Introduction: Multipurpose Sharpening Jig for V-Bits, Drill Bits and Graver

About: I am Ashish a civil engineer and a full-time maker and YouTuber. I love innovating and making unique things that entertain, inspire, and educate you. Check out my YouTube channel for more awesome builds & be s…

So this is one of those builds about which I was not sure whether it's going to happen or not. But like my every build this one also has a happy ending because by hook or crook I am finally able to make my own custom v- carve bits. So once the concept has been clear I thought it would be easy to make this but it wasn't and that is mainly because of the proper tool. The diamond grinding wheels I have been using are almost worn out and it really took a lot of time to grind down the stuff. It's not a huge deal for these wheels to do the final edge beveling which I mostly used for my knife but in this case, worn-out diamond wheels definitely increase the time. The overall conclusion came out from this band is that if you have the right tool for the right job then you definitely save a lot of time and this is only the first version of this project and I think with a bit of more time and pay some attention to design I think I can create a much perfect machine which can create precise v bits. I know some of you might feel that these are very cheap bits and why we need to build one when we already buy from china, but this process is to show how to make custom v carving bits which you can't able to find from anywhere else. The good thing about this system is that it's not limited to just one work, you can also use it to sharpen the drill bits and able to make your own custom gravers that suit best to your jewelry work. One suggestion is that if you have good quality tools then try to make those angles a bit more precise. I think a laser marking can do the perfect job in this case. So that's pretty much all about this build and if you have any suggestions feel free to post them in the comment section down below.


Material Used:-

  1. Aluminium plate 10 mm thick
  2. Stainless steel rod 10 mm dia
  3. 6000 bearing
  4. High-speed steel blanks 6 mm and 8mm
  5. M5 Allen Bolt

Tools Used

  1. CNC Router
  2. File set
  3. Drill machine
  4. M5 thread tap
  5. Angle grinder
  6. Diamond lapping Disk

Step 1: ​Design and Inspiration

Designing is surely an important part of this build. You cant able to get the repeatability with hands, you need something in which you can able to hold the workpiece and able to shape it in whatever way you want to. The idea came from a jewelry video in which the maker uses these kinds of setup to sharpen the gravers. Onto further investigation, it brings me to grs website and I decided to use that method to make my own v carve bits. Since I didn't have a lathe machine so in that case, I decided to work with my trusty 3 in 1 CNC. I made a modal in fusion 360 and for the rotation, I decided to put the bearing in both the front and side plate. The second reason for putting the bearing is to avoid friction which will also going to reduce to worn out of the aluminum plate. Other than that precise marking can be made with laser and that will surely be going to increase the precision to a higher extent. One suggestion I wanted to give is to try to make the base a lot heavier. A magnetic base is also a lot more useful to lock down the jig to its place and for the vertical rod, a thick rod is much better that will give you a lot more sturdy. Definitely, in the future, I am going to make a much of a computerized machine to make these kinds of v bits, and maybe that not just remained to v bits only.

Step 2: ​Machining the Aluminium to Make Jig

So starting off this build is done from the bottom base. Since I didn't have a lathe so that's why I am doing this with my CNC but I think a lathe can make it in much higher precision. Being new to metal cutting on this machine I have no experience and as soon as I start the process due to higher rpm the flute got jammed and the machine skips the steps. Then off camera, I completed this job because I didn't start my camera to record this cutting. But the few things which I did might actually help you in your build. So if you are machining with aluminum try not to use 3 or 4 flute bits. I read some articles that 3 flute bit can machined aluminum with coolant but I struggle a lot because I am not using coolant during this work. But what I found is that a two-flute bit with 10-12k rpm with .5mm depth of cut can be easily handled by my machine without clogging but I definitely used wd40 during the machining process at few intervals. I leave the tabs around the perimeter so that during the final pass it will not dancing in between the milling bit and the material.

Since it's a cad program so I didn't have much to say about this but few tips I wanted to share with you if you are not aware of them. If you are working with metals with a machine that is not that rigid than try to avoid deep cuts and also during the machining kept some offset during the contour cuts and made a second finishing path. This will surely be going to increase the manufacturing time but believe me the quality of your workpiece is going to increase a lot that you never expected form your machine. The small DIY machines are not made to bear the cutting forces and they deflect during that time so always tried to take a shallow path. Definitely, your time is going to increase but in the end, you get a good result with your machine. I also machined my own knobs so that it makes a good match with the overall build. In the jig the side plate and the front plate have bearing needs to be installed, so for those areas, I go with an adaptive tool path with a 4 mm bit and a chip load of .2mm the depth of cut I kept 3mm. I wanted to get as much as close to the dimensions of bearing and I definitely succeeded in getting that. Along with that I also machined some area in which my bolt is going to run in a circular manner and I am able to lock down the jig to a perticular angle. I kept this slot a bit tiny large to have a fine adjustment. To lock down the jig at the desired angle I also need to mark the marking. These markings are made with a 90° v bit.

Step 3: ​Removing the Pieces From the Plate

Once the material has been completely machined it's time to cut down those tabs and bring out the actual parts. For this process, I decided to go with a scroll saw. I found it to be a doable machine like a cooping saw and it really did the job. I use some wd40 to kept the blade cool because the overheating of the scroll saw blade makes them a lot more flexible and dull them a lot faster. But with the slow and steady speed I am able to detach all the machined parts.

Step 4: ​Filling and Deburring.

Once all the machined pots removed from the plate there are some tabs left onto the machine parts and remove those tabs I use files of different types and just hold the pieces into the vise and start filing them. The inside area is deburred with a deburring tool.

Step 5: ​Installation of the Bearings

Since the seat for the bearing is perfectly built for the bearing so that's why I need some heat to expand the metal. For that, I use a heat gun and heated the metal and with 2-3 minutes of heat, the metal expanded plenty enough to accommodate the bearing with a tiny amount of force. Now I have two plates having bearing installed in them.

Step 6: ​Connecting Front and Side Plate Together.

Once the bearing has been installed I start the work on connecting them. For that, I first align them in a manner in which I am going to connect them and mark the line in which I need to drill the holes onto the side plates bigger holes needed to be drilled and on the front plates, holes are going to be threaded. In this area if your parts are not perpendicular to each other then using a small shim makes your job done. The holes on the front plates are threaded with an M5 thread tap. After that, the two parts can be easily joined together.

Step 7: ​Constructing the Sliding Block

Constructing the sliding block is surely a crucial part of this build. I need to drill a perfectly straight hole with my scrap drill machine. I first make the drill perpendicular to the drill base and then have to proceed. For this, I have to drill a 10mm hole in this block. First I draw the marking onto both the ends and then approach from both the ends. First I drill down a 5 mm hole and I approached it from both sides. Later on, I drill a through-hole with a 10 mm drill bit. All of this work is drilling onto a 25mm thick piece of aluminum. At first, I didn't separate the piece from the bar but once the holes have been drilled out with the help of a chop saw I cut the piece into a required usable section. It takes time to cut it with chop saw but the spray of oil makes the job easy. Later on, all the edges have been chamfer with the help of a file. The block was a bit bigger than the required section so that's why I also needed it to trim down a little bit and I also smoothen out the edges a little bit just for the aesthetic purpose and to make it feel a bit smoother to hold.

Step 8: ​Connecting Sliding Block and Side Plate Together.

Once the sliding block has been constructed the next thing to do is to connect it with the rest of the parts. For that, I first need to connect the round plate with the block. The round plate has a bearing installed in it and to connect it with the sliding block you have to drill holes to either side of the round plate. The holes need to be drilled by aligning both the sliding block and the round plate together. First I marked the area onto the round plate equal to the width of the sliding block and then make half of it and drill down the holes with a 5.5 mm drill bit and also that hole also needs to be kept countersunk so that head will not obstruct the movement of the top plate. The sliding block has threaded holes inside it so that I am able to secure the front plate to the block. Now with this arrangement, the L shape construction which I build earlier can be easily connected to the sliding block attachment with the help of a 10 mm shaft.

Step 9: ​Locking Holes.

To hold the jig to the desired angle there I need so etching to lock the entire frame to its place and for that, I drill down some holes into one of the plates at regular intervals. Here you need to make sure that the locking holes come directly over the round both which we build earlier during the CNC machining. When those holes and the slot align together than you are easily able to lock down the pieces together. I suggest you drill those holes during the machining process because in that way you are able to drill them at regular intervals.

I also made some knobs. The holes in those knobs are threaded with m5 thread tap and onto the other side, I attached a nut so that it will not able to move freely.

Step 10: Constructing the Base.

The base is the part on which the entire adjustable jig is going to be mounted on. I hole drill with the CNC is slightly undersize so that I am able to do press fit installation. The rod used for this stand is a 10mm stainless steel rod leftover for my previous build. I cut down 12" long piece and deburr the edge and then press-fit that I to the rounded base. Here you can make some change is that rather than making your own sliding block you can use linear bearing and linear rod to make it more perfect.

Step 11: ​Pivoting Shaft.

To rotate the parts at its own axis I need some rods. Since I am using 6000 bearings having inner dia of 10 mm I am using a 10 mm rod for that. The rod used for the pivoting action of the side plate, the length I kept is around 19mm. The shaft is needed to be modified because at one of its end I needed to attach an er20 chuck. The inner hole drilled is 8mm. I didn't have lath so I hold it in the drill machine and with the help of an angle grinder start reducing the other end. Up to 8.5 mm I did with the angle grinder and later on, I use files to trim it to the final dimensions. It would be good to have a precise diameter but if you didn't get that then don't worry there are grub screw comes with these chucks which secures it to its place.

Step 12: ​Installations of the Pointer

To know the exact reading that where you actually lock down the jig I need a pointer and for that, I drill a hole in the stainless steel sheet and cut that in V shape. Then with the help of a grinder deburr the edges. Onto the jig those parts which remain fixed and not going to rotate onto those parts, I drill the holes to attach the pointer. The holes later on tapped with an m5 thread tap and 8mm long Allen bolt are used to secure it to its place. The final setting of the pointer is made after the first initial setup of the jig. Because we have to make it zero according to the grinding wheel I am going to use for the shaping of the bits.

Step 13: ​Grinder Holder.

Since I am using a variable speed angle grinder for this build so that's why I need something to hold the grinder steadily to its place. With the help of my CNC, I cut out two clamps out of plywood which is going to hold the grinder at the desired orientation. Those clamps further needed to be clamped to a plywood piece so that I am able to get a surface onto which I can do my rest of the grinding work.

Step 14: ​Assembling the Parts.

Once all the parts have been finished I did some cleaning work and start the assembly. First I assemble the stand. I machined two round blanks on is smaller and the other is larger. I fitted them with the help of a mallet in the 10 mm shaft and later on secure it with the help of a grub screw. Then I connect the sliding block and the round plate in which the bearing has been installed. Then I installed a 10 mm shaft inside that bearing so that I can connect the sliding block and rest of the jig. Then I mount the top plate onto which readings are marked. This is also press-fitted on that shaft. From thereafter connected the front plate to the side plate in which the bearing has been installed. The bearing side needs to be faced outward where another plate is going to be attached. The last part is to attach the front plate onto which the Er20 chuck has been mounted. To make the fittings a bit more rigid I use some superglue to lock down everything to its place. Then in the end install the pointers. All of the parts remain to there respective positions once the knobs are attached to them.

Step 15: ​Initial Setup

Once the jig has been assembled completely its time to do the initial setup. First of all, I insert the six-millimeter blank into the collet and tighten it up. From thereafter I a line that black completely flat to the blade which I mounted on my angle grinder and then lock down everything to its place. Once everything has been locked down I tighten up the pointer to any of the markings which I marked onto the front plate and also on to the side plate. By doing this I can set the zero of my zig and now further on I do not need to change the orientation of the jig anymore.

Step 16: Initial Flattening of the Blank.

I found two kinds of v bit on the AliExpress the first one has two cutting edges and the second has one. For this project, I am building single-edge cutting v bits. So the first thing to do is to grind down the bit to half of its diameter because in this case all of my bits are going to be sharp-pointed type bits. The diamond wheel is a bit slower for this task that's why I also use stone grinding wheels to set the initial thickness of the v bit that saves a lot of my time and once it's.20mm remains than required I shifted to my angle grinder and the jig and made them completely flush and shiny.

Step 17: ​Constructing the Pointed Edge.

Once half of the material has been removed the next thing that needs to be done is to grind down that angle which you wanted for your bit. With the help of markings onto the side plate, I set the angle and made my first grind. During that, I also need to rotate the front plate also 90 degrees to get that bevel. During the grinding, I constantly measure the grind out material so that it would be easy for me to identify the exact point where I need to stop the grinding and shifting to the opposite end. The angle on to the opposite side needs to be kept slightly less than the angle of the cutting edge. You can keep them same but it might rub with sidewalls during the cutting process. It is mandatory to grind down the pointed edge first and then do the work onto the cutting edge. Along with that I also remove the material from the remaining sides which are not going to play any important role in cutting. This will reduce the mass to some extent and also reduce the friction.

Step 18: ​Constructing the Cutting Edge.

To construct the cutting edge first set the jig to the zero and make sure that the flat side is completely flush with the blade. Thereafter turn the clock 120° clockwise direction to start the edging process. Onto the bit, there is a flat grind line that will slowly get fading when you do the edging process. During all of the grinding processes make sure to sprinkle the adequate water to keep the material and the blade cool during the grinding process.

I didn't know much about the angle of cutting edge and with just eyeballing I kept 30° angle for my bit and it worked well. Onto some of the bits I experimented with a 25° angle and I think that it didn't perform that well but that's the advantage of this jig that you can change the angle to whatever degrees according to your need.

Step 19: Sharpening Things Beside V-Bits

SO this system can be used to sharpen the drill bits also. If you know the right angle for your requirement then you can sharpen them with a lot more accuracy and repeatability. In the video, I demonstrate with a bit whose face is almost flat and within a couple of seconds, I am able to sharpen the cutting edge. The drilling operation tells how good those angles came up. So the only thing you need to know is how to set up this jig. Once you know the right method to setup you can sharp any drill bit up to 13mm shank.

Making custom gravers is also a very easy task with this jig and what I experienced is that within 5-6 minutes I am able to make perfect 90 deg. graver. To make your own graver you definitely need to see my in-depth tutorial of how to build your own graver.

Step 20: Finishing

Once the cutting edge has been constructed I trim down the bit to much usable size and cut them with the help of an angle grinder. There are some burrs created around the edge which I cleaned with the help of a diamond wheel. The burns mark I removed with the help of a buffing wheel to give consistent color to the overall bit.

Step 21: Final Look

Once the bit and other things have been made here is a quick shootout of the work and overall said I am pretty happy with this sharpening system and in the future, If I need a 50 deg bit then it wants a big problem for me to make. Definitely, it's good if I am able to automize this process but that is surely going to be some work for the future. Definitely leave your feedback on what you think about this system whether it's good or bad.

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