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Old 28th August 2009, 06:26 PM   #1
toufu is offline toufu  United States
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Default Tips for drilling Large Holes

I am trying to drill large holes (1/2 inch) on smaller, light panels. But everytime I try, I get violent shakes and the drill bit goes in at an angle and screws up the panel. Any tips? I am using a dewalt drill with dewalt pilot bits. Thanks.
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:32 PM   #2
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Have you tried a Unibit? They're stepped bits, you predrill a small pilot hole, and the bit slowly enlarges the hole in increments until you reach the desired diameter.
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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Use a drill press and properly secure your work. If a drill press is beyond your budget then try a vise or clamping to a workbench. Also, rather than trying to drill one big hole all in one shot. Try drilling one or more pilot holes in increasing sizes.

Regards,
Dan
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Hi,

What dantwomey said and go slow.... the shaking piece is telling you that you have too many RPM's going in.

Cheers!
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Old 28th August 2009, 06:57 PM   #5
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Sounds like the drill speed is too high. remember when drilling steel, low RPM's. Wood higher RPM's. If the metal is very thick, a can of cutting oil every so often will also help. All of the suggestions from others here are excellent.
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Old 28th August 2009, 07:02 PM   #6
Jaac is offline Jaac  Netherlands
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For large hole drilling i use a drill like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

I sharp the edges on the spinning stone to make them sharp. It works fine. I did my XLR (26 mm ??) in 6mm of aluminum. You should use some coolant to cool the metal. Also with large drill use the lowest RPM's on you drilling machine.

And other methode is to use point-welding drills like:

Click the image to open in full size.

But i don't know if the are there in your size. But also here is you have a drill bit that's large enough you can grind it to the point welding shape like in the picture above.
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Old 28th August 2009, 07:12 PM   #7
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A sheet metal punch will get you beautiful holes.
I mean the kind for whichyou drill a small hole for the bolt, then it has two parts, one on each side of the sheet, and you tighten the bolt with a spanner.
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Old 28th August 2009, 07:29 PM   #8
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Yeah for 1/2" I always use a stepped bit. Makes easy work of perfect holes. Use a little light oil or even WD-40 when cutting.

For larger I would use hole punch as Steerpike advises. Very nice for XLR connectors.
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Old 28th August 2009, 07:46 PM   #9
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Center punches are sweet for larger holes...pretty pricey for a set of common sizes, though
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Old 28th August 2009, 08:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glowbug View Post
Center punches are sweet for larger holes...pretty pricey for a set of common sizes, though
Depends on the material.

If dealing with aluminum, the punches I got at the dollar store have been working great now for a year..... especially since they are the EXACT same brand as found for 50 times more ($49.95 compared to $1) at the local hardware store

Or did you mean chassis punches? If so, one word - Ebay

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