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Thread: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

  1. #26
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Does the Hougen self eject? And only require a center punch mark for alignment? If yes, that will eliminate a pilot hole and slug removal.

    I prefer to flip tubing when drilling through holes. Using long bits and quill wobble could make your opposite / unmarked hole quite far off. Easy enough to make a hole locating fixture to locate holes on opposite sides of the tube.

  2. #27
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    And if you are “through- drilling” drill right angles to the wall with a seam.

    The Hougens self eject.
    :

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  4. #28
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    And if you are “through- drilling” drill right angles to the wall with a seam.

    The Hougens self eject.
    That takes all the adventure out of it...

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  6. #29
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    What about using a step drill.
    Here are a couple of examples. You would still need a pilot hole to line it up when you turn it over.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwauke...9204/204312639

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwauke...9205/204416464

  7. #30
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Personally, since I dislike doing stuff twice (turning over the part and drilling the back) I'd buy a vertical mill.
    I got mine over a year ago and it's wonderful. It'll drill straight through without error once set properly and can turn very slowly for big bits.

    Plus, it's a mill, so all kinds of cool stuff can be done with it
    Dave J.

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  9. #31
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I think I have to have the pilot hole go thru both sides. If I drill one side them flip it if If off buy just a little its a problem. I will see if mcmaster carr has long 3/16 bites.

  10. #32
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    You can make a fixture that slips over the tube like a saddle. I have also seen one from a company that sales cable railing sales sales an alignment tool with bushings. You can even/additionally reference off your drill press.
    You can reference of the tube end if it is straight.

    My experience is bits walk when they hit the other/unpunched side.

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  12. #33
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    Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Reebz View Post
    I think I have to have the pilot hole go thru both sides. If I drill one side them flip it if If off buy just a little its a problem. I will see if mcmaster carr has long 3/16 bites.
    You MAY have that smaller diameter drill bit deflect going all the way through the tube as opposed to the 1/4” you were previously using. Especially if you are drilling through the 3” side.

    I like tapwelder’s advice. Much better spending time building a jig of some sort. Laying out and center punching that many holes leaves a lot of room for making a mistake.

    The more racks you make the more time you will save. Not to mention drilling those holes will no longer be a chore.
    Last edited by Lis2323; 04-27-2020 at 11:47 AM.
    :

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  14. #34
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I have thought about a fixture, like you have said. May be it time.
    I need to make or find that tool.
    Thanks again guys

  15. #35
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Reebz View Post
    I think I have to have the pilot hole go thru both sides. If I drill one side them flip it if If off buy just a little its a problem. I will see if mcmaster carr has long 3/16 bites.
    This is where the vertical mill is awesome. Using a plunge cut end mill (center cutting end mill?) all the way through solves all that
    Or maybe use a mill/drill bit?

    For layout without accumulated error. Hook the tape on one end and layout without moving it. A little math involved, but not much.
    Some people like to measure from one hole to the next - that creates accumulated error.

    It's too bad you can't use channel. Iron worker punched holes for the win (love mine)

    I've gotten bids on lazer cut holes before. When the hole count is high, the costs are really cheap compared to your labor and expenses.
    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 04-27-2020 at 02:36 PM.
    Dave J.

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  17. #36
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I agree with everything said! what do you call the saddle that goes over tubing. I may make or purchase one.
    Dave J I may go the route

  18. #37
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    Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I just used a hole saw on the milling machine. 1/4” mild steel plate /170 RPM.






    Another option would be buy a 3/4” Weldon adapter for your DP and use an annular cutter for your 5/8” holes.
    Last edited by Lis2323; 04-27-2020 at 09:14 PM.
    :

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  20. #38
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    Personally, since I dislike doing stuff twice (turning over the part and drilling the back) I'd buy a vertical mill.
    I got mine over a year ago and it's wonderful. It'll drill straight through without error once set properly and can turn very slowly for big bits.

    Plus, it's a mill, so all kinds of cool stuff can be done with it
    What didja get and where from? I keep kicking around getting something better to replace the used POS RongFu Mill/drill I have now...
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  21. #39
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    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.
    This! I definitely wouldn't be using a twist drill in 5/8", certainly not on a belt driven drill, they just aren't rigid or powerful enough.

    You can get deep holecutters that will go through 3" tubing. My personal favourites are these HMT ones, even standard length will do 3" and they do long versions as well.

    https://holemaker-technology.com/col...ct-holecutters

    I have a set of these, pricey but worth every penny, you can drill 22mm holes into beams with a battery drill without really trying, they're so versatile and work just as well on the drill press. Kind of a hybrid between an annular cutter and a sheet metal holesaw.

    I can't remember the last time I actually used a twist drill bigger than 14mm... I use annular cutters with a weldon adapter, HMT TCT holesaws or Starrett holesaws.
    Last edited by Munkul; 04-28-2020 at 06:52 AM.

  22. #40
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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!!!
    A punch press. A CNC plasma table. A better drill press. Gang drill (giggle). Is it possible to source the material already drilled?

  23. #41
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I am with Dave on the mill. When I built my gate I had to make many holes in 2 x 2 square tube. It was 20 feet long time two lengths of tube. I made a jig to get to the next hole as I ran out of table travel. I started with a annular cutter but it was an ebay one and not hougen. It exploded. I have a vid of the jig and operation on my YT channel. See sig for my channel.
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  24. #42
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Thanks TJS
    I will check it out

  25. #43
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    when i had to drill lots of holes for prison gates and bar sections i tacked the cross pieces together after cutting them to length. after i had them all stacked and tacked i layed out the bar spacing on the top 2x1/4" flat of each stack and center punched it and then gang drilled them in several steps with 13/16" being final hole diameter for a 7/8" bar iirc. after final drilling i spray painted one end of every stack before separating so assembling into the gate frame went easier.
    Last edited by docwelder; 04-28-2020 at 04:39 PM.
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  26. #44
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by davec View Post
    What didja get and where from? I keep kicking around getting something better to replace the used POS RongFu Mill/drill I have now...
    I bought an Index 875 from DynaSteve.
    Worth every penny

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    Last edited by MinnesotaDave; 04-29-2020 at 09:12 PM.
    Dave J.

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  27. #45
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by Lis2323 View Post
    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.




    This solution is brilliant
    Dave J.

    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. ~George Bernard Shaw~

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  29. #46
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    From a fellow meathead gym rat, the rotobroachs will by far be your cheapest solution.

    Every solution has already been stated.

    Back when I used to drill all my tubing myself a few years ago, I used my mag drill with annular cutters. Had I known about rotobroaches in a drill press things would probably have been different.

    You can buy 5/8" bits for them in 3 packs for about $30.

    Another thing to consider, as MJD stated you never get a clean large diameter hole in thin material. It wallows out and doesn't have time to stabilize the bit before it blows through the backside. Which leaves a nasty burr that you cant really remove from deep inside the tubing, lowering the end quality of your product. (noga does make some cool deburring tools for it but I can speak to how they work)

    When you use an annular cutter or rotobroach it leaves a clean perfectly round hole with no hanging burr.
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  30. #47
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I will have to look into rotobroaches for the drill press.
    The size of a mill is out of the question for now

  31. #48
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I have spent many hours at a drill press drilling holes of various sizes. My first point is that if you are dealing with binding up, I am thinking you mean the drill bit or hole saw is biting. In the case of a twist drill, when you know you are about to break through, give it less feed. Second, from you description of the work you are doing, it sounds like you are dealing with big long sections of square tubing, which if you are by yourself must be very cumbersome to move around, especially having to avoid a car. To me, for what you are doing, it sounds like you should keep your drill press, and get a good "mag drill". From what I know also about mag drills is they use what I think are called "annular cutters" that from what I hear don't suffer the ever so bothersome issue that plagues hole saws, where the slug gets stuck inside, and you must attack it with a screw driver to get it out. If I where you, I would invest in a halfway decent mag drill, since I know they can be expensive, sometimes more so than a comparable drill press. I also think the annular cutters last longer and make a cleaner cut than a hole saw.
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  32. #49
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    Quote Originally Posted by MinnesotaDave View Post
    I bought an Index 875 from DynaSteve.
    Worth every penny

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    I have one just like yours except mine is variable speed and I do not have the power knee .

  33. #50
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    Re: Best method to drill hundreds of holes

    I can not find rotobroach or annular cutters in 5/8 that will go through 3".

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