Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?
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  1. #1
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    Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    I guess all three methods worked... Working on a project and figured I would attempt to do a comparison.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Very interesting,that anular cutter chewed it up! I assume you used it for all the others sitting on the table in the background?
    Gas axe be the quickest of all. In the hands of a good operator, almost as neat as well.
    Last edited by jackdawg; 12-30-2016 at 04:25 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    I use a squirt bottle with oil in it for my mag drill with annular cutters just a squirt in the hole every 10 seconds or so.

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  4. #4
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    the annulars are best hands down... but rmbr on a mag drill that bit would be turning around 400rpm almost twice what you had it in the video... coolant would be fed internally no need to stop drilling and lube the bit....so it would have been even faster... and also they say the more down pressure the better on them. and also the annular will outlast the other options by far.... I would think the hole saw is probably almost done its life span after one or 2 of those holes...and its not resharpenable...
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  5. #5
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by rambin View Post
    .. I would think the hole saw is probably almost done its life span after one or 2 of those holes...and its not resharpenable...
    I haven't used a hole saw on 1" plate but if I showed you one of my 1 1/4" Lenox Hole saws you'd never believe its drilled about 40 holes in 1/2" steel. My front end loader has 1 1/4" pins to pin attachments on and of the stuff I've built I used 1/2" plate to fab the brackets with a hole saw, oil and a slow speed drill press.

  6. #6
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by turbocobra View Post
    I guess all three methods worked... Working on a project and figured I would attempt to do a comparison.

    .
    .
    large hole is usually over 2" dia. in a machine shop if drilling small 1.5" dia holes a spade drill is normally used. you do not want any slug left that can cause problems. feed rate of 3 to 6ipm is not unheard of. if over 1" depth usually keep it under 4 ipm
    .
    horsepower is limiting factor of coarse in general
    1.5" dia hole
    machinability rating of 1 hp to 1 cubic inch per minute (A36 or 1018 steel)
    3ipm feed
    5.3hp
    .
    big carbide drills can go 20 to 40 ipm feed but can easily need 20 to 40 hp. not many machines have over 20 hp

  7. #7
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by rambin View Post
    the annulars are best hands down... but rmbr on a mag drill that bit would be turning around 400rpm almost twice what you had it in the video... coolant would be fed internally no need to stop drilling and lube the bit....so it would have been even faster... and also they say the more down pressure the better on them. and also the annular will outlast the other options by far.... I would think the hole saw is probably almost done its life span after one or 2 of those holes...and its not resharpenable...
    Good points. I have a mag drill and stationary holder to turn it into a drill press that I built and use it fairly often. It has internal lubricant injection. So yea that would have made a big difference. This particular cutter had a recommended RPM of 200-250, so 400 would likely be a little too fast for it.

    My mag drill goes turns at 270 in low gear and that's what I normally have it on for anything over 1" in diameter.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by WNY_TomB View Post
    .
    .
    large hole is usually over 2" dia. in a machine shop if drilling small 1.5" dia holes a spade drill is normally used. you do not want any slug left that can cause problems. feed rate of 3 to 6ipm is not unheard of. if over 1" depth usually keep it under 4 ipm
    .
    horsepower is limiting factor of coarse in general
    1.5" dia hole
    machinability rating of 1 hp to 1 cubic inch per minute (A36 or 1018 steel)
    3ipm feed
    5.3hp
    .
    big carbide drills can go 20 to 40 ipm feed but can easily need 20 to 40 hp. not many machines have over 20 hp

    The machine I was using has a 440 3phase 5HP vertical spindle and 10HP horizontal spindle. I dint feel like horsepower was a limiting factor in the feedrate for what I was doing here. The machine was easily taking all the pressure i could put on it.

    I didn't feel like horsepower was a limiting factor. Why can a slug cause problems?

    Yes, I have carbide insert spade drills as well.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by turbocobra View Post
    The machine I was using has a 440 3phase 5HP vertical spindle and 10HP horizontal spindle. I dint feel like horsepower was a limiting factor in the feedrate for what I was doing here. The machine was easily taking all the pressure i could put on it.

    I didn't feel like horsepower was a limiting factor. Why can a slug cause problems?

    Yes, I have carbide insert spade drills as well.
    .
    .
    annual cutter requires operator to make sure slug ejected (not stuck) and if ejected not in a spot where it can cause a problem. many cnc machines run with no operator nearby. always have to pick tooling and program for unattended operation otherwise a M0 or program stop is needed with a message warning to watch drill. on a manual machine not a problem stopping and dealing with the annual drill slug
    .
    loadmeter on bigger machines i always look at. feeds and speeds are calculated and i calculate hp needs too, another factor is sudden tool failure rate of tooling. often can drill a hole at 35ipm feed with carbide drills but even a 1% sudden drill failure rate can cause problems. i often will reduce settings til tool reliability is predictable.
    .
    annual cutter you do no convert the whole hole to chips so hp is less. often limit is can chips get out of the way fast enough and will chips and slug not cause any problems. i have often used a programmed spindle turning in reverse with coolant on to get long chips to unwind from a drill. long chips and a slug that can get in the way later can be a hazard
    .
    spade drill you can peck drill with care which is useful to break up chips, flush cutter with coolant, etc. only 1" thick plate or thinner as long as operator watches the annual drill it is often faster. for unattended operation i would never pick a annual cutter. overloading machine which causes it to stop requiring restart can be a big problem. i have often had parts move from tons of force caused by drill going dull. there are times where spade drill is just easier and more reliable to use
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    Last edited by WNY_TomB; 12-30-2016 at 11:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    IMHO, with this get-up's three contenders a "real" twist drill with a flood of coolant should win the race hands-down.

    But with reduced-shank drive and very limited cooling the available HP is not useable, that gives the shell cutter an edge.
    Downside to a shell is one false move and "bang" there goes a $300 cutter.

    The hole-saw shouldn't even be in the running, except maybe for a single-use desperately needed hole, IMHO.
    Last edited by denrep; 12-30-2016 at 12:13 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    How did this go from drilling larger diameter holes in a home or small shop situation to what works in an unattended 40+ hp horizontal?

    I would have no concern of operator clearing slugs at a manual mill/drill press.

    Good video of comparison Turbocobra, I personally wouldn't have considered a hole saw for this application. I would have skipped the 3/4" drill as stated, in favor of a slightly larger pilot.

    Would you be able to plunge the annular straight through using coolant in a spray bottle irregardless of rats nest of chips?

    I plan to add annular cutters to the tool box as needed.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teggy1 View Post
    How did this go from drilling larger diameter holes in a home or small shop situation to what works in an unattended 40+ hp horizontal?

    I would have no concern of operator clearing slugs at a manual mill/drill press.

    Good video of comparison Turbocobra, I personally wouldn't have considered a hole saw for this application. I would have skipped the 3/4" drill as stated, in favor of a slightly larger pilot.

    Would you be able to plunge the annular straight through using coolant in a spray bottle irregardless of rats nest of chips?

    I plan to add annular cutters to the tool box as needed.
    .
    .
    sorry but i always think as a professional machinist first using cnc machines first. manual machining is typically slow.
    .
    only time i usually use annular cutters is with a portable magnetic drill manually machining on structural steel typically less than 1" thick. then yes annular cutter is typically faster and requires less hp than a twist drill and more important grabs less when breaking through bottom of hole

  13. #13
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    I understand where your coming from, as a former CNC program/setup/operator.

    Just wanted to keep thread in context.
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  14. #14
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    I don’t know how well this 10-feet diameter hole saw would do in 1” thick plate. But it did real well in rock. It had a 750-HP diesel engine powering it.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Can you get one of these at Home Depot

  16. #16
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bls repair View Post
    Can you get one of these at Home Depot
    No! But they have them at Harbor Freight.
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  17. #17
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by CEP View Post
    I don’t know how well this 10-feet diameter hole saw would do in 1” thick plate. But it did real well in rock. It had a 750-HP diesel engine powering it.
    It's fine just use a LOT of coolant!

  18. #18
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Some good points being made here, thanks for all the input guys. I just through the hole saw in there because I have several of them in different sizes up to 4", and I only have a couple of large twist drills and annular cutters, so yea occasionally i use hole saws if I am working on the weekend, can't get what I need and just need to get something done. not ideal, but just figured i would throw it in there...
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  19. #19
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    annular cutters require a lot less power to drill large holes. It takes a lot of power for a twist drill to drill a 1" hole. When you grab the chip on break trough watch out. I always try to drill into a block of wood.

  20. #20
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Teggy1 View Post

    Would you be able to plunge the annular straight through using coolant in a spray bottle irregardless of rats nest of chips?

    .....
    I wouldn't. There are quite a number of cutting teeth on an annular, and depending on your pressure those birds nests can grow real big real fast. They can get messy and dangerous. I pull out, shut it down and clean the birds nest off regular ( the size is user determined). I also use a spray bottle without issue. One other issue is the smoothness of the hole. Maybe that matters, maybe it doesn't to each. If you let the birds nest build up very large you get to a point where you are not clearing the hole well, chewing curls and chips down in the hole and scarring the finished surface. Happens a lot towards the bottom of the hole where you don't stop and clear the birds nest and get anxious to punch through. Sometimes I care sometimes I don't.

    As an adder, different brands of annulars leave more or less relief around the remaining plug. Some fall out easy, some don't. For stuff in the 1/4 ish inch or less I have a spring affair I use to push the plug out if it's a problem. Can't use the spring on thicker stuff.
    Last edited by Sandy; 12-30-2016 at 10:22 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    A guy I work with, his dad was a tool and die guy. He told me never step a twist drill more than once. He recommended using a #7 for a pilot, then the size for the hole you need. The majority of holes we drill are 5/8" and under, so these are what he is referring to. If you were to go from #7, to 1/4", to 3/8", to 1/2", to 5/8", you are just wearing out the edges. Although it feels like it will drill faster, you are actually killing the drill much faster.
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  22. #22
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Quote Originally Posted by denrep View Post
    IMHO, with this get-up's three contenders a "real" twist drill with a flood of coolant should win the race hands-down.

    But with reduced-shank drive and very limited cooling the available HP is not useable, that gives the shell cutter an edge.
    Yeah, nobody in a machineshop or constructionshop would drill a 1 5/8 hole with a reduced-shank drive drill.
    A MK 4 taper-shank drill in a proper drill press (or mill) with automatic feed and lots of coolant would be the first choice in my opinion.

  23. #23
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    I've done it all three ways and I usually reach for the annular cutter.

    Latest generation of hole saws are really nice. Cut clean holes and last forever with basic care. They can be re-sharpened a couple times if you have a diamond grinder and the proper jig. I made up my own to fit a HF circular saw sharpener.

    I don't have a 40hp CNC machine, but one time I did plug my drill press into a generator with a 40hp engine so that should be the same thing right?

  24. #24
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    I have had really good luck using the Champion Tool CT series carbide holesaws, probably cut 150, 1 7/16" holes in 2.5" sch 40 pipe and the bit still makes nice stringy chip, have drilled 1.25 bar stock no problem did have to flip stock as I have the ct7 which only cuts 1" deep. I have used them in drill press and knee mill, their cutting wax is awesome too.
    I purchase them from a local fastener house.

    http://championcuttingtool.com/all-c...tters-ct7.html

  25. #25
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    Re: Best way to drill large holes in 1" plate?

    Couple of things I would have liked to see would be to telescope and mic the bores from each tool, as well as to show the cutters with powerfeed and fed coolant (I already know the answers, but would have been nice to show for others...hint, the annular cutter still wins hands down).

    As for the cnc machine, I wouldn't use a spade drill...I'd use a roughing end mill with HSM ramping and the a finishing end mill single pass to clean it up. Find it's faster than a spade drill and chips are very manageable.

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