Thank you for the kind words!
Back in the beginning, I suggested that we avoid extraneous chatter on this thread, but of
course, we are too human to make that stick very long!
So I plan to sort thru it all once Millicent is (somewhat) done, and ask Steve if he would
like to place the boiled-down version under "tutorials". Mind you, it would be a "how I
did it", and NOT "how you must do it"!
My bench grinder has an angled groove in the work rests at the fine grit wheel. I believe many
bench grinders have this. That's a drill sharpening guide. The idea is to place the bit in
the groove and push it forward and rotate it. But I learned to do it freehand,
with a tilting motion in the wrist, so I just keep doing it that way,
stubborn as I am!
To find the correct angle of a standard metal drilling bit, just take two hex head bolts or nuts
and hold them together, flat against flat. Grind the bit to that point.
For the clearance angle, hold the bit up in front of you, pointing a little away from you, and
sight along the cutting edge, with the edge horizontal. The surface behind the edge needs
to taper downward a little towards the left.
For drilling steel, you should have a "pointy" edge -- less than 90 degrees. For soft
metals like brass, you must have a blunt edge -- sharp but more than 90 degrees -- or
the bit will dig in uncontrollably.