Celebration 2019 panel ideas

If your panel idea isn’t already on the list, please submit your idea via the link below. The call for moderators and panelists will be posted at a later date. All panel ideas must be submitted by October 14, 2018. Please do not submit your panel idea directly to the Celebration Chicago team.

Additional information:
1. Panels are typically scheduled for 50 minutes. Ideas need to be able to encompass at least 35 minutes of talking and 15 minutes of Q&A.
2. Open calls are being posted in all builder forums and ideas will be collated by the committee.
3. Not all panel ideas can be chosen and final determination of what gets presented lies with the show organizer.

Panel TitlePanel DescriptionMore info
Droid Building 101A brief introduction to building the Astromechs of Star Wars
History of Droid BuildingA look back at the evolution of the different builders clubs
Extreme Droid BuildingMeet the builders taking Astromechs beyond the basics
Of Mice and Medical: The Other Droids of Star WarsA brief look at the background droids and some information about their construction.
Droid Building on a budgetHow to build a cheap droid.Cover mainly styrene builds and wood, also cover cheap electronics.
Backyard Droid BuildingOld-school Droid building with common items from around the house"Entry level MSE building, GONK droids, design-your-own droids would be covered.
I would like to see pre-teen builders, female builders, and old-school builders like myself on the panel, relating their personal experiences."
STEM education meets Droid buildingUsing the droids of Star Wars to make an introduction to robotics in your community."Experienced droid builders who may also have a background in stem education.
Open source Into to Robotics Lesson ""What is a Robot?""
List of places to get involved (e.g. Civil Air Patrol Cadets, JROTC, schools, etc)"
Droid EZ BuildersEZ Builder Platform Integration
BB-8 Building
Droid Builders present: Bringing droids to lifeInviting builders to come discuss the puppetry of droids and how they are brought to life.  
Fan-anthropyEngaging fans through philanthropy!My vision of the perfect panel includes representatives from the Droid Builders, the 501st, and the Rebel Legion.   I would be happy to chair the panel.  
3D PrintingHow 3D printing have made parts vaailability more accessible to builders in all platforms 
Building Droids for Interdisiplinary STEAM EducationThis panel will discuss how a team of students at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY designed and built a working BB-8 as part of a curriculum development project for a local vocational high school. The beginning would be a brief overview of our project, but the real content would be people discussing how they have used droid building to teach. The panel would consist of Dr. Edd Schneider (professor), Garrett Chin (former student, team lead), Lauren Suna (robotics lead), and Dr. Tony Betrus (STEM Education leader). We are very open to other additions.
Presenting PresentationsThe basics of moderating/being on a panel or talking at a function such as a school.  This would cover Introductions, talking points, Q&A, thinking on your toes and generally reading and working an audience.
The Magic of Droids with Children - How droids brighten the lives of children of all sorts.Discussions of experiences of builders who have done work taking their droids to events with children and children's hospitals and more. Lots of builders take their droids to events for kids with Make a Wish or children's hospitals. 

Submit a new panel idea

IG-88 Head 3D Printed Model

First off the original attribution I’m afraid I do not recall where I got the original files for this from. It wasn’t from a Star Wars search specifically, I believe I was looking for the actual part info (Derwent Flame Tube) during my searches so I could just recreate it myself, I just happened to luck out in finding that someone did it for me.  I can definitively say they originated from open source but I cannot give appropriate attribution on this.  If the original creator let’s me know I would be glad to do so though!

If you’re looking at this and downloading, then you already know what it’s for.  Its the head of IG-88, an assassin droid in the Star Wars Universe.

Notes about the model:

The bottom and middle print great with no real effort.  The top on the other hand is pretty awkward.  The original model appeared to have been shelled twice which resulted in very thin walls.  Just the slightest pressure resulted in cracks.  I’m including that in this download if you want it as well as a ‘revised’ version.  The revised version I edited all the mesh faces and made it a complete solid.  It results in a significantly higher usage of material but…. all my issues with trying to get a decent mold were alleviated.

What are the DroidBuilders using these for?

We printed this with the plan to use as decorations for the Franklin-Bossk Smash Derby track.  Since we easily need a minimum of around 20 of them, it wasn’t really feasible to print all of them.  It takes approximately one roll of filament to print this.  At that rate it was looking fairly cost prohibitive so we’re making a jacket mold and slush casting them all so we can then add the lighting and mounting we’re planning.

Anyhow, if you do decide to print your own, we’d love to see it!  Post back a comment with pictures if you would.

So the model is completely free, no strings attached (caveat non-commercial) and I truly hope you enjoy it.  With that in mind, we’d like your help if you can.  Preparing and working on Celebration is expensive.  Currently its been funded by side work (CNC cutting services) and plain ole out of pocket.  Please consider donating to help offset some of these costs.  Your donation is completely tax deductible on your federal and state income taxes (US).  If you donate with us, you’ll receive an email receipt.  Anyhow, not twisting anyones arm because we know financially donating is tough for some.  I’ll slip the form for that below.

Download IG88 Head Model Here

Just to put this in perspective, we’ve already spent a little over 8K not including this.  The overall budget is 18K.

Star Wars Celebration Prep Fund

$820 of $10,000 raised
$ 5.00
Personal Info

Billing Details

Donation Total: $5.00

Gonk Droid Build-Off

Ready to participate in the Gonk Droid Build-off?  I certainly hope so.  We will be having a build-off during DroidCon as part of our after-hours fun.  Gather together a team of five or more builders and start your planning.  To help, we’re providing the dimensions of the droid for your use in preparing.

About the Build-Off

During the four days of DroidCon, teams will be decorating a GONK droid during DroidCon After Hours.  We will provide a fully assembled droid painted black as your canvas.  The dimensions below should help you out.

We need to get the info of your team.  Teams should be a minimum of five builders and we’ll need your team name and the names of all the builders.  To participate, all team members must have purchased their ticket to DroidCon.  The team captain should send an email to with all the information about your team, if you have a logo please include that as well!

There is no cost to participate but teams will need to supply the following parts themselves.

  • Front Panel Insert – (Stainless Steel Pan) –
  • Rear Panel Inserts – (Mini Loaf Pan) –  you will need two of these,  they come in a three pack.


The Gonk droids will be voted on the last day of the convention and the winning team will win an amazing prize!

The finished Gonks will be displayed at the next Celebration.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Droid Front

Here is the front of the droid.  If your team would like to participate, you’ll need to order the following cake pan from amazon.  We’ve sized the upper void for this particular one.


Droid Left

Droid Right

The emblem is pocketed .125″.  It’s tight, but you can fit a neopixel in there, or whatever else you choose.

Droid Rear

On the lower rear portion, those are not holes but it is just pocketed.  I sized this so a 3.5″ piece of PVC should be able to fit in there to extend the backside.  The neopixel rings also surprisingly fit in there too.

Dell EMC Last Jedi Screening Logistics

As we receive additional information around each location we will fill out the information here.

We will be adding some additional information soon – including Movie Start Time, Event Start Time, Pre-Event Arrival Time, Local On-Site Contact and Local on-site Contact Phone Number.

** CANADA Sites now listed – Note they are Dec 20th ***

USA DATE: December 14th
CANADA: December 20th

City Cinema Name DroidBuilders
Denver Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Sloans Lake
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
 mansugi – R2-D2
Dublin/East Bay Regal Hacienda Crossings Stadium  20
5000 Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Jay May BB8/BB9E
901 South Coast Drive, Costa Mesa CA  92626
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
aRDyjO  -RD-2D
Phoenix AMC Arizona Center 24
565 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Cary Christie – BB8
Chicago AMC Streets of Woodfield Theater
601 N Martingale Rd #105, Schaumburg, IL
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Cincinnati Showcase Cinema de Lux Springdale 18
12064 Springfield Pike, Springdale OH
Show: 5-8pm
Setup: 4-5pm

Chris R. – R2-D2

Cleveland AMC Solon 16
6185 Enterprise Pkwy, Solon, OH 44139
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
 Keith S. – R2-D2
Indianapolis Studio Movie Grill
3535 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Pittsburgh Southside Works Cinema
425 Cinema Dr, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Minneapolis Emagine Willow Creek
9900 Shelard Pkwy, Plymouth, MN 55441
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
flamespinner – Static BB8 / B9E
Kansas City B&B Theater                                                                                                8601 W. 135th Street, Overland Park, KS

Show: 6-8pm
Setup: 5-6pm

Louisville AMC STONYBROOK 20
2745 S. Hurstbourne Parkway Louisville, KY 40220
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Chip H. – R2-D2
Joe558 – BB8
Charlotte Ayrsley Grand 14 Cinemas
9110 Kings Parade Blvd. Charlotte, NC
Show: 5-8pm
Setup: 4-5pm
 M Cummins – R2-D2
Dallas AMC Stonebriar 24                                                                         2601 Preston Rd #300, Frisco, TX 75034

Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm

Jacksonville Cinemark Tinseltown and XD                                                     4535 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32216

Show: 5-8pm
Setup: 4-5pm

Memphis Malco Cordova Theater
1080 N Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN 38018
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Nashville Regal Opry Mills Stadium 20
570 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Raleigh CinéBistro at Waverly Place
525 New Waverly Pl, Cary, NC 27518
Show: 5-9pm
Setup: 4-5pm

Chris S. – BB8

San Antonio Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Stone Oak
22806 US-281, San Antonio, TX 78258
Show: 5-8pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Hartford Spotlight Theatres Front Street Stadium 4
39 Front St, Hartford, CT 06103
Show: 5-8pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Chuck J.  – R2-D2
Oaks, PA Regal Cinema Oaks 24
180 Mill Rd, Oaks, PA 19456
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Long Island AMC STONY BROOK 17
2196 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook, NY 11790
Show: 5-7pm
Setup: 4-5pm
 Nick T  – R2-D2
John E. – R2-AE
Silver Springs, MD Regal MAJESTIC STADIUM 20 & IMAX
900 Ellsworth Dr, Silver Spring, MD
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
Jersey City/Hoboken, NJ Bow Tie Hoboken Cinemas
409-415 14th Street Hoboken, NJ
Show: 5-7:30pm
Setup: 4-5pm
 Paul G. –  R2-D2


Scotiabank Toronto:

259 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3M6

Setup: 2 – 2:30pm
Event Open: open at 2:30
Pre-movie video start at 3:15 (Movie start at 3:30pm)



Scotiabank Montreal:
977 Saint-Catherine Street West, Montreal, Quebec H3B 4W3

Setup: 2 – 2:30pm
Event Open: open at 2:30
Pre-movie video start at 3:15 (Movie start at 3:30pm)


Scotiabank Vancouver:
900 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 3G5

Setup: 2 – 2:30pm
Event Open: open at 2:30
Pre-movie video start at 3:15 (Movie start at 3:30pm)


Scotiabank Calgary:         6455 Macleod Trail South West, Calgary, Alberta T2H 0K4

Setup: 2 – 2:30pm
Event Open: open at 2:30
Pre-movie video start at 3:15 (Movie start at 3:30pm)

Kris S. – R2-D2

The Last Jedi – Dell EMC and VMware Private Screening Event

The Last Jedi

On December 14th, 2017 at theaters across the USA and Canada Dell EMC and VMware are holding Private pre-release screenings of Star Wars The Last Jedi. Dell has invited DroidBuilders to come, participate, and join in the fun for the evening.

R2 Builders, BB8 Builders, and Mouse Droid Builders are invited to attend as volunteers with their droids. Our mission for the screenings will be to bring smiles to the fans, pose for pictures, and have a good time. As a thank you and in support of the charitable causes we support through our appearances, the Dell EMC foundation is making a donation in our name to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Signups for DroidBuilder volunteers are underway. A link has been posted on each club’s’ site.  Priority is on first-come-first serve basis. Invitations have also gone out to the local 501st Garrison, Rebel Legions, and Mandalorian Mercs.

Below is a listing of the cities where the screening are being held. For questions reach out DroidBuilder to PaulG71 [at]


Denver, CO
Dublin/East Bay, CA
Orange County, CA/San Diego
Phoenix, AZ
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Indianapolis, IN
Pittsburgh, PA
Minneapolis, MN
Kansas City , KS
Louisville, KY
Charlotte, NC
Dallas, TX
San Antonio
Oaks, PA
Long Island
Silver Springs, MD
Jersey City/Hoboken, NJ



Charitable Droid Builds

Charitable Droid Builds

6% funded

A tax-deductible contribution for…droid building? Sounds a little crazy, right?

Stop a second to think about it. A droid to some may just be a movie prop. But to the right person, it might be a far more powerful motivation. There is no comparison between building a droid and fighting for life when you have cancer or any other serious illness. But for those people engaged in the fight of their life, goals become extremely important. Sometimes they willingly surrender long range goals for short term plans. Get to the next birthday. Get to the next holiday. Make it to the family reunion.

In our inaugural case, it was a young lady named Ceel fighting for her life in Belgium. She asked Make-A-Wish for a droid. She didn’t want a trip to Disneyland, or a flight to New York City, or a cruise to the Bahamas. This courageous Star Wars fan wanted her own droid sitting in her own house where she could see and touch the magic of the film saga she loved. And when we agreed to do it, she knew it was under way. It mattered to her that someone, somewhere, not only took up this movie prop dream but that they were enthusiastically racing to get it done in hopes of seeing her get better. It mattered to her that the love of strangers was focused on her wish. It mattered, and because it did, that droid mattered.

In the end, Ceel lost the battle with cancer but won our hearts forever, and for that reason, her droid now sits in her family’s home as a legacy of what dreams can become. She never got to see it before she was gone. Our victory in building was our loss in wish fulfillment. We vowed: Never again. There would not be another battle lost before we made a droid wish come true. We are looking ahead and completing droids to the paint stage so that wishes can be made real. Ceel’s droid in Belgium is being upgraded to help with fund raising locally.

And more than we ever hoped, we had people ask how they can help. Not everyone has the same skill set. We honor contributions both large and small – builders have given time, talent, materials and money. We obtained 501c3 non-profit status in order to make monetary contributions rewarding for everyone. If you care about this mission and feel moved by Ceel’s story, or if perhaps you know of another wish that DroidBuilders might assist, please consider supporting our cause in some small way. Know that each contribution is fully committed to materials and donated droids, never to management or overhead.

Thank you for supporting our cause, and may the Force be with you.  Always.


Enter You Donation

Personal Info

Billing Details

Donation Total: $10.00

DroidCon 2018

Calling all DroidBuilders!

It’s time to celebrate with your fellow builders. We invite you to join us in Indianapolis, June 7th – June 10th, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Airport for a time of innovation, collaboration, and informative sessions.

We’re going to call this the year of the GNK and celebrate it with some hands-on building during our DroidCon After Hours and so much more!

We highly recommend reading through this in its entirety, but some don’t so you can order your tickets here.

Tentative Agenda (subject to change)

THURSDAY, June 7th, 2018

  • 09:00 Room Setup
13:00 Registration Opens / Meet and Greet
15:45 Soldering Workshop
  • 17:00 Dinner Break
20:00 DroidCon After Hours – GNK Build Off

FRIDAY, June 8th, 2018

  • 09:00 Room Opens
  • 10:45 PSI (Pounds per Square Innovation) – Brett Bourbin
13:15 What Drives You? – Douglas Bickert
14:30 Styrene Does Not Suck! – Paul Gentile
  • 15:45 How to not Flux up your Droid! (Soldering Skills 101) – Paul Gentile
  • 17:00 Dinner Break
  • 19:00 The Squeaky Wheel – an Evolution of Mouse Droids – (Panel)
  • 20:00 DroidCon After Hours – GNK Build Off

SATURDAY, June 9th, 2018

  • 09:00 Room Opens
10:45 Actuators and Ewoks – Douglas Bickert
  • 13:15 Scratch Building – Ari Stone
  • 14:30 Screen Accurate or Fun – James Marsilia
  • 15:45 Soldering Workshop
  • 17:00 Group Photo & Dinner Break
  • 19:00 BB-8 Without the Printer – Wayne Neumaier
  • 20:00 DroidCon After Hours – GNK Build Off

SUNDAY, June 10th 2018

  • 09:00 Room Opens
10:45 Just CADding: From Club Spec drawings to your own 3D parts – Paul Murphy
  • 14:30 GNK Build Off Judging
  • 15:00 Charity Auction
  • 16:00 Farewells

Event Faqs


I don’t want to read anymore I just want to get my tickets!

We really want you to read through but hey, go for it.

Can I purchase a ticket at the door with cash?

No, we will not be offering tickets at the door. Tickets must be purchased from EventBrite and are on a first come, first served basis. We have limitations on numbers of attendees that we can legally have in the physical space so we have an attendee limit set.

Do I need to bring my printed ticket to check-in?

Yes and no, we will be using a scanner to check attendees in and provide you with your swag bag of goodies. If you have your ticket whether printed or electronically we will be able to check you in faster. We’ll still be able to look you up and check you in, but we’d much prefer you had the barcode!


Can I bring my droid?

Uh, yeah! That’s what this is all about. We’ve set aside an area to display droids so you can show off your creations and let others check out how you’ve made yours.

What droids can I bring?

Any droids are acceptable. We started with astromechs but there are so many amazing droids out there we love to see all the variety.

Table Space

Can I bring my giant collection of stuff and take over a table(s)?

Space is becoming an issue with so many attending so we’re having to limit dedicated table space to accommodate our growth. Please review the ticket options if you need table space. No, this doesn’t mean droids, just the general parts display that inevitably show up. Yes, this was a really hard decision, and we’ll be discussing larger venues at this DroidCon.


Can I bring stuff to sell?

Sure, it’s totally acceptable to bring your droid related items to sell. All we ask is if you’re planning to sell to grab a premium ticket so you have a dedicated space to display your items.


Can I bring my children?

Absolutely! There’s a ticket option for children under the age of 12 available. We love seeing the wonder on their faces, the only thing we ask is that they are supervised at all times.


Is there going to be some cool SWAG available?

Why yes, yes there will be. We’ve partnered with TeeSpring for a T-Shirt option, that’s external from the event itself but we encourage you to pick one up if you like. Otherwise we’ve got patches, lanyards, and challenge coins lined up for attendees.

Additional Patch / Coin

If you would like an additional patch or coin with your order, you can select it during the order process. Please note; you’re getting one of each as part of your ticket price but we know there are collectors who like to order additional.


Is there a code for booking the hotel?

Not really, we have reserved a 50 room block at the Holiday Inn Indianapolis Airport. We recommend you call the hotel directly to book your room at (317) 856-6200. Tell them you are attending DroidCon to receive the room rate negotiated. There are additional hotels nearby should you prefer another location.

Year of the GNK

So what is the Year of the GNK?

We’re planning a GNK build-off challenge for builders to compete to create the most GNKalicious droid ever conceived. We’re recommending you get together a team of six master builders to work together in creating your masterpiece. We will be providing you a life-size shell for you to customize. Basically, we’re providing the box, legs, and feet premade out of wood.

What do you need to provide?

The greeblies! Start planning with your team how you’d like to decorate it and gather your greeblies. We’ll have some hot glue guns to assist in your assembly but the sky is the limit with your imagination.

At the end of DroidCon we’ll be voting on the best GNK in a few different categories.

The winning team will receive an amazing prize!

All the GNKs created will be displayed at the next Star Wars Celebration.

Understanding Bolt Grade Markings

Most people think that a bolt is just a bolt.  It’s just something that’s used to hold two things together and that’s the extent of it.  Fasteners though are incredibly complex pieces of hardware.  They are manufactured using different materials, thread types, lengths, and a plethora of shapes and sizes.  They have different coatings, classes of fit, and what I want to talk about the grades.Read more

Making Holes

So, you’re probably saying to yourself, I just throw in the correct size bit and go to town. Yes, you could do that but there is so much more you should know about the entire class of machining operations to put a hole into a workpiece.

Machining, is a material removal process, it creates features on your parts by cutting away the unwanted material. It requires a machine, a workpiece, typically a fixture, and a cutting tool. You can make holes on a variety of different machines, including a hand held drill, drill press, and even CNC milling or turning machines. Machines like a drill press are what’s considered specialized equipment. They’re designed to ensure you can get a precise angle. The team here at DroidBuilders suggest a drill press as one of your must have shop tools. If you want to expand, consider finding a tapping machine as well but you can do tapping with the drill press.  We’ll do a simple how to on that later.

The operations involved in making holes are usually performed along side many other operations in machining a part. When using a CNC, I tend to mix when I add the holes and if I’m doing it on the drill press it’s usually one of the last operations I perform.

Machined Holes

During the machining process, a hole is a cylindrical feature that is removed from the work-piece by a rotating cutting tool that enters the work-piece axially.  The hole will have the same diameter of the cutting tool and match its geometry.  (that may also include it’s pointy end).  Note, pocketing while similar, is not the same as hole making.  While all machined holes have the same basic form (I mean its a hole right…), they can differ in many ways based on its given application.  There are several features that help determine the hole making operation and the appropriate tool required.

  • Hole Diameter: Holes can be machined in a huge variety of diameters.  The cutting tools used for this are available in standard sizes that be incredibly small to huge.  I think the largest hole I’ve cut was around 10″ on the drill press.
  • Hole Tolerance: The precision of your holes can be affected by many factors.  The sharpness of the cutting tool, vibration, build up of material, and even heat in some cases.  No matter, the specified tolerance of the hole will determine the method you need to use.
  • Hole Depth: You can drill completely through your workpiece (referred to as a through hole) or perhaps you only need a certain depth (blind hole).  If you’re doing a blind hole, make sure you know if the depth listed includes the tip or not. Otherwise you will need to do some drill point calculations to ensure you get the proper depth.  It isn’t hard, but… apologies to my trig teacher, it turns out you were right and I did need to know how to calculate and use Tangent.
  • Recessed Top: This is a very common feature to add while machining holes.  This is usually done to accomodate the head of the fastener and allow it to sit flush with the workpiece surface.  There are two different types of recessed holes to know about.  There’s the counterbore which has a cylindrical recess, and the countersink, which has a cone shaped recess.   The type usually depends on your fastener and the look you want to achieve.
  • Threads: Allows you to use a threaded fastener with your spiffy new hole.  They are specified by the outer diameter and pitch.  Pitch is a fancy way of saying what the measure of the spacing between threads, its commonly know as the Threads per Inch (TPI) in English standard, or its the distance in millimeters (mm) between the threads in metric.


Okay, if you are still reading I am impressed.  Most people would have been bored out of there skull by this point.  🙂  So lets talk about the various operations you can do to actually created the awesome hole you need.  Each of these uses a different type of cutting tool.

Drilling - A drill bit enters acially and cuts a bling or through hole with a diameter equal to that of the tool. A drill bit is a multi-point tool and typically has a pointed end. The most common is a twist drill (you probably have lots), but there are also other types such as a center drill, spot drill, or tap drill.
Boring - A boring tool enters the workpiece axially and cuts along the internal surface of an existing hole to enlarge the diameter or to ensure of the precise dimensions. Boring tools are single point cutting and you set the desired diameter using the adjustable boring head. Have a couple, never used them in production. If you ever needed to do a tapered hole though, these do the ticket.
Counterboring - A counterbore tool enters the workpiece and cust along the internal surface of an existing hole to enlarge the top portion. It's typically done after drilling to add the extra space for the head of the fastener, such as a bolt, to sit flush with the work piece surface. Counterbore tools have a pilot on the end to assist guiding the tool straight into the existing hole.
Countersinking - Tools like the coutersink enter the workpiece axially and enlarge the top of an existing hole to a cone-shaped opening. Countersinking is performed after drilling to provide the space for the head of the fastener, like a screw, to sit flush with the workpiece surface. The common angles for countersink hols include 60, 82, 90, 100, 118, 120 degrees. The most common of these is the 82° and 90°.
Reaming - Reamers are used to enlarge an existing hole to the desired diameter. A reamer is a multi-point tool with many flutes. Reaming is used to remove a minimal amount of material from previously drilled holes to provide more accurate diameters and a smoother finish. Personally, I have one reamer that I've only used to clean up foot drive plates to make the holes for the bearings as precise as possible.
Tapping - A tap cuts internal threads into an existing hole. The existing hole should be drilled to the required tap drill size that will accommodate the desired tap. The tap size is selected based on the diameter and pitch of the hole required. There are multiple types of taps available for bottom tap or through tap. Go figure right, make sure you have the right one for the job at hand.


Drill Point Calculations

I alluded to this above but starting out as a hobby machinist there was so much I didn’t even know that I didn’t know about.  If you know me, you know I use a CNC a lot.  One of the things I’ve always hated was if I set my drill depth to the thickness of the material I wouldn’t go all the way through.  Or, just ham handling it I would just put in some ‘extra’ depth to clear it.  That would needlessly mark up my spoil board.  Okay, I get its called a spoil board meaning its replaced, but it is expensive to replace a 10′ x 6′ piece of 3/4″ MDF very frequently.

The drill point is that wee little part between the pointy end of the drill and the full size diameter.  See ‘P’ below:

To start, there are a couple of ways to calculate this number.  You will need to have two pieces of input to do this;

  • Diameter of the drill bit
  • Angle of the drill bit

From what I’ve noticed, if you buy some drill bits, they are almost always 118 degree bits.  Those are basically the standard ones at the local home improvement store.  Nothing wrong with them at all, they work great for 99% of the usual jobs.

Couple of things to note, use the complicated method if you plan to do counterboring and really want it to be accurate.  I don’t make anything that a life is on the line, so I resort to method 2 since it takes so little time.

The ridiculously complicated but really accurate method of calculation
  1. Divide the tip angle in half
  2. Subtract that from 90
  3. Get the tangent of that result and
  4. Divide that in half.
  5. Multiply by the diameter of the bit.

Optional 6; pull hair out wondering what you did wrong when it’s off.

The what I do method cause reasons…

Turns out you can just use simple multiplication based on the drill bit angle.

  • 60° Angle: Drill Diameter multiplied by 0.866
  • 82° Angle: Drill Diameter multiplied by 0.575
  • 90° Angle: Drill Diameter multiplied by 0.500
  • 118° Angle: Drill Diameter multiplied by 0.300 (Most Common)
  • 120° Angle: Drill Diameter multiplied by 0.288
  • 135° Angle: Drill Diameter multiplied by 0.207


And just because I wanted to create a calculator;