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Ed Caffrey's Workshop Talk to Ed Caffrey ... The Montana Bladesmith! Tips, tricks and more from an ABS Mastersmith.

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  #1  
Old 10-21-2021, 08:14 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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A funny thing happened

Not really funny, more like surprising and frustrating. Was working on Desert Ironwood handles for some hidden tang blades, drilling out the Ironwood. Now, anyone who's done this, knows how miserable Ironwood is for filling and clogging the flutes in a drill bit... TYPICALLY, I drill just an inch of so, then have to pull out of the hole, and using a sharpened rod (usually and ice pick), pop the swarf out of the flutes. I've tried everything I can think of to keep the ironwood from sticking to/clogging the flutes... without causing issues when it come time to glue up the knives.....but still haven't found it.

Well, I got a bit overzealous, trying to drill a bit more than I should have without cleaning the bit flutes... and I literally snapped off about 2" of a 1/4" drill bit INSIDE the block of Ironwood!! In all of m 30+ years of doing this.... that was a first! I'm still trying to figure out a way to get that piece of drill bit out, without wrecking the ironwood block. It's in there TIGHT.

Just another day of learning in the shop! Just reminds me to say.... "Never say never!"


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Old 10-21-2021, 10:58 AM
Chris Railey Chris Railey is offline
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That is bad. I have broken a few .125's but never a .250. How deep is it in the block?
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2021, 11:47 AM
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Of course.... all the way at the bottom. I'd say the broken end is approx 1 1/4" from the top/hole opening. Even if I could get something on it, I suspect it's wedged in there super tight. I thought about trying to split the block to get it out, then use the scales..... but then I risk a $30 bandsaw blade.
I might just keep it on the bench as a reminder to not do stupid stuff!


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Old 10-21-2021, 12:35 PM
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Do you have an induction forge?
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Old 10-21-2021, 12:40 PM
Chris Railey Chris Railey is offline
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Drill the block from the other side and add a pommel to cover the hole? Maybe make it a through tang instead of hidden tang.
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Old 10-21-2021, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyO View Post
Do you have an induction forge?
That's a great idea! I don't but a friend does. Everyone at his place has covid right now....so I'll set this block aside and work with it when he and his family get better.

I generally would just chuck the block of Ironwood.... but this is one of those "presentation grade" pieces.... that I paid an arm & leg for.


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Old 10-21-2021, 03:50 PM
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Ouch!

A possibility for next time is a brad point or forstner bit.

I've been drilling hard maple and purple heart in 2.5" depths with some brad points picked up from Rockler. Those are PRC sourced and ok. Bought a handful from Grainger that come from Taiwan though I've not used those yet. The chip cut is different than what a 135 degree split point produces so evacuation in the woods I drill has been good. Still pecking at them though. If I try it in one go the bit may drift if it is dulling and with wood having hard and soft spots, that's another challenge.

https://www.grainger.com/product/EAZ...ill-Bit-19TG98
One of the wood forums suggested Fisch bits.

Forstner bits may also be something to look into. I've used Freud saw blades and router bits and like the performance. Their drill bits have a good reputation.


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Old 10-22-2021, 09:05 AM
Chris Railey Chris Railey is offline
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Dang, I have a set of Forstner bits and I have never thought to use them for a hidden tang. I will try one this weekend and report back.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2021, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Caffrey View Post
so I'll set this block aside and work with it when he and his family get better.
Best wishes for your friend and family.

I'd love to hear an update when you do this.

Last edited by billyO; 10-23-2021 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 10-22-2021, 06:05 PM
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Let us know how the forstner bit does. I would suspect that between the brad point and small forstner the results will be similar.

The outside cutters on brad points produces a chip rather than curls from twist drills. Depends on the wood, fiber density combined with feed rate and rpm speed. The pen turners and luthiers use long brad points.

For my wood projects I mainly use brad points. I've used big diameter forstner bits when making the inset for quartz clock mechanisms.

I found this site that sells some long USA made brad point drill bits:
https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/MS-BPL.XX


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Old 10-23-2021, 12:00 PM
Gliden07 Gliden07 is offline
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What if as suggested you drill thru other end and put a Pommel on it but since your putting on a Pommel use a larger drill bit. Then it would be easier to get to the bit and you can fill the hole with a hardwood dowel or Epoxy? Then the Pommel will cover it all up?
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Old 10-25-2021, 09:05 AM
Chris Railey Chris Railey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gliden07 View Post
What if as suggested you drill thru other end and put a Pommel on it but since your putting on a Pommel use a larger drill bit. Then it would be easier to get to the bit and you can fill the hole with a hardwood dowel or Epoxy? Then the Pommel will cover it all up?
That is a good idea. I did not think about filling with a dowel.
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a, bandsaw, bee, blade, blades, block, cleaning, desert ironwood, fixed blade, forge, glue, handles, hidden, hidden tang, induction, ironwood, knife, knives, rod, scales, shop, tang, wood, wood block, woods


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