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  • paper drill bit

    Has anyone had occassion to make or work on a paper drill? I would like to make one but am wondering what the bits would need to be made of ie wall thickness. In searching the web, I found a comment to use a brake line, but then someone else said not good enough. I do not know how to work with anything harder that mild steel short of grinding it. Special cutters? or would it be ok to start with mild steel dowelling, machine it then harden it. If so, what would I dip in? Water ok or oil? I saw an article on hardening once and I could go look for it if this is what I should be doing. I guess drill rod seems right but it is solid and the drill bits I see online are hollow. Would it be worth it to just buy the bits and make the rest of the assembly. My wife often asks me to drill books for filing for her classroom and I thought to make a three hole drill press for the school would be a neat project. Many of the bits are about 2 1/2" long and I think that would be a good drill depth.

    Anyone with ideas or comments?

    Thanks
    Shawn

  • #2
    Originally posted by ShawnR
    Has anyone had occassion to make or work on a paper drill?

    Shawn
    wouldn't you know it, yes! took me two tries but works well. I made it out of drill rod and hardened it. It is hollow and cuts with a razor edge - ie cuts out a plug. let me sketch the profile & I'll post back
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 01-17-2007, 01:34 PM.
    .

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    • #3
      here's a simple sketch of my paper drill



      I made a brass lap, at the angle of end of the drill that I use to sharpen it. I may have drilled the hole right through, can't remember. its handy to have a piece of scrap smaller than the hole push the paper out every now again , because it is compressed against the sides of the drill - place said scrap on DP table and lower quill. no idea how this compares to commercial ones, but it worked for me.

      I can dimension it tonight when i'm home.
      Last edited by Mcgyver; 01-17-2007, 02:40 PM.
      .

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      • #4
        Always make mine out of brass stocktube or brake line I'm dilling the holes in hang tags. It helps if you also have a slot in the side of the tube so you can remove the plgs with out taking the drill out of the chuck have been doing that way for over 20 years and close to 70,000 assorted tags. The tags are out of cardstock ands drilled in a drill press. Depends on how much time you want to spend on it I sharpen the cutting end with a dremel and stone point.
        Mcgyver also posted his drawing and that is what a ready made one looks alot like You can find them at a printer/paper supplier had one 20 years ago lost take when the kids use to help me. Thank God they are grown and moved out LOL
        Glen
        Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
        I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
        All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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        • #5
          paper drill bit

          Hi Shawn,

          In the lab shop we frequently had to drill holes in paper and plastic filters and filter backing. We had a set of stopper borers that we had scrounged from the trash. All they were was a set of brass tubes, sharpened on the end, that had a 1/2" bushing on the end that went in the fixture. The fixture was one of those gizmos that looked like the tapping fixture, with a shaft that you rotate with a tee handle.

          Anyway, all we had were the "bits" that had been replaced. We resharpened them and used them in the mill. I put a piece of plywood in the vice to cut on and would drill through stacks of paper. We even drilled a hole in the phone book and attached it to the table so that the professors would not walk off with it. The only secret to using these tubes to drill holes in paper was to coat them liberally with spit to avoid binding in deep cuts. Worked like a champ. Brake line would probably do the trick, as would stock seamless tube of any material.
          Jim (KB4IVH)

          Only fools abuse their tools.

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          • #6
            One note on your original post -- you can't use mild steel, it won't harden because it doesn't have enough carbon in it. Use a piece of so-called "drill rod," either water-hardening (W-1) or oil-hardening (O-1), as per Mcgyver.

            Hardening is straightforward. Heat the section you want to harden (you don't need to harden the whole thing, just the cutting edge area) until it no longer attracts a magnet, then plunge into water (W-1) or into light oil (O-1). Then put in the kitchen oven at 300-350 for about an hour to temper it so it's not too brittle, and you should be fine.

            Anti-scale compound would protect the surface while heating, but it's not strictly necessary; if you don't use it, you'll just need to do a bit more sharpening of the edge after hardening.
            ----------
            Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
            Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
            Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
            There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
            Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
            Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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            • #7
              And you can make them self-sharpening if you want to go to the trouble.

              Make them from mild steel with just the outer diameter carburized. The inner edges will wear faster from abrasion with the paper and keep the outer rim at a knife edge.

              jm
              .
              "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                Woodworkers use a "plug cutter" that is very similar to McGyvers drawing, there are some that have 3-4 'teeth' and one type (el cheapos) that only have one 'tooth' and it works pretty well. And guess who has them?....Horror Frt of course, less than $10. IIRC, for 4 sizes
                If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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                • #9
                  I have many paper drills bought used from a swap meet. They are all still razor sharp. I find them useful for cutting gaskets for carburetors and such. I made the large one from some stainless for the center bore of a weber down draft. Also very sharp. The real ones I have all have a positive drive type shank. They are hollow to push the slug out.They are Lawson drills..JRouche

                  http://www.dhpcatalog.com/DrillPaper...llowDrills.htm

                  My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                  • #10
                    A quick Google search resulted in thr following, for one.

                    http://www.adss.net/product_info.php...roducts_id=121

                    We researched 3-hole paper drills for local government, back in the 80's and went with 3-hole drille, as it was cheaper at the time.

                    The bits are out there. It may be cheaper to make than to buy but some more research may be in order.

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                    • #11
                      Commercial paper drills are made hollow all the way through. They are driven by a hollow spindle and so exaust the cuttings straight up. All of the ones I have seen also have a slight taper on the outside of the cutting tube from the edge to the mounting shank, I would guess it's about .001 per inch. I suspect this provides for relief and reduces friction in cutting thick stacks of paper. The guys in our shop used bars of solid Ivory Soap for lubrication. Cut a hole in the soap block, and the edge is good for a half-dozen or so holes in paper. The soap is really a good lube in this application and does not stain the paper - important in a print shop doing presentations work. It would appear that they were made of good tool steel an hardened. Greatest cause of failure seemed to be overheating / dulling of the edge due to lack of lube or increase in friction due to dulling of the edge. Most of the deaders that went out to be sharpened were blue-brown for about a quarter inch from the cutting edge. I have seen them resharpened until they are only 3-4 inches long. Any shorter than that and they would no longer cut deep enough to do useful work in our shop.

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                      • #12
                        looks like engine push rods of different diameters would work. I know they're hard enough.

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                        • #13
                          Wow, ask and ye shall receive.

                          Thanks to everyone for all of the input. Now I have no excuse except to start on that project. I think I will set it up to take standard paper drill bits, then make some and that way if my attempts at making them fail, I can fall back on (gasp! ) purchasing some.

                          As for working with drill rod, can I use regular bits? How do I drill the center out...a normal high speed drill bit? It seems to me that drill bits are hard so is drill rod hardened after the machining is done?

                          Drill rod is something I will have to order as I don't think anyone locally would have some unless some of the machine shops would part with some. What are other typical uses for it? (obviously, very new to this field)

                          Thanks
                          Cheers,

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ShawnR
                            Wow, ask and ye shall receive.
                            As for working with drill rod, can I use regular bits? How do I drill the center out...a normal high speed drill bit? It seems to me that drill bits are hard so is drill rod hardened after the machining is done?
                            ,
                            that's right, when you buy it it's annealed (soft) and you harden it after machining. its a little tougher to machine than mild steel, but you use the same tooling, just run slower.

                            drill rod is very easy to come by - just about any fastener or industrial supply place will have a rack of 3' drill rod. if you are rural, numerous catalogue suppliers like msc kbc or macmaster carr will have it on your door step in a day. my preference is O1 (oil hardening). its pretty much a matter of heating it up red hot and quenching in some old oil. you could even use A1 (air hardening), it gets its quench just from air cooling so you avoid the oil. all you need is a propane torch and a pair of pliers to hold it. no need to get whole thing red hot, just the business end. its actually better to leave the rest soft as generally soft=ductile (less brittle). keep it simple, you can read up on it and learn about the fine points and tempering, but i don't think its necessary for this job. it's really quite easy & once you know how, you can make all kinds of special cutters for use on things other than paper...steel, brass AL, etc.
                            .

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                            • #15
                              Just a tip if you're ordering online; anywhere except the US, it's known as silver steel.
                              Just got my head together
                              now my body's falling apart

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