How many drill bits do you go through in a project?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by spinnaker, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. spinnaker

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 29, 2009
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    I am still doing all through hole stuff. Most of my boards are are probably a hundred holes or less. Once in a while I am able to get through a whole board without breaking a bit. That takes me a while because I do a few holes then rest. But most times I go through at least 2 bits.

    I use a Dremel with their drill press. My issue is that I have a slight neurological disorder that is genetic. It causes my hands to shake slightly. If I really concentrate, I can control it fairly well. But all it takes is a lapse and there goes a bit. :) The condition is fairly severe in my brother.

    I guess I could clamp the board down on each hole but that would be very time consuming,

    So how long will a bit last for you? I have read were some people don't use a press. If I tried that I would be going through a dozen bits a hole. ;)
     
  2. ISB123

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    May 21, 2014
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    I never broke a bit and I dont use a drill press.But its time to get a new drill this one lost its centering so 1mm turns out to
    be1.3mm which sometimes damages the pad.
     
  3. spinnaker

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    Show off. :) You are using 1mm? Maybe that is your secret? I use .8mm which I guess is not much smaller.
     
  4. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    There is a thing called an X-Y table. It's a sort of clamp, adjustable in 2 directions. Machinists think it's for milling grooves in stuff. Works great on my 1938 cast iron drill press, but I don't know what Dremel calls a drill press. Probably a lot smaller than mine.

    I know I've broken a couple of drill bits, but so few! Then again, I'm the kind of person that puts on magnifying glasses and solders surface mount components.

    ps, I own bits from 0.03 inches up by 10/1000ths to 0.07 inches.
     
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  5. strantor

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    What? it isn't for milling grooves in stuff? Here I thought myself a genius for turning my drill press into a "mill"
    (bad idea, don't try it)

    I can't line up pads to the bit with the xy table. I do it better freehand . But if the shaky-hand guy gets 100+ holes without breaking a bit, then that's the standard, and I don't meet it. Next time I drill PCBs I'm going to try the dremel in hand, cmartinez said he had good results with that.
     
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  6. GopherT

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    Nov 23, 2012
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    I make it through a 5 or 7 boards (about 100 holes each). I use carbide bits. I put my board on a piece of smooth plywood that is clamped to the base. The carbide bits are extremely sharp and go through the board with no effort.

    I realized that most of my breakage was coming from me getting into a bad habit of trying to work too quickly before I built up the right rhythm. I was starting to slide the board to the next hole before I had the bit completely out from the previous hole. The bit would bend ever so slightly each time and eventually it would pop.

    Good luck.
     
  7. #12

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    I guess I should say that making a dent first really helps guide the drill. Anything pointy and hard, only the pressure of your hand. A scratch awl, a center punch (but NOT the spring loaded kind!). And a backer board a la Gopher. Mustn't forget, a hole has two ends.;)
     
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  8. BR-549

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    Sep 22, 2013
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    I can’t remember ever needing to drill that many holes in one session.

    I once had to screw a couple of thousand metal screws in one day. The next morning I got up and both wrists were so swollen, I couldn’t move my hands. Very painful.

    Bought a battery drill driver the next day. Ouch just thinking about it.

    Study the problem and see if you can rig up some kind of fast acting snap clamp or spring clamp for the board.

    If you can stabilize the work quickly and still go thru bits..........take your board and a few bits and try out a high quality press. A precision press movement might make a difference.

    Since you drill so many holes, can you feel any play in your dremel setup? It won’t take much to break a small bit.

    I don’t know your setup there, but maybe a different approach. If you really need production, maybe a laser or water jet setup. No bits, but both are messy.
     
  9. KeepItSimpleStupid

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    Mar 4, 2014
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    Your problem is the Dremel. "Dremel anything". the runnout is horrific. See:

    I have a Dremel tool, but I have an adapter to use a Proxxon Drill press, Soon, I'll have an XY table.
     
  10. dl324

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    Mar 30, 2015
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    Before I knew better, I broke one bit trying to use a general purpose drill press; the kind meant for drilling big stuff. Once I bought a dremel type drill with a stand, I haven't broken a bit (while drilling). It's not perfect, but good enough to prevent bits from breaking. I use a half dozen different bit sizes, but use 0.7mm or 0.029" for standard holes.
     
  11. gerty

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  12. dl324

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    I've been using that drill and stand for about 10 years. I've drilled thousands of holes with no problems. It's not perfect, but it works for me.
     
  13. spinnaker

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    Part of my problem too. But I will also flinch or shake involuntary too. It does not have to be by much at all. Just enough to break the bit.
     
  14. spinnaker

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    That is an excellent idea. I will need to try that some time. Just need to think of something small and sharp enough yet easy to handle.
     
  15. AnasMalas

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    Nov 27, 2015
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    if you have a problem with your hand flinching or doing stuff involuntarily just mod the thing! i never drilled a PCB as i havent had the need yet, but just a suggestion: why not remove the arm that you use to press down, then add a 9G or larger servo at the axis of the arm, use an arduino, or a micro controller. alternatively you can just use a regular motor with a reduction set controlled by a simple switch...

    Again i am not an expert and all my assumptions are based on the video posted by keepitsimplestupid
     
  16. spinnaker

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    That is not my main problem but a really great idea. My main problem is moving the board when I am not supposed to.

    But the press is not the greatest design. There can be some slight movement of the press be it slight. Tough it does not seem to be from the handle. But a servo might help and be really cool besides! :) My problem would be figuring out how to mount the darn thing. I would probably need to build a jig to mount the press.
     
  17. GopherT

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    Since you are breaking bits before they ever become dull, I think a satisfactory solution would be to buy extremely cheap bits. Assuming the inconvenience of changing them is not overwhelming. The drill press I have for Drummel requires the tool to be removed each time the bit is changed - pita.
     
  18. spinnaker

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    I do buy cheap ones so no big deal on price. I can change bits while in the press. Just frustrating to break them! :( I used to buy from Hosfelt in Steubenville but looks like they are now out of business. I just ordered a bunch from China.
     
  19. ISB123

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    May 21, 2014
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    I use steel pen to make a guide hole for the bit,it helps a bit but few times i got pissed and ended up driving the whole pen through the PCB.
     
  20. camerart

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    Feb 25, 2013
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