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Drill Bits

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mdunc8
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« on: February 29, 2016, 06:40:22 pm »

Good evening,

I've been working on some Montana agate pieces (will post pictures soon) and would like to use my Dremel to drill holes in a few. What types and sizes of bits are others using? If possible, could you provide a link to the bits you use?

Thanks,
Mike
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ToTheSummit
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« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 06:51:30 pm »

Like everything in this hobby there are many options in a range of prices, but I bought a cheap set of chinese diamond bits from Harbor Freight.  They work surprisingly well for me.  The biggest trick was rigging up a system to use them in water without dousing my dremmel.  This was my solution...



The water just barely covers the stone.  And yes, the dremmel is free-standing in that photo.  The hole was already partially drilled with a conical shaped bit and the dremmel was just resting there while I took the pic.
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mdunc8
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« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 07:25:26 pm »

Thanks, Summit. Is this (http://www.harborfreight.com/diamond-point-rotary-bit-set-20-pc-69653.html) the set you bought?
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ToTheSummit
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« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 08:54:51 pm »

The set I bought has 50 bits and was $20.  You can see the box sitting in the background of the first picture.  I don't see it anymore on Harbor Freights website but you might get lucky and find one in the store itself.  But the bits in the set you posted are basically the same ones, just not as big a selection.

EDIT- Wait...I did find it.
http://www.harborfreight.com/50-Pc-Diamond-Rotary-Point-Set-69665.html
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2016, 09:32:34 pm »

I have similar bits from Home Depot/Lowes. They tend to carry a decent selection of dremmel bits. That's a nice setup for drilling holes; I'll have to remember that!
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 12:07:20 am »

I prefer the keep it simple way.  I start with the piece sanded to 600 grit or 1200 grit.

1) Put down a zip lock bag.
2) Put a shop towel folded in half over the bag.
3) Put a tiny water container just  behind the towel/zip lock bag. I use a plastic baby food container.
4) Take a 1mm diamond coated bit and put it into the Foredom chuck.
5) Pick up the stone/cab you want to drill.
6) Use the dry bit to make a tiny spot where you want the hole.
7) Dip the stone into water, hold the stone and start drilling.
8) Watch the mud coming out of the hole, when it starts to thicken dip the stone into the water and wash off the mud. Do the same with the drill bit.
9) Repeat steps 7 and 8 until you have a hole deep enough to epoxy in the bail or through the stone if that is the need.

10) If you need a bigger hole follow the 1 mm with a 2mm diamond coated bit and then a 3mm diamond coated bit as needed. 

11) Use a 4 MM diamond coated ball bit the round the edges of the hole.

Finish polishing the piece.

12) I use a high temperature candle wax to polish the drilled hole.  I use a shop light to melt the wax in a sardine can sized can that should sit on a piece of wood for safety - spills forgetting the light is on for 30 minutes etc.  I have pieces of cotton string tied to a rod with the ends epoxied to be stiff.

13) Put the polished piece into the melted wax under the shop light. After 10 to 15 minutes use a toothpick to pick up the cab and a shop towel to polish off  the excess wax.  Go to string - pull through the drilled hole and run the string fairly aggressively through the hole.  You will get a much nicer "polish" through the hole.

No fancy clamps or equipment needed and faster, cleaner holes.

To help keep you hole properly centered flip the stone around every time you wash off the mud.   

With practice it is pretty easy to drill from both sides to meet in the middle on pieces too long to drill from one side and the holes tend to be better centered too. 

Here is a sample piece all drilled by hand.  The thicker pieces take about 30 minutes and are drilled from both sides.  The thinner ones take about 15 minutes and I usually drill even them from both sides.

On smaller pieces I drill the piece while holding it down on a small piece of hardwood.

I run the Foredom at about 1/2 to 3/4 speed most of the time.  The drilling seems to go faster than when running at full speed.

I rock the bits a bit from side to side while drilling as the diamonds on the bits will create channels and take a lot more pressure than when I use the rocking.   Some bits work a lot better than others.  So some I toss after about a minute as the quality control for these is poor.  Other bits last for many pieces.  I keep a dressing stick on the towel and occasionally test the bit to be sure it still has enough diamond on the tip to be effective and it seems to help keep the bits working longer.



* J243D.JPG (792.96 KB, 2304x1728 - viewed 9 times.)
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southerly
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 02:41:18 am »

I have used ball heads, solid cores and hollow core drills, all seem to work, some work better with one stone or another. I always use a ball head to create a divit to centre the drill in. I have tried 1mm to start then going up a mm each time to enlarge hole and also gone straight to say 4mm, I am not convinced one approach is better then the other. I hear the tripple ripple drill are good but have not tried them. Have fun experimenting.

David
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mdunc8
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2016, 09:43:04 pm »

Thanks for the suggestions. Will let you know how things go.

Here are some of the pieces I'll be working with



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