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Drilling Tubes


#1

I’m almost embarrassed to ask this, but…

Does someone have a good, simple trick for drilling holes in tubing?
I mean, without marring the tubing or slipping off the desired spot,
and fast enough to do a lot of them…

Thanks!
Noel


#2

I would think a drill press holding a tube in a jig would work.
Probably good idea to nick w/ a little punch to keep clean, and
SLOWLY.

Kay Taylor


#3

Drill press and V block


#4

For drilling tubes–through the side-- I always make a guide mark,
kernel or “center punch” with a small round bur 1 mm or less. This is
a trick that I always show when I teach. I have a really neat detail
slide of it…

Andy


#5

File a flat wherever you want to drill. This should give you a good
surface on which to drill. Pre-punching or marking each hole location
with a dimple (how about a very small ball burr) will give the drill
a spot to seat itself in as it cuts. You could also change the drill
tip geometry but I don’t think you want to be messing around with
jewelry size drills. ;-} Best,

Paul Finelt


#6

G’day; Yes!! Use the smallest ball burr in a flexishaft and use it on
it’s side it at high speed to cut a tiny pit exactly where you will
want to drill. This is instead of the usual but damaging centre
punch mark. Takes only a few seconds. I made a 4cm square piece of
wood with a small groove in a surface to hold the tube steady. Use a
woodworking countersink in a drill press and clamp a piece of wood
to the plate of the machine to run your block against when cutting
the groove. Obvious, only you didn’t think of it!!

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; of Mapua, Nelson NZ


#7

I was taught to put a wooden dowling inside the tube to keep it from
denting when drilling a hole. I gently tap a tiny little indentation
with my punch where the drill bit will go in order to keep the drill
bit from skittering around. Usually I just hold the tube tightly with
my left hand so that it does not move and drill very slowly. There
may be better ways of doing this, but that is what I was taught.

Alma


#8

If this is for any type of production, have a machinist make a steel
block measuring about 3"x3" with a height of about 1". Then have the
machinist drill into the side of the block, a hole the size of the
tube, and as deep as about twice the length of where you wish to
place the hole.

Then, measuring the length of tube, and where the hole should be,
have the machinist drill a very small drill bit guide hole through
the top of the block in the correct place, (perpendicularly),
through the tube sized hole. Voila! You stick the tube in the tube
hole, hold it with your hand or a clamp, and drill through the hole
in the top of the block, through the tube. Perfectly placed hole in
the exact same spot every time. Great for placing rivets in tube
shaped necklace fasteners.

I use a set up like this for drilling holes to put rivets through
tubes to hold materials I want to stick into the tubes in place.
Sounds complex in writing, but its not. If you need a diagram,
e-mail me off list. If its not for production, then others no doubt
have better suggestions than I.

Lisa, (Drove to Long Beach to see a new exhibit of 19th century
portraits of African Americans. It was really great!) Topanga, CA
USA


#9

The safest way for batch drilling of small tubes is to make up a
jig, drill a hole the diameter of the tube, then a hole down through
the steel block all that you then do is insert the tube the correct
distance into the jig and drill with accuracy as many as you require.

Sam Trump


#10

Hello,

Punch with rubber cording (or dowel) inside tube, sit in tube
cutting devise to drill, and drilled with a drill press. I use this
process for end caps on rubber cording and glue the cord in place
first.

Reba


#11

On trick that I’ve used in the past (in another context), is to
carefully mark and drill a wood block through with a bit the same
outside diameter as the tube, then drill a pilot hole the size of the
bit you plan to use through at 90 degrees to the tubing hole. I do
this with a drill press, of course. Once the jig is made, you simply
slide your tubing in and drill through the pilot hole. This keeps the
bit from “walking” and if you set up a “stop” in some way (such as
drilling the tube hole a specific depth, or clamping a stop block a
specific distance away on the back side), you can rapidly drill
multiple identical pieces with the hole in the same relative
location, whether with a drill press, or a hand drill (I recommend
the drill press).

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL
@Ron_Charlotte1 OR afn03234@afn.org


#12

Hi, John

I made a 4cm square piece of wood with a small groove in a surface
to hold the tube steady. Use a woodworking countersink in a drill
press and clamp a piece of wood to the plate of the machine to run
your block against when cutting the groove. Obvious, only you
didn't think of it!! 

I’m afraid I don’t follow this part of your description. I’m sure it
will turn out to be a forehead-slapper, but I don’t get it yet.
Thanks!

Noel


#13

Noel,

I use a pointed burr bit to start an indentation in all the spots I
want to drill holes. The indentation will keep your drill bit from
slipping all over the place. It may not be fast but it works.