Gun Drill Source?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Tom Albrecht, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    The tool freak in me wants a gun drill now that I have seen Trent Bosch use one. Bosch and his daughter Kailee, did demos all day yesterday at the Robust factory in Wisconsin. Bosch only mentioned Ebay as a source, but there must be other sources.
    Any ideas?
     
  2. john lucas

    john lucas

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    EBAy is the only source I found but them I didn't look real hard. What did Trent do with it. I was using them to drill through a goblet stem. Broke the first one. They are apparently very brittle.
     
  3. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Bosch uses a gun drill to bore a 3/8" d straight hole to finished depth in his hollow forms, by hand.
    He made up the holder with the air valve.
    Bosch gun drill - 1.jpg
     
  4. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    I've ordered from these guys...When I call, I tell them I'm not a business nor a big spender and they still give me the time of day. Kind of nice in this day and age...
    http://dmetool.com
     
  5. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    And here is my impromptu adapter...
    Next one will be longer...
     

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  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You can find some excellent ones on eBay in the $20 to $30 range the last time that I looked which has been a while. Buying a new one would be considerably more expensive.

    John if you broke a drill you may have been running the lathe way too fast or not running compressed air through the drill or using too much force. Also back the drill out frequently because the chips can clog up the hole.

    The first time that I used a gun drill was about a dozen years ago when I took a two-day class from Trent Bosch on creating his vessels of illusion hollowforms.
     
  7. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Bill this was a long 1/4" drill.
     
  8. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Thanks Clifton.
    Thanks Bill, but like you said, it "has been awhile" since Ebay had drills in that price range of a decent size.
     
  9. Larry Copas

    Larry Copas

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    I saw a Trent demo and thought I needed a gun drill. A search on ebay found a USA made quality drill around 3/8” that had been resharpened with the wax still on the tip. I gave $20 or so delivered. Next step was to make a handle out of some scrap delrin plastic. It worked perfect.

    So...I can drill almost as fast with a 1/2” spindle gouge and I don't have to hook it up to a air chuck. I never use the gun drill....but I might some day so its not for sale.
     
  10. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I always look at the sellers rating as well as their number of sales. This seller has a 99.6% positive rating so I would feel confident buying from them. I would probably avoid buying from somebody who had a rating below 98%.
     
  12. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    I have never use a gun drill, nor do I know what the benefit of using one is. Remember I'm isolated in the middle of Pacific here, like that tv show Lost... I know thats how gun barrels are made, so I'm guessing you could drill to depth very easily with one... Maybe somebody can point out to a video or a little explanation might shed some light on it. Thank you, Aloha
     
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Not being a production bowl turner I just use my bowl gouge or detail gouge to drill out the center. On occasion I have used a 1" twist drill that I bought but I use it in the tailstock.
     
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  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    The gun drill has an airway to the tip. When connected to a compressed air it blows the chips out as it drills.
    This allows drilling a hole as deep as the bit’s length in one continuous push. No need to pull the bit back to clear the shavings.
    It also is pretty good at drilling a straight hole in endgrain.

    If you use air tools a lot it is a quick way to drill holes for HFs
    If you have to turn on the compressor and bring a hose to the lathe it is a slow way to drill holes.
     
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  15. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    And, the air, or "coolant", is the way these drills must be used, if not, as I was told by a manufacturer, the carbide tip will likely break off.

    And, I did find a "manufacturer refurbished" drill for $35 with free shipping on Ebay. That's a lot less than the $90 from the manufacturer or MSC.
     
  16. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    I've had just the opposite result. Air or coolant will prevent breakage? I've used the same one with no air or coolant for about 10 years, with no breakage. Of course anyone could break it with abuse, but I don't leave it buried in the wood until it gets hot enough to discolor. I peck drill with it and keep the waste cleared off. Air does not clear out wet wood end grain curls. They stick in the flute after just reaching a little depth. Of course just my experience, evidently Trent has better luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  17. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    When used as intended for drilling deep, straight, and precision diameter holes a coolant fluid is necessary. Not using coolant when drilling deep holes in metal will ensure breakage (which isn't quite the same thing as saying using a coolant will prevent breakage). The fluid serves two purposes, it maintains a constant temperature at the cutting tip so that the diameter remains constant and it flushes the swarf out of the hole so that the drill won't jam and break. Start and stop drilling won't work for precision diameter deep holes. Woodturners, on the other hand, don't need precise diameter holes nor perfectly straight holes so using air to help clear out the chips and quickly drill the hole are the only advantages. Otherwise, a spindle gouge or twist drill will work just about as well.
     
  18. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Like I said, that was a quote from the manufacturer--- maybe you should show them how to do it.
     
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  19. Raul McCai

    Raul McCai

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    Some gun drills are single flute and some are two. All the ones I've seen are straight fluted because the coolant carries the chips out and because of that there's no need to continually relieve the cut to clear chips and re-lube the drill.

    Sterling makes gun drills. There are a lot of makers. For the life of me I don't see the advantage in woodworking. Unless it's for very deep holes. In that case, the relieved body of the gun drill might offer less heat build up from friction.
    It'd make for a lot of airborn dust if one uses compressed air.

    I just push the whole tail stock in and out. It's a habit I picked up as a machinist drilling deep holes in Molds. Peck a bit, Pull the tailstock out, lube the drill, clear the chips, then slide the tailstock back in and peck some more.
    However when drilling wood it is really fast because the clips clear themselves when I pull the tailstock out and I don't lube with wood. I suppose I could use wax but never found it necessary.
     
  20. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    Right, Sterling does make gun drills, and they make the best drills for wood drilling and guys who absolutely have to get a straight hole. If you were a woodwind instrument maker I think you'd then see the advantages that you haven't been able to see yet.
     

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