View Full Version : Music wire

02-11-2002, 10:20 AM
Like many RC aircraft modellers I use music wire for landing gear and so on. For the first time however I had occasion to attempt to drill a 3/32 hole in a 1/4" piece of music wire. It is very tough stuff. The drill would not touch it. So I heated it white with the torch and cooled it as slowly as possible. Still no go. Does anybody know what this stuff is? Certainly not mild steel. How would you anneal it for drilling, then return it to correct temper?

02-12-2002, 01:34 AM
It is easier to drill if you make a cross drilling setup (a v-block with a hole, the clamp has a drill bushing in it to guide the drill) Use a good 135* split point to drill it once you have everything clamped tight. You should not have any problem drilling it once it is "bound & gagged". If your drills can't hack it, use an endmill, or "slot drill". You shold not have any problems doing it this way. Are you using quality HSS bits or cheap imports (Nachi, Norseman/Nordic, titex are very good brands)?


02-12-2002, 04:14 AM
I believe that music wire is plain high carbon steel similar to drill rod. Seems like your annealing procedure should be OK, though you don't need to get it so hot, bright red, not quite orange should be enough. You could check with a magnet, I believe, when the steel no longer is attracted to a magnet it's hot enough. When you say you cooled it as slowly as possible, Did you cool it in the flame? The critical temperature range is from bright red to dull red (as I recall. I don't have my color chart handy.) With a thin section (1/4 " isn't all that thin) cooling in room air will probably quench it and leave it hard. Try this: Heat it to bright red, hold it there for one minute, then slowly withdraw the flame so that over the next two or three minutes it cools to well below glowing temperature, still in the flame. Turn the rod continuously to keep the temperature uniform. (Leave the room lights off so you can really see what the steel is doing.) Then let it air cool. Maybe that will do it, I'm kind of guessing here.

Hardening would start the same way except that after you've brought it to temperature and "soaked" it, you quench it in water. That leaves it dead hard. Then you polish it up and re-heat to a lower temperature to reduce the hardness somewhat and return some toughness and ductility. You judge the temperature by the colors of the oxides that form since this is below thermal glow temperatures. How much depends the requirements of your application, more than I can get into here. But it seems to me that music wire would come in at least normalized condition. I kind of doubt that you can make it much softer than when you bought it.

[This message has been edited by Randy (edited 02-12-2002).]

02-12-2002, 01:37 PM
I also suspect that you may be cooling the wire too fast (and thus re-hardening). I've had good luck annealing small pieces of steel by heating to bright red/orange and immediately plunging them into a coffee can ful of vermiculite (available at gardening supply stores). The vermiculite is a great insulator and will allow the work piece to cool only very slowly. Wait several hours and be careful when you try to get it out. A 3/8" ball bearing treated in this manner will still be too hot to handle after 1 hour in the vermiculite.

02-13-2002, 02:41 AM
You can also heat it on a heavy steel plate - the plate lets it cool slower as it retains lots of heat. The other ways work well too.

You should be able to drill it without doing any of this with thr wire in its "out of the box" condition.


02-13-2002, 10:15 AM
At what RPM were you drilling? I would chuck the bit as short as possible, try to get a stub that will just make the cut. Then, on a slower than normal speed, feed the bit hard, till you think it going to break. Use a drop of a nice thick lube or pork fat, and that should do the trick.

James Kilroy

02-13-2002, 01:02 PM
You Wrote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dmcdonald:
Like many RC aircraft modellers I use music wire for landing gear and so on. For the first time however I had occasion to attempt to drill a 3/32 hole in a 1/4" piece of music wire. It is very tough stuff. The drill would not touch it."
STEVE- Unless you need the hole in line with the wire, try silver soldering/brazing or even soft soldering a tab on the wire and drill the tab. Any hole prevents the wire developing its full strength around the hole. 1/4 inch minus 3/32 leaves 5/32 for load carrying. Use 5/32 wire, gain some strength, lose some weight. the tab will also assist in preventing the wire rolling, slipping, acts as a washer to distribute the clamping forces. but that info (useful or not) dont answer your question. read on.

"So I heated it white with the torch and cooled it as slowly as possible. Still no go."
STEVE- My expereince with music wire (making springs mainly) is that, like many special metals, once heated to excess (what ever that means) the metal is ruined. You went well beyond the critical temprature when you went white hot. Find the critical temp as follows:
get a good strong magnet. with your material, laid as you will have it when heating, and magnet practice several times finding where you can feel the magnet being pulled toward the material. Dont touch the magnet to the material. Now slowly heat the material (by slow i mean at a rate where the inside of the material is heated at about the same rate as the outside) along the area you wish to heat treat (anneal or harden). Beginning at a dull red, pass your magnet near the material. When you reach "critical temperature" the material will SUDDENLY become non magnetic. Keep the material at that temp so far as possible for a short while (long enough to insure the deeper parts are at critical temp also. To anneal, cool slowly. To harden (glass hard) quench in cold water. The hardened material will be brittle and will shatter if stressed. The softened material will bend and work like baling wire.

" Does anybody know what this stuff is? Certainly not mild steel."

Its mostly high carbon steel in music wire.
"How would you anneal it for drilling, then return it to correct temper?</font>"
STEVE - The method described above will anneal. Drill in the soft state.
returning to correct temper is hard and time consuming.
My method is:
1. know your original wire. Determine how hard your wire is before heat treating. polish the wire, try a file to nick the wire (noting the pressure exerted), or grind a flat noting how the sparks appear, try to bend the wire with some tool where you can duplicate the forces involved.
2. Anneal the needed wire plus at least six inches. Drill and otherwise work it.
3. heat the entire wire to the critical temperature and quench in non detergent motor oil- used oil is ok. shove the wire into the oil quickly, end first (laying the wire into the oil flat will surely cause it curl due to sides being at different temperatures). Now you have a hard brittle wire, unsoftened it will shatter like glass, softened a little it will make cutting tools, even softer knives. you problem is to "get it to the hardness you want". You determined that hardness when
you filed/ground the untreated piece. Now take your excess piece, polish it bright and clean. keep your fingers off it!!!
heat ONE end ofthe polished wire and you will (at about 430 degrees f) see colors show up. very pale yellow is about 430 F, straw is 450, deep straw is470, etc. the colors at 20 degree intervals are pale yellow $30, pale straw yellow, deep straw yellow, yellowish brown, brown yellow,bron purple, purple,blue, dark blue, light blue (640 degrees). If you heat your wire at one end the colors will "travel" down the wire as the wire gets hotter and hotter. Too much heat and the colors travel fast and the bands are close together- useless. heated slowly the bands are distinct and broad. for control purposes, remove all heat when the yellow band nears the end. THis leaves the end brittle and the heated end (at light blue) soft. The colors remain when the iron is cooled.
Take the colored wire and test is with you file or grinder and find where the colors most closely conform to you original wire.

prepare a box of (as one poster suggested vermeculite is good) insulating material with low specific heat. lay your wire in a sheet of clean iron, heat the sheet evenly until the colors start to show on your wire. when the color yo uwant shows, remove heat, cover both the wire and iron sheet with more insulation and let it cool.

When you insist on checking to see if it cool nuff, just touch the iron plate. Leavethe wire covered till its all cool.

If you worry about stresses (and you should) simply heat the wire to about 400 degrees in wifes oven, hold for couple hours andturn off. The wire is probably "normalized " for your purposes.

The best article and colors, how and why they are formed I have found is is HSM may june 1989. I use this article for teaching. The article is well worth reading.

02-13-2002, 02:02 PM
Try a carbide drill or end mill.

02-13-2002, 11:29 PM
MMMmmmm! pork fat! Aren't pigs just delicious - and they make good cutting lube too!


02-13-2002, 11:31 PM
I just looked up piano wire in Machinery's handbook. It is high tensile steel. To make matters worse, the action of drawing the rod through the dies work hardens the wire. It ends up after drawing at 300,000 to 340,000 psi ultimate strenth. It is basicly the same as plow-steel wire, that's the wire steel rope is made from. I doubt that you can anneal it. It is too small at 1/4" to hold the heat long enough. Proper annealing requires very slow cooling. We used to use Zonolite insulation and leave it there all night. Of course those were bigger items. Why do you have to use piano wire?
Hope there is something there that helps!

02-14-2002, 02:23 PM
No doubt on the pork fat, or lard, making a great cutting lube. Based on a tip I saw on another board I picked up a gallon container of real commercial lard. The stuff is great, it leaves no stains, cleans up easy, and smells like bacon when it gets hot. How in the world can you beat that?

James Kilroy

02-17-2002, 07:49 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions. I now have a neat hole in the end of my music wire. I cooled the end slowly over night in insulation, that seems to have been the key. I also clamped it firmly and used only a short bit of my new Westward drill protruding from the chuck. All worked fine. However, without the annealing, there was no way at all (6 broken bits to proove this, I am highly unimpressed with titanium drills).

The music wire has two uses for me. I string cable for a living and make long tools to poke through walls in order to pull back the cable. The center conductor is 3/32 inch, thus the need for the hole. These tools are lifesavers. The toughness of the music wire lets me hammer the tool into the drill hole if need be.

The other use is for RC models. I am getting into scale building, and for realism, mounting lugs are best used with a hole in the wire strut. This will be easier now that I have tamed the demon. Lots to learn about metal yet!

02-17-2002, 11:30 PM
The "Titanium" you refer to is TiN (Titanium Nitride) It is just a coating - it improves the performance of good tools but cannot turn a turd into a butterfly. It has been said before in these journals that TiN coated drill bits are (usually) a sign of a crappy drill bit. Most import drills are pretty bad. TiN is used on larger expensive drills (usually with coolant holes) but in most cases should raise a warning flag in your wallet.


02-18-2002, 12:01 AM
I am sure you are aware, but there are commercially available pullers. Also long (4 foot) drill bits with pull eyes in the web, drills that turn corners, and lots of other cool items for installers such as yourself.

In case you don't know about them, I can post a company that handles that stuff.

02-18-2002, 08:53 PM
My suspicions about titanium are confirmed. What about the so called Cobalt drills? Muchos expensive. Seems to me that a good set of HSS drills and a sharpener set up that works is the best way to go.

Speaking of sharpening, I have looked at the standard shapening guides that sit beside your grinder wheel. But I wonder what happens to the temper of the drill after sharpening. Do you re-harden in oil after sharpening?

I know about the specialty tools and own a few. Music wire is cheaper. I have all kinds of custom tools that I make for the occasion. Might as well, I like to work metal!

02-19-2002, 02:48 AM

Cobalt refers to the type of alloy, High Cobalt content gives higher hot hardness. The best HSS drills are made from M-42, T-15, M-7 and a few others. I buy Norseman (aka Nordic - made in St Paul, MN) they are a high Moly alloy (M-42?) 135* split points and cut through most materials like a hot knife in butter. Cobalt drills are a poor choice for stainless steel because the web is very thick to prevent breakage. The Norseman cut stainless like a dream (stainless steels in the 3xx series alloys work harden, so the cobalt's wide web work hardens the workpiece, whereas the Split Point digs in under the work hardened layer and cuts much more freely). The high moly content also produces a high hot hardness.

TiN, TiAlN, TiCN and Diamond Film are all good surface treatments for tools, they reduce friction and BUE (built up edge) allowing the tools to cut freer, faster, last longer, and retain accuracy. They are not a bad thing - the drills you bought are the problem, not the coating on them. It is true that TiN is often used as a sales tool to sell to the uninformed public by some - Caveat Emptor!

Nachi drills have proven themselves to many OEM's I know and are reasonable.


02-19-2002, 08:10 AM
You can buy a lot of drills for what a good drill sharpener costs. Those gizmos that sit beside a regular grinding wheel work...sorta...but aren't the best.

As for re-tempering drills, you shouldn't need to. When grinding, make sure the drill doesn't get that hot. Quench in water as you go, if need be, to keep it cool.

If your grinding wheel tends to heat things up pretty easily, think about getting a quality replacmeent. The original wheels that come on grinders tend to be pretty bad, for some reason. I use silicon carbide "green wheels," myself. They're designed for grinding carbide tooling and wear down pretty fast, but they cut well and don't heat up the work much.

02-20-2002, 12:03 AM
one can sharpen a drill offhand quicker & as good or better than the 10-15 dollar drill guides..which i think are kind of a pia.....have someone show u how( hsm or its mate had pictorial on it ) & take a little time practicing.........best wishes

02-20-2002, 05:08 PM
I agree Totally with thrud (Dave)..TiN coated drills are great brand new. But once you have to sharpen them, the coating is gone...Its still there on the flutes, but not at the tip where the cutting takes place...So in actuality, once you have to sharpen the drill, BAMMM!!! There goes the TiN coating, lost forever...And dave is also right on the quality of the drill underneath, some manufactures use lesser quality HSS...Cobalt drills are awesome in hard materials...And last but not least, try and forget about any drill grinders, practice, practice, and more practice until you become a master drill grinder....personalyy I love to grind drills by hand...but I also love chicken...


02-21-2002, 12:25 AM
You can get drills or endmills recoated. Have you ever tried solid carbide drills? Not much you can't drill - but they are very fragile and the work has to be solidly clamped. I never use my cobalt drills anymore, just carbide or the Norsemans.

I like grinding freehand on 1/2" or smaller. The big ones I find easier to grind on my 1"x42" belt grinder.


02-21-2002, 09:23 AM

Grinding drills freehand. Goes right up there with sharpening chainsaws by eye, and keeping the ice auger blaces tuned with a random stone from the lakeshore. Too much Zen for me. Next you will be telling me you sharpen lathe tools by hand too.

Speaking of which, could you use the belt grinder for small lathe tools? Have to set the original shape on the grinder, but maybe could just sharpen them on the belt.

02-21-2002, 09:37 AM

No reason you could not use the belt grinder for grinding tool bits. Might not be really efficient for doing the first shaping on a tool bit blank, but pretty good for touching up/ resharpening a tool bit. With a fine grit you can get a nice polish on the bit and cut down on hand stoning the bit.

Thanks Keith

02-21-2002, 06:00 PM

You're right on that you can re-coat drills and endmills, but it is not economical, cheaper just to buy a new drill...I do like carbide drills, but I tend to use the cobalt ones more than the carbide...thats just my personal preference...All that I have to sharpen drills is a couple of bench grinders, a belt sander, and a disc sander...large drills( greater than 1") I usually rough it out on the disc sander, then I fine tune it on the grinding wheel...I usually split point my drills too... and to dmcdonald, belt sanders are great for very fine tuning, but you really need to hog it out first on the grinding wheel...I usually grind my tool to where I want it at, and then I lightly brush it by the belt sander to get a beautiful finish, then i lightly hone the edge..

....just my 2 cents worth..


02-21-2002, 07:09 PM
I recently picked up a cheap import belt-disc combo. 6" disc, 4" belt. It is the greatest thing going for drills & lathe bits.

Rough them out on bench grinder, and finish on disc. There is always a temptation for me to use side of wheel for drill and tool bits. With disc that is not a problem. You get nice crisp edges, and no hollow grinding.

I plan to make up a better tilting table and cross slide so I can make the compound cutter angles to an actual dimension.

Belt is also nice for removing tool marks, gives it a finish ground look. Non crirical surfaces of course.

02-21-2002, 10:40 PM
I use a 1"x42" belt grinder for nearly everything. Use a 40 or 60 Grit Norzon Belt for roughing then I have 3M Mylar belts with SiC and Chromium Oxide for a hone job bar none.

I have a Carbon Evaporator (used to coat electron microscope specimens with a carbon layer - gold is more common now) I bought at a sale for $10. The company that made it makes the chambers for PVD coating of tools - I asked them if I could do that with this one and they told me just to buy a commercial coating chamber. So I suspect I might be able to do it with a little work - far more fun than a home EDM! I have many things I could use a layer of TiN on! If I get it to work I will let you know.

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 02-21-2002).]

02-22-2002, 11:36 AM

Thats great that you can coat with TiN..I am jealous...When you get it all down to a science, please let me know what I can get, buy, use, make, etc...to allow myself to do the same....I would appreciate it .....thanks


02-22-2002, 11:22 PM
Thrud's reply answers some of my questions on belt sanders. The standard House of Tools 1x36 super cheap Chinese (aka Delta, Toolmaster, Craftex, etc) belt/disk sander doesn't look like it would touch a lathe tool or drill as delivered. So, we need a different belt and disk. Question being, what belt/disk for what task. Standard sales dude knows less than nothing, so we need to find a published table of belts and disks for various purposes. Since we are metal heads (no, not the musical kind), where would you get info on what belts and disks are appropriate for metal? Then, where do you buy them. (Glassy-eye looks from local supplier when I mention metal). I want to sharpen lathe tools and drills, and take the burrs off my printing press plates (.014 aluminum, alloy unknown, cheap from the local newspaper printer) that I am using for my all metal floats on the 1/3rd scale Piper Cub (I'm beginning to think that a real Piper J3 would be cheaper).

02-22-2002, 11:48 PM
When in doubt, call the pros that know everything you could eaver care to know about abrasives - Norton or 3M. Norton pioneered Diamond Film Coatings on tools & equipment. 3M has grinding materials designed for Aerospace that cut Stainless Steel and Ti with great ease, Mylar backed abrasives and Diamond "sandpaper". Take advantage of their knowledge...

I will let you guys know if "home PVD" works - in theory it should - cross your fingers & legs!


02-23-2002, 12:40 AM
Hi, just signed up for this BBS, nice to meet you all.

This was an interesting topic, but I have to argue with or comment on a few things that I noticed en passant.

First, though I've been drilling metals with twist drills for forty years, I am still amazed when I think about what you get for the money. If you doubt me, go read about drilling in Paul Hasluck's Metalworking book. A hundred years ago, you made your own drills (though you did buy the steel...) because twist drills were too expensive! Imagine not only having to drill the original hole in the music wire that caused all this discussion, but having to use another piece of music wire (or other relatively lo-tech steel) to make a drill to do it with... And here we are discussing whether TiN-coated HSS drills are any good.

Having counted our blessings, let's move on to reality. I am currently mostly an amateur in this business, so cost of tools is important. Put simply, I can afford a set of 115 jobber's HSS drills in a steel index, for about $20 on-sale, $30 for the TiN-coated, but not $40.75 for ONE 1/2" TiN-coated 130 degree drill by Chicago-Latrobe. US-brand 115 piece sets run some $300-$500. Cost-wise, no contest - literally.

From my own personal observations on imported drills, certainly some are bad, but a lot are good enough for HSM purposes, and can be made to perform as well as US ones - given that eventually the US ones will become in need of sharpening, in which case they are indistinguishable from the imports once they have returned from your Sharpening Department. Over the years, I have used expensive US and British drills, and (in my shop and hands, anyway) they don't do any better work, and I have yet to wear out even one drill. I have encountered defective imported drills more times than for the US ones, but I think if you avoid the very, very bottom end stuff, this isn't a major issue.

I would avoid the so-called "Made in USA" brand drill sets. These are considerably cheaper than the branded drills, but also many times more expensive than the imports. I don't know how these "sets" come about, but I suspect they are collections put together by Fred and Joe in their garage from quality-failed (rejected) US drills. So you are getting a by-definition inferior product from the get-go. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems that way.

Another way to get good tools cheap is to buy them used/surplus. I've done that on eBay with twist drills and taps and reamers, and I have mixed emotions about it. I'd try it again, if the price was right, but I'd know I was gambling.

In any event, even though I have never completely worn out an HSS drill, I also can't see how anyone could be without some way to sharpen drills. We can get into a discussion, but as far as I am concerned it is as bad as using non-indexable lathe tools without any way to keep them in shape. I thought this was pretty self-evident until I saw some of the comments in this topic. Anyhow, the very first thing I ever was taught in metalworking (after the location of the cafeteria and how to "clock in", of course) was how to off-hand grind a drill. The reason, of course, is that drilling is the most common operation, and the tool crib guys were paid overtime to blunt all the drills after hours, so no way could you do anything unless you could sharpen a drill pretty reasonably. I have done it many times since, and I'm not too bad at it, but I still try to avoid it. I still also find myself automatically doing the usual things to compensate for its inadequacies, such as center-drilling, drilling pilots, boring out the hole to make it truly concentric, reaming and so on. There are about five sub-operations to making a decent hole, and only the untrained guy tries to make a 1/4" hole with one pass of a 1/4" drill. That mythical guy would be asking a good question, though, if he asked "Why?", because the reason is defects in the tools, not the idea. Most of the operations are due to the inaccuracies in the way the cutting edges of twist drills are ground/finished - which are themselves due to the grinding, not to the particular drill. True, a bent drill will not work great, but even with the imports, they are few and far between. A perfectly made drill that is just a tad off in the grinding will never make a perfect hole without a lot of work. And historically, it was wise to assume the drill had been off-hand grind, so was more than little off, usually. In reality, you have no hope of doing an adequate job of off-hand grinding, unless this is your third or fourth decade of doing it full-time for a living.

Today I use a small Drill Doctor to sharpen drills whenever I can. I just wish it would do very small drills, reamers, endmills and so on. They are pretty reasonable in price, about 1/2 the difference in price between an import 115 piece drill set and a US-made set. It sits permanently on the end of the bench between the drill indexes and the machine, so it is right to hand. It was easy to learn to use, and with just a little initial discipline, I now find I never tolerate a drill that is even slightly in need of sharpening. Or one that is not ground correctly for the material, which has about the same effect. The Drill Doctor has several settings and you can quickly get it right. This is very good for the quality of work, for my temper, health and pocket. A badly-sharpened drill (or one that has the wrong geometry for the material) is VERY dangerous to the operator, and often ruins the job - and the drill too. I hate seeing those big bumps or rings on the shanks where the drill has slipped in the chuck, and you can bet it does no good for the drill or the chuck or the work. Incidentally, that's still the major cause of damage to my drills, not wear. Not even breakage, if you exclude those hair-thin carbide drills.

I have no business association with Darex, and no familiarity with any other of their products or their competitors, it's just I bought one and I like it and it works perfectly as advertised. I'm sure there are other products that work as well, but the Drill Doctor certainly meets my needs and finances. For large drills, or for roughing out badly-damaged drills, as well as for other sharpening tasks, I now mostly use my belt/disk sander, as some others have mentioned. I also have a regular 6" bench grinder - actually two so I have to change wheels less often, they were only $20 each - but they don't have the right fixtures for most of the tools, and they always seem to have on the wrong wheels. Also, truing up the wheels is a pain. I did use a Sears drill grinding attachment for a while, but it didn't work very well. I think the rigidity of the setup was insufficient. Anyway, it is for sale if anyone needs one...

I still have no good solution for very small drills, unfortunately. The Darex has a minimum capacity of about 3/32 if I recall correctly. Below that, I sharpen off-hand, down to sizes where I can't see the end of the drill bit, which isn't that small these days. Results are pretty poor below about 1/16, though. Lately, I have been mostly using surplus carbide circuit board drills for very small holes (you can't afford to buy them new, that's for sure). They stay sharp for very long times in most materials, and usually break as their way of telling you they need sharpening, which eliminates the need for sharpening gear. You can also do neat stuff like drilling out music wire with them...;-) Or circuit boards. Recently, I drilled some very hard bearing balls (unsoftened) with them, which was impressive to me.

As a future project, I am planning on making a fixture of some kind for grinding very small drills (or endmills) on a Sanders bench surface grinder that I just acquired and rebuilt. If anyone knows of any such fixture already designed, I'd appreciate an email with the info. The only issue is that the SG headroom is pretty small.

Anyhow, this got a bit longer than I was thinking, and is probably hopelessly off the original topic, but I hope no-one minds my burbling on. I certainly was interested in the topic, so thanks to all who contributed.

Jed Weare, mailto:gweare@attbi.com

02-23-2002, 08:58 AM
Jed's post brings up the whole issue of drilling, about which books could be written. Unfortunately they are not. The terms used to describe a drill point, and the angles used for various materials, are often ignored or overlooked, even in professional shops. Does anyone have a good reference for drill bit shapes? I often see conflicting information in plans and books.

To Thrud, let us know when the PVD setup works so we can all mail in our drills and end mills for your new free coating service!

02-23-2002, 09:14 PM
The Delta small disc/belt does fine on bits. I checnged belts not because of grit type, but because of the huge knot at the joint, kicked the part back first time I tried it.

Great, and available at Depot/Lowes/whatever for about $70, (same exact model from J&L for $135).

Get a selection of grits for the belt, the disc is such a pain to change that I just leave the coarse on it and hone elsewhere. Wish it had a second disc, don't want to peel off the abrasive until I have to.

02-24-2002, 12:50 AM
You are not off topic. If you talked about cat farts you still would never be quite off topic around here. Humor is important too! By all means, when the urge hits spill your guts and don't be a wall flower. But Itake issue with the import drill issue - being from Canada EVERY drill is an IMPORT - so there. And I do agree with the pointthat some US made drills are bad - Cleveland, Butterfield and a few others really suck compared to Nachi's lowest priced drills. And I have yet to be shown a better drill (that did not cost more than my 115 piece set for ONE) than the Norseman (Nordic) Moly HSS 135 Split point drills made in St.Paul Minnesota.

Sorry, no mail ins - you can't bring steaks or refreshments if it gets mailed! But don't bring your American Express - unless you can buy donuts with it...

There are books about drills, usually in the form of a big thick catalog. By reading them, you can glean nuggets of info - a good way to amuse yourself before snoozing off in bed - only to wake up with the catalog waterlogged from you drooling on it as you chainsaw logs through the wee hours...

Actually, www.lindsaybks.com (http://www.lindsaybks.com) had a few reprints on drills and one on small precision drills (make & sharpen) in particular. Do not know if they still do.