Identifying small drill sizes? (when they end up all over the floor!)
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  1. #1
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    Default Identifying small drill sizes? (when they end up all over the floor!)

    OK, I have a full set of the HOUT drill drawers stacked three high. On top is the wires sizes (#1 to #60)with about 10 of each size in the drawers. Unfortunately it got knocked over on to the floor yesterday. It was my dogs fault and am sticking to it! So now have a pile of over 500 drills in a box. Most of the bigger sizes are marked but as the small sizes are not, how in the hell do I know what size they are. Any estimate as to how many thou smaller each one should be for its size? Just want to use some calipers to sort them out.

    Luckily the letter and fractional sizes did not hit the floor.

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    Speaking from experience you'll probably be better off with a mic, and measure across the cutting edges. NOT the shank.


    FYI (just in case ) Drill Size Chart - Machining

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    I find the drill sizing indexes to be pretty good, but you need a good one, like Starrett. I have used some that showed incorrect sizes.

    There's even one for 61-80 drills, and the Starrett one I have will pass the correct size and not the next size up, even though the difference between a 79 and an 80 is 0.001.

    Get a head magnifier to find the size numbers on the marked ones, or you are going to go nuts trying to read them all, and then you're going to need Sandra Bullock to rescue you.

    Steve

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    Been there. Damn dogs.

    For wire sizes I've used a good metal drill gauge card as a go/no-go. Below #60...I toss them in am altoid tin and worry about it when I need something tiny.

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    A third vote for using a decent drill gage plate or index as go/no-go.

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    micrometer and some patience....drill index plate works too

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    Not necessarily. I have measured a lot of drill bits and often the cutting edges are one or two thousandths small. I measure both ends and use judgment.

    As for the holes in the index boxes and gauge plates, for the number sized bits, I find they will often be off by one or two sizes. You are better off using a mike.



    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Speaking from experience you'll probably be better off with a mic, and measure across the cutting edges. NOT the shank.


    FYI (just in case ) Drill Size Chart - Machining

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    I find that digital calipers work fine when measuring with the drill bit oriented longways with the jaws so that the jaws span multiple lands. That way, you don't have to worry about finding the "high spot" across the cutting edges.

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    I know its the same dog who used to eat your homework.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPAIII View Post
    Not necessarily. I have measured a lot of drill bits and often the cutting edges are one or two thousandths small. I measure both ends and use judgment.

    As for the holes in the index boxes and gauge plates, for the number sized bits, I find they will often be off by one or two sizes. You are better off using a mike.
    Drill bits are usually slightly undersized figuring that they will cut a little over their actual dimension. I always check with a micrometer, especially since I had a helper who would put a drill anywhere it would fit.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    Drill bits are usually slightly undersized figuring that they will cut a little over their actual dimension. I always check with a micrometer, especially since I had a helper who would put a drill anywhere it would fit.

    Bill
    If only they didn't make the slots the same damn size...

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    I've never done a whole index worth, but I have had to do a significant pile. First I rough size them by eye. Then I will pick up about a caliper jaw full in my hand, shank exposed. Grab all the shanks with the caliper and use the caliper to pull out the large one(s). Use the caliper to put the drill right back in the proper space. Repeat until done.

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    I'm not sure what brand drills you have, but most brands have the size either printed, stamped, or etched on the shank. I have several sets, and drawers full of sizes 1-60, A-Z, and fractional up to 1". All have the size somehow emblazoned on the shank. I just purchased several packages of Morse, Precision, and Triumph twist drills and they still have the size emblazoned on each shank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    I've never done a whole index worth, but I have had to do a significant pile. First I rough size them by eye. Then I will pick up about a caliper jaw full in my hand, shank exposed. Grab all the shanks with the caliper and use the caliper to pull out the large one(s). Use the caliper to put the drill right back in the proper space. Repeat until done.
    Do that too. I put used drills in a small tote tray and sort them out with a caliper every once in a while.

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    Another vote index. A younger daughter or granddaughter would probably get into sorting them for a small token of appreciation. I'd definitely be figuring out how to get around having to do it myself. That'd drive me back to drinking. Lol...

    Make the dog do it

    Brent

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    Micrometer for "ordinary" twist drills?
    Waste of time if you ask me, sharpening accuracy and resulting hole tolerance makes it wasted effort.

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    Honestly it goes fast with a digital vernier, but i only have 0.1mm increment drill sets. if your trying to split drills beyond that and i know some of the letter number weirdness ones get eye wateringly close its going to be a major pain in the ass, but realy all depends on just how perfect you want it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    Honestly it goes fast with a digital vernier, but i only have 0.1mm increment drill sets. if your trying to split drills beyond that and i know some of the letter number weirdness ones get eye wateringly close its going to be a major pain in the ass, but realy all depends on just how perfect you want it.
    How can a vernier be digital?

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    How can a vernier be digital?
    picky picky picky

    (that was a joke)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    I've never done a whole index worth, but I have had to do a significant pile. First I rough size them by eye. Then I will pick up about a caliper jaw full in my hand, shank exposed. Grab all the shanks with the caliper and use the caliper to pull out the large one(s). Use the caliper to put the drill right back in the proper space. Repeat until done.

    This

    You will be amazed how much sorting your eye will do, and fast

    plus they are usually definable lengths

    So even if you have a hard time measuring accurately, the one between 58 and 60 must be 59

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