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Author Topic: Any tricks for drilling holes in steel for rivets?  (Read 2608 times)
belfert
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« on: July 09, 2006, 07:32:45 PM »

I need to drill around 1,000 holes for rivets to cover my windows.  I got around 100 to 150 holes drilled today, but it took forever!

Any suggestions to speed this up?  I am using HSS split point bits.  The bit is dipped in a dish of oil after drilling through the aluminum panel each time.

Switching to a new bit doesn't really seem to help, even after using the same bit for 30 or 40 holes.  I have a Drill Doctor and will run the four bits we used today through it before the next go at it.

Brian Elfert
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Dallas
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 07:44:25 PM »

A couple of things I did was to use thread cutting lube, drill pretty slow and drill a pilot hole first.
It seemed top work better that way.
Also when using the drill doctor, set the angle to be more aggressive.

Just for fun, I put some brandnew Dewalt drill bits through the Drill Doctor and not a single one had the same angle on both sides. It could be that your bit's are wrong too.

IHTH

Dallas
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2006, 07:57:52 PM »

I do a fair amount of drilling and riveting at work into hardened steel hinges and that really abuses drill bits. I would think that drilling in aluminum would be easy, I donít do production aluminum drilling but I would think you should be able to use a higher drill speed without sacrificing drill bit life. I would think that aluminum would really suck up the bit destroying heat. Make sure you use good quality bits.Try calling a local machine shop and ask what they recommend. I have never had a bad experience calling and asking for advice, I have even stopped in a shop one time and they were very generous in trying to help me figure out some problems. People love to help other people (take this board for example); being friendly and smiling will go a long ways.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2006, 07:59:59 PM »

I am drilling through aluminum and into steel.  The steel is the part that takes forever to drill through.

Brian Elfert
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Barn Owl
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2006, 08:13:29 PM »

Have you tried cobalt bits? They will break if you are not careful because they are somewhat brittle. I do not remember the last time I broke one though, I learned quickly the dos and doníts. When drilling at the correct speed you will get twists, not chips. Good luck, Iím sure all that repetitive drilling gets tiring and old after a while.
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L. Christley - W3EYE Amateur Extra
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FloridaCliff
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2006, 05:51:04 AM »

Brian,

I put about 3,000 rivets, aluminum sheet attached to steel.

No special tricks were used.  Just bought about 10 good quality steel bits and when I ran through them I sharpened them in the Ole

Drill Doctor.

I found that by the time I got to the 10th bit it was enough for one day, its very tedious.

Used my battery drill over the air as I found I had more control and lots less noise with it.

A fresh bit should be good for at least 50 holes with no problems, switch often and save your shoulders.

Cliff
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2006, 08:20:05 PM »

Depending on the size hole you are drilling, a pilot hole will speed things up. If you are drilling a 1/4 inch hole for rivet, drill a 1/8th inch hole first. Then when you break 1/8th bit drill a 7/32 hole first. There is probobly a table around somewhere to tell you what size pilot hole to drill for a specific drill size.
                                                           Work?/Play safely Jim
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