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You’d think manufacturers have done just about everything possible to make drill bits perform better, but it seems they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Colt, a German drill bit manufacturer, recently introduced some new bits with what almost looks like a four-flute design.

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Made of alloy steel, the Twinland brad point bits use a 25º flute with a recessed land — the land is the raised area of the spiral bit. By creating a void in the land, the design removes chips faster and helps prevent one cause of burning, where chips get between the land and the hole wall. The second “land” surface also is supposed to improve guidance and accuracy.

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Whether you want to build a unique storage case for your coin collection or find a classy way to mark the year you built your woodworking project, you’ll be hard pressed to find the right-sized bit in a regular Forstner bit set. What you need is a coin-sized Forstner bit set.

There may be sets for other countries’ coins out there, but we’ll talk about sets that have bits for the 6 sizes of U.S. coins. The bits for the U.S. coin sizes are more or less as follows:

  • Pennies: 19.1 mm or 0.751″
  • Nickles: 21.3mm or .839″
  • Dimes: 18mm or .709″
  • Quarters:  24.1mm or .949″
  • Half Dollars: 30.6mm or  1.205″
  • Dollars: 26.6mm or 1.047″

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Good Forstner bits can be expensive; you don’t want to just chuck them out when they get dull. You could bring them in to be sharpened, or you could do it yourself with a few simple tools that you can acquire separately or buy in a kit from several different retailers.

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From the how-the-hell-did-we-miss-that-one department, last summer Milwaukee introduced an arbor that you twist to release the hole saw. Forget about un-chucking the arbor to change hole saws; no more knuckle-busting wrenches to loosen the jammed nut holding on the saw — just twist the base of the arbor and the hole saw pops free.

The system does have its limitations. It only works with hole saws up to 1-3/16″, which isn’t large for a hole saw. The arbors are available with 3/8″ or 7/16″ shanks and supposedly work with all hole saws, even non-Milwaukee ones.

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Counter-sinking seems to be all the rage, but where’s the love for counter-bores? You can find no end to counter-sinking bits sold online, yet for some reason the options for counter-bores is severely limited.

A counter-sink is a conical hole that lets a tapered screw head sink below the surface so it’s flush with the surface or slightly recessed. A counter-bore is a cylindrical hole with a flat bottom. It also allows the head of a bolt or screw to be flush with the surface or recessed.

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Although I own a drill index, surprisingly I’ve never had a complete set of drill bits for it. I bought the index to house the pile of bits leftover from broken sets and other bits I inherited. As you can see in the picture below, I’m missing several bits in the middle row and most of the sizes in the largest. Although the selection of bits has served me well on most occasions, many times I’ve had to ream out a smaller hole or settle for a sloppier fit.

After not having the right-sized bit for a project for the umpteenth time, I finally decided that it was time to remedy that situation. Like all my projects I find that I usually spend at least as much on tools to complete the project as I spend on supplies. So to save money, this time I went to Harbor Freight where I found the Drill Master 29 piece HSS drill bit set with 3/8″ cut-down shanks on sale for $15.

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Take a moment and think about what a rotary hammer does. Yeah, it makes holes in materials like concrete by spinning fast — that’s the rotary part. It also slams the tip of the drill bit into the surface up to 4,300 times per minute. But not all of that energy finds its way to the surface; some of it gets transferred back to the operator — oh, my aching joints!

The point behind Dewalt’s new SHOCKS system is to reduce the amount of vibration transferred to the operator. To accomplish this, they mount the rear handle of the tool on shocks. They claim this reduces strain and fatigue, and increases control of the tool.

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Since we’ve seen Bosch ramp up dust collection on their rotary hammers, you’d expect other manufacturers to be following suit. Recently, Dewalt introduced their D25301D-XJ Dust Extraction Telescope for their corded and cordless SDS rotary hammers.

Adding only 1.4 lbs. to your rotary hammer, the Dust Extractor can be used to drill dust-free holes up to 16 mm (5/8″) in diameter and 150 mm (~6″) deep. It’s easy to assemble and remove without tools and comes with with a 150 cm (5′) long, 35 mm (1-3/8″) diameter rubber hose and a side handle.

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Imagine my surprise when I was a Harbor Freight last Friday and saw a Central Machinery drill press table for $30. I just worked a handful of nights and spent that much alone for the T-slot router bit to build my own table for the last part of the DP 350 review.

Toolmonger covered the inexpensive MLCS table before, which cost $60, but you had to deal with the wait and the shipping charges. In comparison, Rockler’s cheapest table runs $100 and their deluxe model runs $120. This table from Harbor Freight beats the cheapest one mentioned by $30.

But what does $30 buy you? First, the 1″ thick particle board table measures 23-7/8″ by 11-5/8″ and can accept a sacrificial throat insert to back up your holes. The 1″ thick fence rides on an aluminum T-track and is adjusted by loosening two top mounted knobs. A T-slot in the fence accepts other accessories, like the included stop block. The T-track on the table can also be used to mount hold-downs and other accessories. Along both of the aluminum T-Tracks is a ruled stick-on tape for setting the fence.

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This is part three of a series where I take a look at the Delta DP 350 drill press. If you missed the first two parts, check out the links at the bottom of the article.

In part II, I left off mentioning that Rockler had just put this drill press on sale and I wondered if Rockler would refund me the difference. It never hurts to ask, so I asked my local store if they’d give me store credit for the difference. Without hesitation, they said sure. They would have refunded the difference to my credit card if I hadn’t had another $50 of stuff to buy anyway. It wasn’t even a problem that my receipt got wet and the bar code was unreadable. And no, they have no idea who I am; I have no doubt they would have done this for any customer. All in all, a stand up corporation.

First Real Test

My first real project with the drill press was boring holes for a pair of dry erase marker holders. I needed a series of 1/2″ diameter holes 1-3/4″ deep in some red oak. To set the depth stop, I drilled the first hole approximately 1-1/2″ deep and then incrementally drilled a bit more and checked the depth with a caliper until the hole was 1-3/4″ deep. Then I set the depth stop from that first hole.

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