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Peter's Model Railroading | Articles | Tools | Drilling Holes
Mini Drill Bits

 

In addition to the standard drill bits that everyone has who does any kind of home-improvement type of work, I also bought the modelers' tiny bit set, which has bits from #61 down to #80. I have provided a link to the one I bought. From time to time you have to buy replacement sets as these tiny bits break relatively easily.
(external link: Rogers Drill Bit Set)

Many years ago, I built this drill bit stand. It was made from a block of wood that I had left-over from another project. The board is basically two 3/4" pieces of furniture-grade plywood glued together, shaped with a pleasing curve on the front, and then wrapped with plywood veneer strips to hide the plywood edges. Finally, it was sanded, stained, and lacquered. To change it into a drillbit stand, all I had to do was drill holes. Lots of holes. I used yellow masking tape on which I marked the lines and wrote down the sizes. The tape also helped the plywood's top veneer from splintering. I then went to my drill press and drilled each of the holes. That took about an hour or so. The key here is to drill the hole for a drillbit using the next-larger drillbit, otherwise the shaft of the drillbit won't fit. I made 6 holes for #80 (the smallest) through #78 bits, and then after that I drilled two holes for each of the drillbits. For some sizes I have two drillbits, for others the spare hole may come in handy. I did not do that for the really large drillbits, because I only have or need one of those. I also drilled a couple of holes for some masonry bits and a couple counter-sink bits in the very back.

After years of using this block, I find it very helpful to quickly find a drill bit, and to see which ones I am running low on. The only downside I have found is that when the instructions of a kit say to drill a hole with a, for example, #70 drill bit, I don't know which one that is. In other words, I didn't label the holes. However, the work-around I have found is to simply measure the item for which a hole needs to be drilled with a pair of calipers, and then use that measurement to find the drill that is as large or a bit larger.