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Old 26th October 2011, 09:17 AM   #11
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I always clamp the two bits of metal, (or whatever,) together in the correct alignment then mark out and drill. That way, if one hole wanders a little, its matching hole also does too, so they still fit. Oh, and you do centre pop your holes first before drilling don't you?
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Old 26th October 2011, 09:53 AM   #12
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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When I was a kid in the 1950s learning stuff, and building my first amplifiers, I had few tools. Making the hole for an octal socket involved drilling a circle of small 1/8" holes, then nipping through the resulting "perforation" to remove the center, then filing the very rough edges out to the needed round hole size. Crude, and took forever.

Then one day I invested in a Greenlee hole punch.
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Old 26th October 2011, 12:55 PM   #13
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The most useful lesson of a lifetime of DIY work is that there is nothing more expensive than a cheap poorly made tool. You pay the initial cost, then you pay the frustration of the poor results and ruined projects, then you pay to replace it with a quality tool that you should have bought in the 1st place. The most important tools you use are the tools used for layout (squares, compass, rulers, center punches, etc.) since the final results cannot be more accurate than your layout.

Importantly as CopperTop pointed out you must allow some tolerance in your hole dimensioning to accomodate variation in the mating parts and fasteners. If you are drilling holes to mate parts with #8 machine screws, which have a major diameter limit of 0.1640", you would use a #18 drill (0.1695") for a close fit or a #16 drill (0.1770") for a loose fit (more adjustment allowance). Google "Tapping and clearance hole information" to get guidance on this.
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Old 26th October 2011, 01:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
When I was a kid in the 1950s learning stuff, and building my first amplifiers, I had few tools. Making the hole for an octal socket involved drilling a circle of small 1/8" holes, then nipping through the resulting "perforation" to remove the center, then filing the very rough edges out to the needed round hole size. Crude, and took forever.

Then one day I invested in a Greenlee hole punch.
Yeah, I used to have a bunch of those hole punches. They are a great investment.
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Old 26th October 2011, 01:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kevinahcc20 View Post
The most useful lesson of a lifetime of DIY work is that there is nothing more expensive than a cheap poorly made tool. You pay the initial cost, then you pay the frustration of the poor results and ruined projects, then you pay to replace it with a quality tool that you should have bought in the 1st place. The most important tools you use are the tools used for layout (squares, compass, rulers, center punches, etc.) since the final results cannot be more accurate than your layout.

Importantly as CopperTop pointed out you must allow some tolerance in your hole dimensioning to accomodate variation in the mating parts and fasteners. If you are drilling holes to mate parts with #8 machine screws, which have a major diameter limit of 0.1640", you would use a #18 drill (0.1695") for a close fit or a #16 drill (0.1770") for a loose fit (more adjustment allowance). Google "Tapping and clearance hole information" to get guidance on this.
Oh yeah, I agree completely. I use a very sharp marking knife (only has one bevel edge) for layout in wood and it made a huge difference in the accuracy of my cuts.


Another thing is that I find that I often have to compensate for small errors no matter how precise I try to make things. I just accept that this is part of the process. I don't have a shop full of precision wood working tools either.
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Old 26th October 2011, 01:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Neil Groves View Post
I just spent a couple of hours in the workshop progressing one of my projects and became disolusioned when after drilling some holes in a case, i realised they didn't line up as i had hoped so had to file the holes a little, i was annoyed with myself as i expected better results, then i thought the way large companies do there metal bashing is machines, i am sitting at the bench drilling holes with one hand whilst holding the case in the other, now i'm wondering if it makes sense to buy a drill press with the relevent clamps or just accept i am not going to achieve professional results with my current methods and file (botch) it till it fits

Neil.
There is an attachment for drills that makes drilling perpendicular more easy. It's a slide with a chuck. It works ok, not great.

Did you use a center punch? I found that helps a lot.
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Old 26th October 2011, 05:25 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by SemperFi View Post
I'm with CuTop, just aint got no patience. Labeling the amp with a big noticable 'prototype' kinda excuses the garage look...
lol....thats the easy way out...too funny!

I try to take pride in what i do and like i said at the opening of this thread i just have to accept it's not going to look like a store bought item, and as such i am going to tolerate surface scratches and paper labels instead of screen printing, however, i draw the line at a straight line of holes that isn't straight.....lol


Neil.
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Old 29th October 2011, 09:05 PM   #18
Billyo is offline Billyo  Australia
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Ah yes - lining up holes is a pain in the *ss.

Funniliy enough, of the entire (and first) speaker project I just completed, getting holes to line up for the back panel was the most difficult!

For attaching the grille to the baffle, I got my elderly dad to silver solder a drill bit into a 1/4 inch bit of metal round that fitted into a router collet - this finally let me drill at a precise 90 degrees pilot hole.

Looked everywhere for some kind of jig - found nothing. Can't fit an entire speaker cabinet under a drill press - spose that I could have done them in advance, but I dont think that far ahead
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Old 30th October 2011, 06:29 PM   #19
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lol...many times my dear old dad got me out of a fix with skills i didn't have.

Neil.
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Old 30th October 2011, 06:45 PM   #20
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I do a lot of metal work and IMO making two parts where the holes line up is an acquired skill, and one of the most important ones to learn. It's actually a little easier in metal than wood, but holes will wander in either material. There is a very specific sequence of events you need to follow to make this happen. Get a bit lazy and leave out a step and the result is always frustration. It doesn't seem like all the steps should be necessary, but they are. Every time.

First you need to locate the hole. This can be with a good ruler and sharp pencil, or scribe or whatever. The end result will never be better than this first step, so use the best method possible. Modern printers are so good you can sometimes do a template in CAD and just mark through the points of the paper. Kids glue sticks are a wonderful thing.

Next you have to center punch the hole. In metal use a hammer and sharp punch, or an automatic center punch. In wood you want something deeper to guide the drill and prevent grain or particles from pulling it off the mark. Grind a more severe taper on a punch or use something more like an awl. If the mark isn't where you want it, adjust it now because you can't do it later. Either angle the punch and hit it again, or otherwise re-punch and rework until the mark is centered on the scribe marks. Most people make it to this stage without much trouble and then decide the next step isn't important.

You need to drill a small hole on the mark. In metal you'd use a center drill a.k.a, a combined countersink and center drill. These are rigid and won't flex or wander. In wood a small standard drill bit is OK, but make sure it's not much bigger than the punch mark. Only when you have the small hole drilled and can confirm that it's right on the money, do you consider going after the final size.

If the final size is large, say over 1/4", go up in two or more steps, not all at once. If you follow this you should be able to place holes within plus or minus about 0.01" of where you want them. In metal, if you scribe marks are good, you should get without about plus or minus 0.003" of where you want. It's just a matter of practice and never deviating from what works.
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Last edited by Conrad Hoffman; 30th October 2011 at 06:48 PM.
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