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Author Topic: Regrinding Your Own Drill Bits  (Read 461 times)

Bob La Londe

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Regrinding Your Own Drill Bits
« on: January 18, 2018, 10:10:46 AM »
If you have a bench grinder, and you know how to dress the wheel...  "Yes sir, Mr Grinder. Sir."  No.  dress, not address... and stop reaching for that pink chiffon.  ... you can probably regrind your own drill bits.  In fact if you know how to dress the wheel you probably already know that.

There are a couple for tools for dressing a grinder. Basically they are for quickly removing the surface of the grinding wheel to make it straight and square. 

Now I could go into a long drawn out description, but seriously its not that hard.  Just watch a couple YouTube videos and go out to your shop and give it a try.  If the drill bit is chowdered already the worst you can do is leave it chowdered.  If you don't learn how to resharpen drill bits its a wasted piece of metal in your box anyway. 

Your first couple attempts might not be as stellar as you like, but it really only takes a couple attempts to start making bad drill bits usable again.  Not meaning to be disrespectful to anybody with a real physical disability which makes your hands shake to bad to do it or your eyes to bad to see it.  I do a simple 3 facet grind on each flute and then thin the web.  Go ahead and look up some YouTube Videos already and go grind some bits.  I keep a plastic coffee can of water next to my grinder for cooling the bits, and the plastic snap on lid keeps it from evaporating to fast. 

Now that you have mastered the skill maybe you can answer something for me. 

How Small Can You Regrind? 

I started free hand grinding my own drill bits a few months ago.  Not
out of choice, but out of necessity.  Since I started doing it I have
reground a fair number of them.  Sometimes the same one two or three
times in the same set of jobs.  Now I have old eyes, but my glasses are
pretty good, and I have a magnifier lamp I swing over my bench grinder.
It allows me to free hand better than I ever thought I would be able to.

I've also resharpened some of my stub length Silver and Deming bits.
That's where it really pays off.  I bought a set of those some years
back, but I've never seen them available singly.  The 5/8 took quite a
beating over the years since its the standard injection port size for
hand injecting plastisol.  I actually make injectors .620 and sprues
.63, but sometimes you just have to brute force a solution.  It was nice
to finally be able to just sharpen it right up.

No more piles of drill bits to be sharpened someday.  I just sharpen it
right up and drop it back in its spot.  Which brings me to the other
size limit.

The smallest I've reground so far was a #21.  I picked that one to push
the smaller size limit because I have several of them on hand.  I
ordered a half dozen of them once from McMaster in stub screw machine
length to drill molds for 10-32 clamping screws.  It came out ok.  I'm
not sure how much smaller I could grind free hand.  Probably not much.
I was squinting a bit at it and gritting my teeth.  LOL.  So how small
of drill bits do you free hand regrind.  I don't have a drill doctor or
a Darex or a knockoff.  Just a bench grinder.  Well a couple of them and
a small belt grinder now.

I think one of the limits is grit size, but another would be heat.  It
would be really easy to overheat a tiny little drill bit.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 09:10:51 AM by Bob La Londe »