kind of mess. And you can’t
always get to the backside of the hole. Try it. It really is simple
If you don’t use sodium bisulphate pickle, then go to the grocery
store and pick up some Alum, which you’ll find in the
pickling/preserving section of the grocery store. Use a saturated
solution, almost or actually boiling. Alum is milder than the sodium
bisulphate, and takes a bit longer, but there’s no risk of copper
plating the piece (there also isn’t if you used fresh pickle
solution). But Alum is an essentially food grade chemical, so safer
to have around the shop if for some reason you don’t like standard
pickle solution. After use, put it in a jar with a lid and save for
next time. As it cools, it will largely crystalize out and look like
a mostly solid mass in the jar. When you need it again, add a little
water and heat it to redissolve the Alum. The answer to having the
patience to allow a drill bit to dissolve is simply to have
something else you can work on while you wait. Also, if you’re
drilling lots of holes, and break a bit, grab a new bit and continue
drilling the rest of the holes. That way, if you break a drill again,
you might end up with two or more broken drills in the piece by the
time you run out of spots to still drill that aren’t blocked by a
broken drill. So then you can dissolve all the broken bits out at
once, and then have only those cleaned out spots to finish drilling
I second Brian’s (Alberic) opinion, having had the same experience
I've tried the old boiling alum trick, and it just would not work. I even tried 48 hours in a hot super saturated solution with a magnetic stirring rig. No dice. But pickle works just fine.
Alum is slower, but it does work, IF your drill is simply carbon
steel or high speed steel. If it’s carbide, or one of the more
specialty steels, then maybe not, though I’m not sure. (Pickle takes
out carbide just fine though) Don’t know why it didn’t work for you.
Could you have been using some cutting lube or wax that wasn’t
cleaned out by the alum or other cleaning method before trying to
get the bit out? As noted, it’s a good deal slower than pickle, so
it’s been a long time since I bothered with Alum, but when I did use
it, it did work. But then, as you note, so does pickle. Time also
depends on what size drill one is taking out. My experience normally
is with taking out the sorts of tiny bits one might be using when
pave setting small mellee, such as #70 bits or so, and with those,
Unless the metal is very thick and you’re trying to remove quite a
length of bit, I find that with hot to almost boiling fresh strong
pickle, the time is usually 15 minutes or so. With the beaker of hot
pickle suspended in an ultrasonic cleaner, it can drop to under ten
minutes. Differences in performance here might also be related to how
strong you mix your pickle…
Hello to all the Kind People on Orchid,
Thank you for all the help and suggestions on how to remove the ball
bur that broke off and stuck in a 22k termination.
I used fresh, strong, sodium bisulfate, added some hydrogen peroxide
and putthe ceramic dish on an old Mr. Coffee heating element. It
took a while, (10hours), but I was so pleased to see a pile of what
looked like black powdernext to the gold piece. On closer
inspection, the hole was totally clean.
Maybe this tip is written somewhere in the many books I own on
jewelry making but I never came across it. To be able to reach out
to this community of generous and kind members and offered solutions
to my problems is heartwarming.