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Thread: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

  1. #1
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    Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    OK quick over view: I work out of a two car garage that I share with my Buick, small space. I make mostly gym equipment, squat racks. I drill many 5/8 holes in 1/8 wall tubing and 1.375" holes in plate with a hole saw. I use a drill press that seems to "Bind up" when it hits minimal resistance. So I have to go extremely slow. The bites are sharp.
    My current method of lay out is to hook a tape at one end of the tube mark every 2" then comeback with a hammer,square and punch the center and drill

    If I upgrade what tool should I get?
    1. Better drill press.
    2. Magnetic drill and set it up like a drill press. PRO=small,portable,plenty of power.
    3. Used Bridgeport mill drill. PRO=Power, precision (better than my current method), use it for more tan drilling. CON =BIG!!!

  2. #2
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    If by "bind up" you mean the bit stops turning - your belts could just be loose. That is easy to overlook.

    If you mean the belts are tight but the motor actually stalls, then an upgrade is definitely in order.
    Dave J.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Reebz View Post
    OK quick over view: I work out of a two car garage that I share with my Buick, small space. I make mostly gym equipment, squat racks. I drill many 5/8 holes in 1/8 wall tubing and 1.375" holes in plate with a hole saw. I use a drill press that seems to "Bind up" when it hits minimal resistance. So I have to go extremely slow. The bites are sharp.
    My current method of lay out is to hook a tape at one end of the tube mark every 2" then comeback with a hammer,square and punch the center and drill

    If I upgrade what tool should I get?
    1. Better drill press.
    2. Magnetic drill and set it up like a drill press. PRO=small,portable,plenty of power.
    3. Used Bridgeport mill drill. PRO=Power, precision (better than my current method), use it for more tan drilling. CON =BIG!!!
    I would go with a mag drill . Use your old drill press table and stand. Make a mount for your mag drill for it. Buy some carbide tipped anuller cutters in 5/8 and 1-3/8 diameters. Also buy a chuck adapter for the mag drill. drill a pilot hole with a chuck to start the 5/8 holes in the tube then put the 5/8 carbide tipped cutter in and finish them. The plate all you need is a good center punch mark and drill it with the 1-3/8 carbide anuller cutter. You will need some water soluable coolant . This system will speed up your work a lot.

  5. #4
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I would use a mag drill with annular cutters. Make a base on top of a bench to position the drill and make a fence arrangement to center the cutter on the tube. Make up some kind of a spring loaded stop that will engage a previously drilled holes as you start at one end and work your way down the tube. You would need a longer depth of cut annular cutter to do this, but you wouldn't need to turn the tube over and reposition. I would also use a mist type applicator for coolant vs the feed thru the center pin as that setup is very messy.

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by M J D View Post
    I would use a mag drill with annular cutters. Make a base on top of a bench to position the drill and make a fence arrangement to center the cutter on the tube. Make up some kind of a spring loaded stop that will engage a previously drilled holes as you start at one end and work your way down the tube. You would need a longer depth of cut annular cutter to do this, but you wouldn't need to turn the tube over and reposition. I would also use a mist type applicator for coolant vs the feed thru the center pin as that setup is very messy.
    This is the best idea.

    Hopefully you’re only using 2” square tube. Any larger and you will need a 3” DOC annular cutters AND a mag drill that will accommodate it if you wish to drill through without flipping it over.
    :

  7. #6
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    Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I didn’t own a mag drill when I built my squat rack so I used pallet racking frames. No drilling and already powder coated.




    Last edited by Lis2323; 04-26-2020 at 11:43 AM.
    :

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I forgot to mention, Most of the racks are 3x3 or 3x2 tubing. I got long 1/4 drill bits that will go thru the front and back and use that as a pilot hole. Then I come in with the 5/8

    Minnesota Dave. Belts are tight might need new ones. It has always been a problem.

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Reebz View Post
    I forgot to mention, Most of the racks are 3x3 or 3x2 tubing. I got long 1/4 drill bits that will go thru the front and back and use that as a pilot hole. Then I come in with the 5/8

    Minnesota Dave. Belts are tight might need new ones. It has always been a problem.
    The linked type belts that harbor freight sells work pretty well to prevent slippage. No matter what method you choose, drilling 5/8" holes in 1/8" material doesn't go well using a twist drill.

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Thank you MJD. I never thought of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just make your own belt I assume, I have never used them. The Amish have them by the mile. Just match the width?

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    As far as I know HF only has the one width. However that width fits every drill press I have ever come across.

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Reebz View Post
    Thank you MJD. I never thought of that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Just make your own belt I assume, I have never used them. The Amish have them by the mile. Just match the width?
    Careful... they get pretty expensive by the mile also you have to use higher tension on them if you are using a lot of torque or they will slip and wear faster.

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by ronsii View Post
    Careful... they get pretty expensive by the mile also you have to use higher tension on them if you are using a lot of torque or they will slip and wear faster.
    I “inherited” a bunch of new parts from a bicycle repair shop. I use these little roller assemblies from gear changers as idler wheels for belt tensioning.




    Adding one to your DP makes belt tensioning way easier than sliding the motor.
    :

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    I “inherited” a bunch of new parts from a bicycle repair shop. I use these little roller assemblies from gear changers as idler wheels for belt tensioning.




    Adding one to your DP makes belt tensioning way easier than sliding the motor.
    Nice!!! I have never liked the motor pivot thing a few of my machines have... but then again never took the time to do anything about them either

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Belt dressing may help. The absolute best way to drill lots of holes is a radial arm drill press. In plate an ironworker is the fastest for holes.

  17. #15
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Here’s a pic of the idlers if it helps anyone.

    :

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    What is the current drill press and lowest RPM ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    You would be hard pressed to find a belt drive drill press of any brand that would not slip trying to cut a 1-3/8 hole with an annular cutter or a regular drill bit. Most are made to drill 1/2" and smaller holes . I have a drill press that is rated for drilling 3/4 holes. It is belt drive and slips bad on large holes . I put the segmented belts on and they did help. I can drill 5/8 without slipping but I still can't drill a 3/4 hole unless I use very reduced pressure. That in turn wears out the drill bit prematurely .

  21. #18
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Its a Hitachi B16RM 15" STATIONARY DRILL PRESS. I have used belt dressing, I went to harbor freight there link belt is too wide. I will go to napa on monday as I have more squat racks to make.
    So as i left this out of the introduction. The tubing is 2x2 and 3x2. I have a long 1/4 bite from Mcmaster carr which gets thru both sides in one shot then I come back with a 5/8

  22. #19
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by BD1 View Post
    What is the current drill press and lowest RPM ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    And lowest RPM?
    :

  23. #20
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I didn’t think to mention. Since you’re only working with 1/8” thickness, sheet metal cutters will provide a way quicker and accurate hole.

    You will still need to flip the tube like you’re doing now. 1 3/8 cutters should be available also. It will be a breeze using your existing DP.

    :

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  25. #21
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I had a long reply and deleted by accident.
    250 RPM slowest speed.
    I imagine use the long 1/4 drill bit to drill thru the front and back and then come back with the roto cutter.
    I drill hundreds of 5/8 holes and a fair amount of 3/4. Mostly into 1/8 tubing and some 3/8 plate. The 1 3/8" is all in 3/8 flat. Seems like this may be the way to go. I only need a few sizes i hate to purchase a bunch I will never need.
    Can they be sharpened?

  26. #22
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I assume they can be sharpened the same as annular cutters.
    :

  27. #23
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    The belts that are on it have been changed over the years. I can not find the original size. any clues on how to find them? One belt is discontinued
    https://www.ereplacementparts.com/vb...-p-206952.html
    https://www.ereplacementparts.com/vb...-p-206953.html
    I imagine i could go to NAPA and get an M25 and M26 belt?

  28. #24
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Which of the cutters is best for drill presses?
    Thanks for all the
    help guys

  29. #25
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Reebz View Post
    Its a Hitachi B16RM 15" STATIONARY DRILL PRESS. I have used belt dressing, I went to harbor freight there link belt is too wide. I will go to napa on monday as I have more squat racks to make.
    So as i left this out of the introduction. The tubing is 2x2 and 3x2. I have a long 1/4 bite from Mcmaster carr which gets thru both sides in one shot then I come back with a 5/8
    If you use the sheet metal cutters I mentioned the 1/4” pilot hole will be too big. 3/16 will work but you will most likely need a long shank bit to go through both walls of the square tube.
    :

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