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The Folding Knife (& Switchblade) Forum The materials, techniques and the designing of folding knives.

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  #1  
Old 01-29-2018, 03:06 PM
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Drill bits for carbon fiber? Sharpen?

In past times the HSS and bright finished bits performed fine for the handle materials I used. With carbon fiber the wear has become unacceptable since I could get about 8-10 good clean holes before they would begin to result in a slightly fuzzy hole. Probably more of an obvious issue with the 1x1 and 2x2 patterns. The random CF patterns there is a bit more epoxy in the layup so the fibers don't seem to be as wearing when drilling.

I ordered a packet of cobalt but don't expect a drastic difference in number of holes.

Do the drill bit sharpeners work well in the smaller sizes? 55, 53/1.5mm and like?


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Old 01-29-2018, 05:57 PM
epicfail48 epicfail48 is offline
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Most of the sharpeners ive seen dont go smaller than 1/8", and i dont think ive ever seen one that goes below 1/16". I will also say that in terms of initial investment for the sharpener and the cost of the smaller bits, it doesnt make much sense bothering with sharpening them. Anything smaller than about 3/16" i just buy 5 or 10 a time and keep a good supply on hand
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Old 01-30-2018, 06:33 AM
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That's one of the drawbacks to using carbon fiber.... it dull ANYTHING it touches. Even solid carbide doesn't last long when used on carbon fiber. As Epic said, sharpeners don't work on bits smaller than 1/8"..... and in my shop bit's smaller than 1/8" are considered "disposable".


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Old 01-30-2018, 08:45 AM
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Cobalt bits may be worth a try.


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Old 01-30-2018, 07:12 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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You can try carbide tipped drill bits, but like Ed said they wear out too. I can sharpen drill bits, but getting them even when smaller than 1/8" isn't so easy. The small bits are cheap enough to buy in quantity anyway and is what I do.
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:35 PM
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As thought. I have diamond for the stone but those bits are not offered in the sizes desired. Chalk it up to the cost of making when using that material. That is one of the gripes with these smaller bits. There is a nice price point at certain sizes, these smaller ones are on that rising point.

Ordered some Viking cobalt bits and will see how they do. I haven't had to buy drill bits in a spell so seeing how prices have changed was eye opening. What was paid for USA bits now buys lower grade imports in oxide or bright finish. Had it good with those cobalt and other coated bits in the day. Same with taps, crazy prices.


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Old 01-31-2018, 08:46 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Mike I learned to use certain size holes, I understand how some of the smaller number drill bits start to get expensive. The smallest bit I have is a #59 for .040 silver wire and I have 3 carbide bits in that size for drilling tangs, but before hardening and the bits are tipped with carbide. So far I have managed not to break one. I am just curious as what you need a #55, .052 bit for. Is it a clearance hole for a 0-80 screw? 3/64 or .0469 diameter or is it a threaded hole? My specs call for a 3/64 hole to tap for 0-80. Teeny weeny screws man.


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Old 02-01-2018, 11:32 PM
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A 3/64" is spec for ~75% as you state. The #55 is the adjusted size for the 0-80 threads with about 53% engagement. A 1.25mm would be better mid ground spec between them. Broke many taps in the Tapmatic with the 3/64" holes in those early days. Seemed intolerant of the slightest wear with Ti. Used a variety of taps to experiment too. (Read that as noob-unskilled.)

That frustration led me to the Brubaker and Greenfield stalls at Westec to get advice tapping these small holes. For non critical outside of aerospace and biomedical he mentioned a #55 was sufficient for this application, tap life would be much improved. Initially had approached them about some blue nitride coated taps which they can do. Those were the few that would cut clean and allow good longevity. How many thousand did I want to order? LOL The guys at Tapmatic and Procunier were helpful too. After those discussions tapping holes was night day. The Tapmatic CS is great! I'd called them on other occasions to dial in RPM speeds for other applications. They'd follow up to see how it went.

The rest are clearance holes for through hole and socket head.

Thinking of tap breakage along with screw breakage. Had a person ask me how I became adept at removing broken screws. That was through enough occasions extracting broken 0-80' taps and stripped screws without ruining the piece they were in. In his case these were much larger size like 1/4-20 or 1.5-1mm which to me is easy in most instances unless they have had some form of Galvanic corrosion. Saw that also with carbon fiber seat posts and aluminum bicycle frames. Sweat is nasty stuff when it seeps into tight spaces with some metals. Whoops, became side tracked there.


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Old 02-02-2018, 12:38 AM
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I worked in aerospace and dreaded having to tap 4-40 or 2-56 holes, I never had to do a 0-80, thank goodness. You must make some crazy folders Mike.

I did use a #71 reamer for target loads with small primer pockets for consistency. My ammunition was within +- 10 fps between each cartridge. Used to target shoot.
How's that for digression? lol


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Old 02-02-2018, 01:05 PM
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These small things trace back to Stan Fujisaka. He told me, "Mike you look like a folder maker. Here's what you need..." He'd demonstrated how to extract broken taps, drill bits and screws from liners.

That's excellent to have that level of consistency for your loads! What calibers ? Been debating about reloading the past year. That thought came from the changing times in CA. that began on Jan 1 with online ammunition purchases. Those have to be processed through a licensed dealer in a face to face transaction now. Can order the ammo, ship it to the dealer, he then verifies the ID, takes his processing-delivery fee for the transaction. In 2019 that becomes worse with a background check to buy the stuff.

All the fun talk that we get in a knife show weekend. Knives, guns, food, machining practices/tips and catching up with how we are all doing.

(edit)
A pic from the last batch:
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Old 02-03-2018, 06:01 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Just seeing this thread now haven't been on in a few days :-( anyway i have been making folders and using carbon fiber on almost every one (i love the stuff) what i do is go to MSCDIRECT.COM they have every drill bit you will ever need and in multiple materials...the sizes i generally need for folders are 14,23, 44, 51, 54 i may be forgetting one then i use 5/32 and 3/16th and slightly above 3/16th reamers and some counter bores most of the counter bores are carbde tiped the drill bits i get in cobalt and i buy them buy the dozen....if you go to MSC and "sort" the page by price you will see some where you can buy 1 bit and some that you must buy 12 i get 12 cause i know i will use them and they are not all that expensive i have never sharpened a drill bit once dull i chuck it that's it but i do get more than 10 holes on each bit i don't think i have ever thrown a bit away at 10 holes no matter what i go through carbon fiber titanium steel wwat ever...but again msc is cheap enough just use them and throw them....
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Old 02-03-2018, 11:04 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Nice folders Mike. I like the Damascus bolsters, really nice touch. I'm in the hospital right now for a flu? that won't go away and haven't been able to do much of anything lately, but I was working on a folder, but I don't make many of them.

I reloaded .38 special and +P 38s, .357 mag and .357 Maximum, 9mm, 44 mag, 41 mag (an under rated caliber, with reloading can make as powerful as a 44 mag) .220 Remington, .308 Winchester or 7.62 NATO, 30-30 and 30-06. I also make specialized rounds for different scenarios. Tungsten core bullets that will pierce 1/4" steel from a .357 mag and 3/8" from a 41 mag. Plus extreme expansion load using shot shells and caulking and a mixture of #2 shot with #8 shot. I still do some reloading, but if I lived in CA I'd move and this from somebody who grew up in SoCal. Left in 1990 when I saw the writing on the wall.

Dave, try Granger supply as there is one near you and you won't have to pay for shipping. Also have you got your web site up yet?

Last edited by jimmontg; 02-03-2018 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 05:29 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Hmm good call jim never thought about grainger i think there is one in elmsford i think wich is pretty close

Nope no web site yet....i sent a knife to ray to review and since i am sure he will find something that can be improved i put the batch i was working on to the side..no sense in finishing just to find out what i could have done better a few days later....hopefully in about 2 maybe 3 weeks max i should have one up....ill keep ya posted
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:22 PM
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The last time I bought cutting tools was when Rutland-Airgas had stores around here. Can't recall all the brands though mostly US stuff in mostly cobalt flavorings. The handle materials were pretty soft so I went with basic HHS in oxide and bright finish. I'd probably get more then 10-15 holes with them but find the fuzz and wear change dimensions so I stop using them before those oh-sheep moments occur.

Haven't been out to try the new cobalt bits that arrived. The batch of the latest set has been drilled so that will be a spell before the next folder batch is started.

Thanks Jim. Sorry to hear about the cold-flu. They'll have you rested up and back at your daily soon.

The CA climate for shooting sports is a downhill slide. I really like the wheel guns but shelf ammo is in the $.30+/round range. They don't come out to play but a few times a year, that's not fun. The 90's was the firm push that put the writing up where this was going to go and here we are.

Will also check your recommendation to Dave.


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