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How to sharpen forstner bits

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Forum topic by Craftsman on the lake posted 02-10-2021 09:33 PM 857 views 1 time favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Craftsman on the lake

3809 posts in 4488 days


02-10-2021 09:33 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question sharpening forstner bits forstner

I’ve had a couple sets of forstner bits for awhile now and they are starting to burn. I’ve been looking online and see a bunch of ways to sharpen them. Have you found a doable and effective way to bring them back up to speed?

Forstner bits are so nice for the right application.

Thanks for any insights posted.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.


23 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

2487 posts in 1639 days


#1 posted 02-10-2021 09:36 PM

Buy carbide. Replace when dull (seldom).

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View JAAune's profile

JAAune

1939 posts in 3367 days


#2 posted 02-10-2021 09:40 PM

I use files on the flat portions and get good results. Trying to grind curved bevels with a Dremel and diamond bit never accomplished much for me.

-- See my work at http://altaredesign.com

View Robert's profile

Robert

4519 posts in 2531 days


#3 posted 02-10-2021 09:51 PM

I think it depends on the cutters. The sawtooth tule would ne a lot harder.

I’ve tried and never succeeded.

Just like any other drill bit I buy new ones they last long enough for me not to worry about it.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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HokieKen

17233 posts in 2189 days


#4 posted 02-10-2021 09:56 PM

I replace them when they’re dull. They aren’t expensive enough to justify sharpening IMO.

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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SMP

3773 posts in 956 days


#5 posted 02-10-2021 09:59 PM



I replace them when they re dull. They aren t expensive enough to justify sharpening IMO.

- HokieKen

I take it you don’t have the Fisch waves, lol

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HokieKen

17233 posts in 2189 days


#6 posted 02-10-2021 10:04 PM

Very Astute SMP :-) I buy cheapies except for in the few sizes I use on a regular basis. Even my “good” ones aren’t really high-end. Freuds maybe? Don’t even remember right now.

If I had the Fisch’s and ran them hard enough to dull them, I’d probably chuck them in my lathe and use a toolpost grinder to resurface the inside edges and flats. That sounds too much like work to me though ;-P

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

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SMP

3773 posts in 956 days


#7 posted 02-10-2021 10:53 PM



Very Astute SMP :-) I buy cheapies except for in the few sizes I use on a regular basis. Even my “good” ones aren t really high-end. Freuds maybe? Don t even remember right now.

If I had the Fisch s and ran them hard enough to dull them, I d probably chuck them in my lathe and use a toolpost grinder to resurface the inside edges and flats. That sounds too much like work to me though ;-P

- HokieKen

Same way here, i usually just order Freud or Bosch in whatever size i need on amazon. Sometimes i even order ones i don’t need. They are at my house the next day sharp and ready to use for about $10

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1143 posts in 437 days


#8 posted 02-10-2021 11:14 PM

For production use where you need to do hundreds of holes in the same size, carbide is great. For everything else HSS ones like the ones from LeeValley work great. My set is 20 years old and going strong.

-- Darrel

View dbw's profile

dbw

534 posts in 2687 days


#9 posted 02-10-2021 11:19 PM



Buy carbide. Replace when dull (seldom).

- Madmark2


+1

-- Woodworking is like a vicious cycle. The more tools you buy the more you find to buy.

View TravisH's profile (online now)

TravisH

763 posts in 2986 days


#10 posted 02-10-2021 11:44 PM

This video from Wood Magazine is what I have followed in the past and is quick and easy method.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDEyDKj2R9U

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

12543 posts in 3502 days


#11 posted 02-11-2021 12:02 AM

The buy and replace technique does not work for Forstner brace bits. Way too expensive.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Loren's profile

Loren

11136 posts in 4698 days


#12 posted 02-11-2021 12:15 AM

Leonard Lee discusses this in his complete guide to sharpening I think. It’s a worthwhile book to have on hand and explains a lot.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3809 posts in 4488 days


#13 posted 02-11-2021 01:17 AM



This video from Wood Magazine is what I have followed in the past and is quick and easy method.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDEyDKj2R9U

- TravisH

And I looked at the video and ordered a rockler kit via Amazon. 19.95. Not so bad. I have looked around a lot to see how this was done but didn’t come across the video link you sent me. This is by far a doable solution that should work. I’ve got two sets of bits but only three that get lots of use, so only three to sharpen. If it doesn’t work I’ll replace them but I’d rather get more mileage out of the ones I’ve got.

Thanks. With luck you may have provided me with the correct solution. If anyone is interested in the link to the Forstner bit shaprening kit it's here.

And thank everyone for all your suggestions.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Andre's profile

Andre

4442 posts in 2856 days


#14 posted 02-11-2021 06:19 AM

I have a set of small diamond files that I have used to to sharpen Forstner and some auger bits, about 1/2” wide an 2” long with a plastic handle coarse, Medium, Fine and Extra fine, can’t remember where I got them, maybe L.V. years ago?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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LittleBlackDuck

6911 posts in 1871 days


#15 posted 02-11-2021 09:15 AM



Buy carbide. Replace when dull (seldom).

- Madmark2

Mm2 stole my thunder… so BOOM for TCT!

... ordered a rockler kit via Amazon. 19.95. Not so bad…
- Craftsman on the lake

Fair price… but in the time it’d probably take (alowing for learning curve) you could probably make a dozen lures you could sell and with the proceeds buy 1/2 doz new sets with… TCT sets.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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