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Drilling aluminum
Drilling aluminum
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Old 31st December 2017, 04:00 PM   #1
wanders is offline wanders  United States
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Default Drilling aluminum

Happy new year, all.

Im finishing up a headphone amp. I installed a Goldpoint attenuator and purchased a couple of aluminum knobs with the attenuator. All Goldpoint stuff is 6 mm. I installed a selector switch with a 1/4 shaft (not Goldpoint). So the knob is slightly small and won't slide over the shaft. So, I toss the knob(s) or enlarge the hole.

I could probably get this done at a machine shop; but Id prefer to do it myself, if possible. I,ve got a vise with nylon jaws and a hand held, battery drill. Id probably buy a new 1/4 bit, just to be sure. The shaft hole is around 3/4 deep, the difference between 6mm and 1/4 is about 0.3mm, so one pass seems enough. There is a set screw, probably need to bring that back a short distance.

So, opinions on please: will this go smoothly or will the drill kick out, wrench the knob out of the vise, toss it across the room and break a window?
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Old 31st December 2017, 04:34 PM   #2
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Drilling aluminum
I've done this many times with a drill press, and it went smoothy. A little oil always helps.
By handheld drill? I dunno. The vice will certainly help.
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Old 31st December 2017, 04:34 PM   #3
jwilhelm is offline jwilhelm  Canada
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You will likely have the best luck reaming the hole to size. Trying to drill that small amount of material usually ends badly because the drill bit will just grab. SOWA - Homepage
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Old 31st December 2017, 05:09 PM   #4
wanders is offline wanders  United States
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You guys are confirming my fears. Ill Wait and find a machine shop with the right tools. Always cheaper in the long run. Thanks
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Old 31st December 2017, 05:21 PM   #5
Enzo is online now Enzo  United States
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Let the drill pull itself along, don't rush it. They usually grab when you are asking the drill to move faster through the material than it wants to go.


Why not try drilling a 6mm hole in some scrap stock, then enlarge it to 1/4" with a drill and see how it goes.
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Old 31st December 2017, 05:24 PM   #6
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Drilling aluminum
Yep, practice first
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Old 31st December 2017, 05:47 PM   #7
wanders is offline wanders  United States
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Id like to practice, but Ive only got 1/8 stock (this is 3/4). I drill 1/7 frequently: for a 1/4 hole Id do three or four increasingly large holes. I dont know a machine shop, but wood shops and others usually get $5 for a little job. You just have to be polite. If I cant find somebody, Ill try it myself.
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Old 31st December 2017, 05:53 PM   #8
vinylkid58 is online now vinylkid58  Canada
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Without a drill press, you aren't going to get a nice straight hole, and it will be oversize, and slightly tapered.

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Old 31st December 2017, 06:24 PM   #9
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Try it in reverse
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Old 31st December 2017, 06:27 PM   #10
globalplayer is offline globalplayer  Germany
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Maybe high rpm and low force.
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