Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: Drill sharpening jig plans

  1. #1

    Default Drill sharpening jig plans

    So I was drilling a 1" hole in annealed 4140 and I became convinced that the guy who sharpened the drill is a ham fisted bozo who doesn't know what he is doing.

    I was the one who sharpened the drill.

    Okay, I'm willing to admit that I don't know what I'm doing. I have read the threads, I have the basic idea in my mind. I can turn a drill bit with a chowdered end into a drill bit that cuts, sorta, kinda... But they ain't really up to snuff. I could spend a day or two practicing until I get better but then I'd have a few indexes filled with stubby drills, and I still wouldn't have confidence that the drill was the best it could be.

    Next I tried the This Old Tony technique. I laid the drill on my bench, sprayed it with some WD-40, and tapped it with a hammer. I expected a couple of flakes to fall off the end leaving it perfectly sharpened. Nothing happened. I tapped with increasing vigor. I now have a drill for making holes with a 10 degree bend in the middle. How DOES he do it ???

    Drill Doctor - Nope. I do not want to, nor can I afford to buy a Drill Doctor. Money is in short supply and if I raid the bank account for Yet Another Tool then the Missus will do something that involves high accelerations and blunt force trauma to my noggin.

    I don't have much money. What I do have is a fair amount of metal laying about, and some nice tools. I have time.

    I have decided that the Quorn or Stent tool and cutter grinders are currently beyond my confidence level. That leaves something like a Harold Hall cutter rest with accessories, or a General/Reliant type jig. I bought the books for the HH rests, but I'm wondering if a simple General/Reliant type jig would be easier to make and use for drill bits.

    1) What do you guys think?
    2) Does anybody have plans or a URL to plans for a General/Reliant type drill sharpening jig?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004


    Sharpening 1" drills is dead easy... really. No kidding. Same down to maybe 1/4" drills. more likely 3/8". Smaller are harder to see and check, plus they are not expensive.

    1) the drill needs two sharp edges

    2) Behind the edge, there should be a relief of several degrees slope so that the edge touches first when drilling.

    3) the two edges need to be the same length.

    4) The two edges need to be at the same angle away from the drill axis

    For the same length issue, and the angle, get a drill sharpening gauge like this

    with that you can judge the length of the edge and hit one side some more if you need to even them up, and it also will check the angle.

    Truthfully, you should not need more than maybe a quarter inch of drill, no matter how ham handed you think you are, to get lots of practice.

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Clovis CA USA


    I do all my sharpening with any jig
    I my shop I put a line at on a 6" grinder at 118 deg for ever one shop for drill bit
    Simple and fast it would take me about 10 min to train to sharpen drill bits
    I jig or sharpening machine just something employees would spend time doing nothing but play with machine.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007



    To follow on to JTiers reply. For most resharpening, exactness on angles, while important, isn't life or death. Do you own a drill angle gage?

    Some photos

    These simplify drill sharpening considerably. Make or get one. As a young apprentice I was required to make one by hand with nothing more than a file. So they are pretty easy to make.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013



    I have several tools to sharpen drill bits but generally resort to hand sharpening because it's fast. As others have noted the drill doesn't have to be sharpened perfectly for general drilling operations. If I'm doing lots of holes and/or the holes need to be accurately drilled I'll use my Darex M5 sharpener to dress the drill bits. I know you said you looked at videos about hand sharpening drill bits but did you see this one? I think it's one of the better ones out there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada


    I've always done it free hand on that size. But I'd be the first to admit that we can have both good and bad days for such things. More bad than good I'm afraid....

    Some grinding rests come with a V in them at an angle. I believe that's supposed to be an aid for drill sharpening to at least set the angle. If you have such a rest it might help. Or better yet make up a cheap n'easy grinder rest that can accept a quick clamp on fence that you can rest the drill against to set that angle and adjust the table for the drill's thickness so it cuts the proper back relief. Then you only need to worry about holding the drill at the right degree of twist and push into the wheel face or edge. That and remove even amounts from both sides so the chisel point ends up in the middle of the diameter. But at least you're only trying to do TWO things now instead of FOUR at one time.

    Every time I sharpen a big drill which doesn't fit into my Drill Doctor I keep thinking of this sort of quickie setup for my bench grinder. But then I only sharpen the darn things when I'm in the middle of something else. And by the time that job is done you KNOW where the thought about the grinder rest has already gone......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Quadra Island, BC, Canada


    Do a search for Gadget Builder, then when you get to his site scroll down till you get to drill sharpening. He details a 4 facet drill grinding jig, even if you don't want to go that root it's worth reading everything he has to say on the subject. The linked article on 4 facet drills was certainly enough to make me want to build a jig to do the job, not that I've got around to it yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015


    Way back when I was teaching at a local Vo-Tec school. I offered a night class for older gentlemen that were wanting to get a taste of machining. One of the best things I did was to teach them how to accurately drill a hole. Sounds simple enough, drill a 1/2" hole in 1/2" CRS and hold it to a 0.010 accuracy. Unknown to them I had ground off one lip off so as to drill a larger hole. Man you talk about some frustrated people most holes were 5/8" or so. After looking at the bits and proposing a few questions a few light bulbs started lighting up. Then we got out the text book and started looking at drill bit terminology. Next question was how to solve the problem. One guy saw the picture of a drill gauge but you know there just wasn't one to be had. To make a long story short. We learnt about lay out, cutting to a line with a hack saw no less. Most were taking quick 1/2" strokes with there saws. "Hay I say's I bought all of that blade so use it." Another lesson learned. Gauges made, lines marked, filed smooth everyone had learned how to use there gauges and everyone was now drilling spot on holes. After the last class several weeks later I asked what every body found most useful knowing no one had a mill or lathe at home, it was making and learning how to use the drill gauge. After all who doesn't have a box of dull bits laying around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    South Western Ontario


    Drill bits 101 2and 3


  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2016


    I have a Sears Craftsman 6677 drill grinding attachment.
    I spent some time yesterday trying various ways to get it working better.

    The problem seems to be not enough rake, especially on smaller drill.

    After some fiddling about and adjusting the location of the attachment in front
    of the bench grinder, I am getting some reasonable results.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts