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Forstner bits


Araucaria

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Can anyone suggest a source of supply for reasonable quality forstner bits in France? Mail order or one of the brico sheds?

I'm about to start making my own workbench and a lot of the wood will be reasonably thick.

Or will I be better off buying them in the UK and having them sent over?

[edit] And I should have asked - what are these called in French?

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Thanks Chancer. We don't have a Lidl near here in the Cantal for some reason - nothing nearer than about 40 minutes drive - so we don't even get the Lidl flyers from the postman - but in Rodez there are three branches and that's where I went yesterday.

They had the bits and I've bought some. It says "quality steel" on the box without saying what quality ("very poor"?) but at that price who's going to complain. I found it interesting that they do actually work best at low speeds (and luckily I've got a variable speed drill).

I couldn't see on the packaging anywhere a notice saying where they were made (expecting the usual "China"), but they are supplied from an address in the UK.

It goes without saying that all the money saved buying the Forstner bits at Lidl was then spent on useful things for Christmas.

So thanks very much for the tip.

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You are very welcome!

went to my Lidl at lunchtime the day of the promo and they had loads of the other bits but no sign of the forstners, I used one of mine today (got them from Axminster) and they are all a bit blunt now and dont respond well to the diamond file (Lidl again) so I will look again in case they didnt arrive or get put out and then try other Lidls.

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Just bought a couple of sets from another Lidl, I already have some in both countries, or at least think so, its a sign of the times that I have to stock up on things like this when they are on promo, I still have one Forstner bit that I bought for kitchen cupboard hinges 30 odd years ago, back than it cost twice maybe three times the cost of this set of five and it wasnt even boxed!

I have just tried these ones and they arent very well finished, a couple didnt like cutting and got hot, they are all transformed by a couple of minutes with a Lidl diamond hone, a small engineers oilstone would suffice à la rigeur.

Are you intending using them for bench dog and vice holes or for counterboring the fixings?

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I hope that they last for the job? I use forstner bits a fair amount and mine are from Axminster Power Tools. If yours are blunt beyond sharpening with a diamond stone Chancer then yuo must have given them some real stick, or a load of MDF/chipboard.

Basically you pay peanuts you get peanuts with tools like that. It really does pay to get good cutting tools and look after them.

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My existing ones are Axminster and I rarely sharpen them except after MDF/chipboard or once when I hit a nail, I bought a set from Lidl UK some years back and they are pretty much identical to my Axminster set certainly in terms of performance, even the same wooden box.

These ones from Lidl France are best described as unfinished, they are cylindrically ground and I believe a comparable steel but the horizontal and vertical rake angles had either not been honed or poorly done, some were better than the others, the first one I tested wasnt cutting right (just as if they had cut loads of MDF) so I stopped  and looked and the rake angles were rough ground, a touch with the hone and they cut just fine.

At €3.99 for a boxed set of five I aint complaining Jonzjob!!!

I havnt opened the second set, maybe they are better.

I bought a boxed set of drills from Lidl recently, HSS, titanium coated at a great price and they were recommended on this or another forum, the first one I used had run out and was as much use as a chocolate teapot, shame cos 4.5mm is the one I use most, however now having used several others on various materials they are (with the exception of the odd bent as a nine franc note one) the best quality drills that I have ever purchased and most of mine are/were Dormer.

I find with a lot of Chinese stuff if you know what to look for and are prepared at the outset to do some adjustment, fine tuning maybe in some cases a bit of fitting you end up with a real good tool for a great price and I include the Axminster machines in this generalisation. 

Editted, i talked about lidl France and Lidl UK, I know they share the same products, these Forstners are slightly different from the others in that they ahve a cheaper plastic case, inside is the contact details of the manufacturer (plutot importer) and it is an English company!

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[quote user="Chancer"]

.............

I have just tried these ones and they arent very well finished, a couple didnt like cutting and got hot, they are all transformed by a couple of minutes with a Lidl diamond hone, a small engineers oilstone would suffice à la rigeur.

Are you intending using them for bench dog and vice holes or for counterboring the fixings?

[/quote]

Well Chancer, originally I thought I would be using them for the dog holes, but my dogs are 3/4", and that's not one of the sizes supplied in the Lidl box. Having tried them out, 20mm is a bit slack, and 19mm (which is within a gnat's whatsit of 3/4") is really just right. So I think the dog/holdfast holes will be done slowly with a flat 19mm bit, and I'll save the forstner bits for counterboring - there will be (if it all goes as planned) a thick strip of wood across the end grain at both ends of bench, held on with cross dowels. Any idea what these (cross dowels, I mean) are called in French?

And just when were Lidl selling diamond hones?

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Been there and got the T shirt re bench dog holes, thats why I asked the question.

Cross dowels are almost impossible to find in France and your eyes will water when you see the price, they are I think listed in one of the large quincallerie suppliers catalogues as vis d'assemblage meubles but around here the people with the catalogues who presumably could order them for you wont even let you look at them, they treat them like they are the crown jewels and as I say when you do see the price its ridiculous and trying to get any of these supposed commerçiants to actually order something for you......................... [:'(]

Screwfix were doing them really cheap, just as well as I needed several hundred, I have some in stock if you get really stuck.

The diamond hone, well you never know when Lidl or Aldi will have stuff or if and when it would re-appear, I bought one from Lidl, may have been Aldi, one I found in Leclerc and another in Tesco but all these places only have stuff as promos but always a good price, otherwise you have to go to someone like Axminster but like the forstner bits you pay a lot more, the hones I have, and they dont last forever, are in the form of a pen, the business part retracts within the body and has two ends, they may be flat, pointed or with a groove which is good for router bits, pot luck what you find.

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[quote user="Jonzjob"]OK, I'm by noo means a joiner and I don't particularly like doing joinery, but what, pray tell, is a cross dowel?

[/quote]

It's that little metal cylinder with a threaded hole though the middle. You put it into a blind hole near an edge (usually) of a bit of self-assembly furniture, and a long-ish bolt goes into it at right angles. It holds furniture together. They are usually necessary because an ordinary wood-screw doesn't hold very well in an end grain (and even less well in MDF).

They are similar to the bolts you sometimes find holding together older French beds. But these sometimes have a special nut (with bored holes) that you turn with a short piece of rod, rather than a cylinder that stays put.

Thanks again Chancer, I'll keep my eyes open for the hones. I should be all right for the cross dowels, though.

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I have bidouilled a mongrel between suspentes articulées and cross dowels to fix to my chevrons, dropping from them are tiges filetées that take the strain at two positions from the demi-chevrons that are acting as ceiling joists holding up my new greniér above the existing greniér.

If you saw the span you would never believe that it could take my weight plus all the stuff I have stocked up there let alone not crack the ceiling fixed underneath.

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