Monday, November 20, 2006


Wire gauge drill bits...

One of the most finicky bits of making a reprap in the States is drilling the extruder barrel orifice. About the finest gauge drill bit that you can get in most hardware stores is a wire gauge #60 which is just a shade over 1 mm in diameter. I've been gritting my teeth about buying one over the internet because it will cost about $3 and cost maybe $6-7 to ship. That sort of thing claws a big bloody hole in my stingy Scotts-Irish soul.

Tonight, though I was down at Orchards Supply and there was an old guy there who really knew his tools. He showed me a set of #60-#80 wire gauge drill bits for $30. A #80 is .343 mm in diameter. I snapped it right up.

If anybody else needs such a set you can get it over the web directly from the manufacturer who is in the Lower Hudson River Valley.

They work in my Dremel. Now to see if I can hold my hand steady enough to avoid breaking them. It will be interesting to see if 0.5 mm is really the smallest extruder orifice. :-)

I would suggest you use them in a drill press and lube the bit. Note that you can get a drill press-type dremel holder for your dremel for $45 or so:
Good idea. Very good idea. One of those would solve quite a number of problems.
Yes, be gentle with the drill press aproach. I've broken tiny bits by exerting to much pressure on them. The must drill at their own pace.

Maked me feel stupids. :)
Just a heads up. Micro Mark has the exact same drill bit set for about $8 less. I'm a Scott also.
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