View Full Version : Need your opinion on drill storage...
07-11-2007, 10:14 PM
I was cleaning up the garage again, trying to find homes for everything, when i got sidetracked by all of my drill bits.
I have two complete sets. One is brand-new from my grandpa; out of 29, 26 of them are brandnew "thunderbit" brand drills! The other is a cheapo one from HF. I've also got a large assortment of drills that are without a home. I could come up with another full set if i mixed black oxide with the few cobalt ones i have, and the few *nice* TiO ones i have. Even then i would have leftovers and i may not get a full set even combining everything. What i'd really like to do is make a drill dispenser to hold the 29 fractional sizes up to 1/2" and also be able to keep black oxide from TiO from cobalt bits. I know its silly but there it is. I generally use the TiO or similiar made in USA drills along with the USA cobalt ones (and now the thunder bits ones) in my milling machine and lathe where i need accuracy. The HF and chicom black oxide ones are used primarily in the drill press so i like to keep them seperate if i can.
I've got a huot index for the thunderbits and i've got a black plastic deal to hold the HF ones upright, which is very handy, and another index (those cheapo ones from HF) half full of TiO and a baggie full of black oxide. I also got some rough cut cherry wood from my brother-in-law and i was thinking about making some kind of drill dispenser for these.
Heres the deal though: I came in for supper and noticed an add at Menards. They have a four drawer, 12" deep ball bearing tool chest by Clarke that is on sale for $55. While its not cheap, 55 bucks seemed pretty reasonable for a ball bearing tool chest and the clarke chests i've seen at lowes seem pretty decent. Should i bite the bullet and drop the money on the chest and make some dividers for it. I could put all of my drill press accesory in it and maybe even my spare taps as well. What do you guys think?
If you think i should make one, i'm open to suggestions, photos, plans etc!!
<edit> sorry about rambling...
07-11-2007, 10:55 PM
I'm in a similar situation. I've got a typical Huote box with drawers and bins for fractional sizes. With a few exceptions, this one is chock full of high quality bits in various styles. I've also got one for numeric sizes, pretty much empty, need to do something about that. These are used mostly for “precision” work; drill press, lathe or mill.
Then I've got some of the little B&D plastic books with a range of bits, and some random loose bits of questionable quality that I picked up here and there along the way. These I mostly use with the hand drill for starting screws, when the operation is harsh for some reason, or when I need to tweak a bit for drilling bronze or plastic. Main thing here is I can grab the little “book” and toss it in the tool bag for work around the house and I most likely have something that will work for the job at hand (running a wire through a stud, starting a screw without splitting, etc.) When they are otherwise junked, I replace them with like quality (cheap, but not too cheap) so that I have a full case to grab next time.
I’ve also got a 135 gold(ish) plated HF set (marketing apparently has a sense of humor since the are described as TiN plated, Krylon would probably provide a better coating). Main reason I have it is it gives me a complete set for when I need that odd number/letter drill for an odd tap or reaming. Frankly, this set doesn’t seem to be as bad as many are described, and the drills hold up well enough (for what they are) without unwinding and such. But I never use them except for those rare occasions. Major bits I use frequently (like #7) get replaced with good ones, and these are what make up my very limited set of good number drills.
If there is a better way to organize this, darned if I know what it is.
07-12-2007, 01:08 AM
Check out the Huot drill dispensers on page 2380 of McMaster Carr. Direct Links to Mcmaster pages don't work.
07-12-2007, 02:52 AM
Here is the link (http://www.mcmaster.com/ctlg/DisplCtlgPage.aspx?ReqTyp=CATALOG&CtlgPgNbr=2380&CtlgEdition=&sesnextrep=807827947531948&ScreenWidth=1280&McMMainWidth=944) :D Sorry, couldn't resist.
I've got the "standard" cabinets. Sure would be nice to have a Master though...
07-12-2007, 12:10 PM
howd you do that!? I don't know my way around computers enough, evidently. I could never get a link to a page on mcmaster-carr...
07-12-2007, 01:54 PM
Hehe, it's a "secret".... ;)
Actually, it's a "frame". To put it simply (rather than completely accurate), the main URL you see in the web browser addy brings you to the main navigation page so you get the search panel on the left. That search panel keeps up with what is on the right pane. When you copy that URL from the addy bar and give it to someone else, it takes them to their copy of that navigation pane, which knows nothing of where you were navigated, so they get the default page.
But the contents of the right pane are just another web page with it's own addy. To link to a McMaster content page, just right click on the right pane and choose properties. You'll see a URL that you can mouse select, copy, and paste where ever you need it. But be aware that McMaster URLs are long and there is more than what you can see. To get it all, left click at the top left line of the URL and drag down to get the rest to auto scroll up and complete the selection.
I like the little plastic stands sears sells for a few bucks. You can set a set at each machine .
07-12-2007, 07:35 PM
Baddog-Thanks for tip!
Jon the Computer Challenged :(
07-12-2007, 08:20 PM
I really like the Huot ones. A shop I use has the master dispenser, I personally have the three smaller ones. They are a bit more expensive, but they are very high quality and should last you a lifetime.
07-13-2007, 06:22 AM
Nice but when one of em falls over open and all falls out more work than just a small huot dropping.
Iíve also got a 135 gold(ish) plated HF set (marketing apparently has a sense of humor since the are described as TiN plated, Krylon would probably provide a better coating). Main reason I have it is it gives me a complete set for when I need that odd number/letter drill for an odd tap or reaming. Frankly, this set doesnít seem to be as bad as many are described, and the drills hold up well enough (for what they are) without unwinding and such. But I never use them except for those rare occasions.
Exactly what I have and for the same reason. They also aren't that bad either but it pays to stick the smaller # drills in the caliper to verify the size before using.
I don't have any special system but have drill boxes scattered around both shops as well as loose bits next to each machine that uses them. The better quality bits are kept organized and sorted with the taps or in the supplied boxes. The large taper shank bits are kept in tool drawers either in the lathe bench or one of the roll arounds in the garage shop. I have perhaps 30 or so MT2 and MT3 bits from 1/2" to about 2", all European brands. I need to make something like a collet rack to hold those by the Strands DP. Rather low priority for now though.
I view small drill bits as consumables unless there is something special about them such as cobalt split point thinned shank or stepped point aircraft drill etc.
07-13-2007, 12:09 PM
Regarding the HF drill set....I have one of the fractional sets and its largely OK. I bought the big set and took it back. I didn't even think to check bit diameter, but the roll test on a surface plate showed that many of them were going to make holes *way* oversize because they resembled a flycutter:D I kept the fractional set some years back because my intent was to later relegate them to wood work when I was able to afford a full set of better drills.
A few months ago, I broke down and bought a store brand name set of made in USA bits from J&L for about $90. Enco has similar sets on a pretty regular basis in their sale flyers. It was about three times the cost, but the bits look really nicely ground and came in a Huot index. I have a couple of old stamped metal drill holders for the other fractional sets I have around the shop. Holding them vertical and separate from one another is the only way to keep drills really sharp in my opinion. You could make a holder that did the same horizontally, but it would use up much more space and not be as handy.
Here's the drills and index from J&L
07-13-2007, 04:21 PM
If I used one of those indexes for my good fractionals, I would need something like 10-15 of them. I think the bin type Huots are fine as long as it's not in the back of a van bouncing around. The only thing they touch is on the side of the flutes, not the edge (except where they intersect) and I don't see there being enough shock or frictional action to do any damage. Experience bears that out as I've never taken a damaged bit from the box (except where I foolishly put one back in without sharpening that is... <sigh>)
But my big set of "TiN" from HF is in a box like that pictured. Does make it easy to select the bit I need when I do need that odd size...