Mike Green & Peter Toch did a demonstration on threading boxes at our April meeting. Detailed instructions were handed out and are available here.
Drill Doctor Review
by Peter Teubel
How many times have you been struggling thru a drilling job just because your bit is dull? I have (or rather HAD) a huge amount of dull bits that were relegated to the junk drawer because they couldn’t go thru a rotten melon. I always treated drill bits as consumable items just like band saw blades. Once they are dull, you pitch them and get a new one.
I go thru A LOT of bits when making my own tooling. Ever try to drill thru welds? Without a sharp bit, you might as well use your teeth. I used to think the only way to get drill bits to last was to get the expensive cobalt kind. Sure, they drill thru very hard metals easily….for awhile. Then they just smoke in the hole like the HSS ones.
Recently, I got a chance to use a device called the Drill Doctor. Oh sure, I’ve seen this product before in various stores, but the fact that I also saw it on TV being hyped like the Popiel Pocket fisherman, turned me off to any possibility that it might actually be something useful. Well, now I can actually try it and see if it lives up to its hype.
The kit that I received contained the Drill Doctor unit, various accessories, instruction book, and a video. Hmmm….looking pretty good so far. Every piece of equipment I’ve ever purchased that came with an instruction video (like the Kelton Hollowing Rig) has been a first-rate tool. As it turned out, this tool is no exception…
After viewing the video and quickly scanning the instruction manual, I decided to dig out those dozens of dull bits and really put this baby to the test. There are basically 4 steps to sharpening the bits.
1 Set the grind angle (118 or 135 degrees)
2 Set the type of bit (regular, split-point, or masonry)
3 Set the bit properly in the chuck (very simple…just follow the directions)
4 Grind away
5 (Optional) Grind the split-point
Rather than bore you with the exact details of each step, I would encourage you to check out the video tape which I will donate to the club’s library.
After sharpening my first bit (7/16”cobalt), I immediately tested it in a piece of ½”thick steel plate. It cut thru that plate with ease….just like when it was new. Ok, that worked. So now I decided to CONVERT that same bit to a split-point to see it the wandering would be reduced. All I can say is….WOW! This unit really does do everything it claims!
I then proceeded to dig out each and every drill bit I owned and went nuts with sharpening. I don’t know exactly how long the diamond wheel is supposed to last, but it still works after 100 bits….from 1/8” to 5/8”. All sharpened and converted to split-point.
I cannot over-emphasize the usefulness of this tool. If you regularly drill metals, you really NEED this. The Drill Doctor DD500 is available at Woodcraft, who also stocks the replacement diamond wheel and the big chuck (for ½” to ¾” bits).