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  1. #31
    Gold Member NCMau's Avatar
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    MF 202/Ford 8N/JD425

    Default Re: Drilling 1/4" and thicker metal with a hand drill

    Quote Originally Posted by BukitCase View Post
    Not Bob, but maybe I can help - on an actual mag drill (mine, anyway) the center pilot pin serves two purposes - one is to be able to center punch where you want your hole and line the drill up so that pin "clicks into" the punch mark - the other is to automatically eject the "slug" when you raise the mag drill's quill back to the top (this defeats the normally spring-loaded pilot, whose THIRD function is to block coolant flow (sorta) til you actually start drilling...

    If I'm understanding your setup correctly, you have the stock MT adapter and chuck in a drill press, then a headless 1/2"-20 bolt in that chuck, then a 1/2-20-to-3/4" weldon adapter (like this)
    Steel Dragon Tools 1/2" Female Thread to Weldon Shank Adapter - - Amazon.com

    then your annular cutter?

    IF so, all those extra items (possibly including your drill press bearings, depending) are introducing too NON-rigid a mount NOT to get wander from the annular cutter - It may not have happened YET, but there's a good chance you may find out why annular cutters don't like a lack of rigidity in a drill - they tend to break under those conditions.

    Of course, the best (not cheapest) way is to use them in the tool they were designed for; but unless/until you want to/can DO that, I have one suggestion that may help, if you aren't already DOING it -

    MINIMIZE the "floppiness" in your setup as much as possible by making sure all your connections between chuck and adapter are as tight and true as you can, and always raise your DP's table up as far as possible (like having the cutter's teeth within maybe 1/4" of the piece to be drilled, with the quill at the TOP of its travel.)

    Also, depending on how old your DP is it might be time to replace the quill bearings - I know my DP is past due for that (bought new in 1983)

    Another option is to get some of the shallower "sheet metal" type annular cutters, they don't do more than about 1/2" deep but can even be used in a HAND drill - I have this kit

    Blair 119 Rotobroach Cutter Kit Hole Saw Kit - Hole Saw Sets - Amazon.com

    They offer several "kits"
    Amazon.com: blair rotobroach: Tools & Home Improvement

    As do Hougen and others.

    I used them when beefing up the deck on my ZTR; plasma cut a bottom plate from 1/4" steel, drilled out the wimpy 1/4" mounting holes to 5/16", clamped the new plate in place, used a 5/16" transfer punch to get a centered punch mark in each hole, then drilled for bigger bolts with the new plate still clamped. No pain, big gain

    Keep in mind though, this type are mostly 1/4 to 1/2" depth of cut - that's a LOT of why they can be used in hand drills; too short for much "side loading"... Steve

    (Now I KNOW my typing's gettin' slow - Pat "snuck in there" while I wuz writin' a BOOK )



    Thanks for directing my annular brain waives. Now I know the purpose of the pilot pin. Since I am not going to use the cutter with a mag drill, I guess I will be using them like I have been, that is drilling a 3/16 hole pilot hole. I have a full set of 1” annulars from 7/16 to 1-1/16”, so for now I will stick with these, but in my situation the Blair Rotobroach would definitely be a good option. I will keep that in mind.

    There is a little wandering using a DP with the Steel Dragon adapter, but it is not too excessive. I guess it would be be better if I get an adapter with the morse taper for the DP, but it is a little inconvenient to change the chuck back and forth. With the hand drill, however, I remove the chuck and screw it in and it does a pretty good job. I have to keep in mind the two important things: lubrication and pressure.

    My vintage Powermatic DP probably has the QUILL BEARING SYNDROME. I bought it from a school auction over 20 years ago, so it has some milage. I will check it out.

    I read some of your very interesting BOOKS. Keep it up do not fall into a writers block. Pulitzer may be just around the corner.
    The Arc was built by a DIY team. The Titanic was built by professionals... you figure!

  2. #32
    Veteran Member
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    Albany OR
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    Case 580B, Long 460, Allis-Chalmers 160

    Default Re: Drilling 1/4" and thicker metal with a hand drill

    Just to "stir the pot" a bit more (gettin' pretty good at it ) Here's ANOTHER option - put the morse/weldon adapter into your DP, the shorter coupling might help wobble a bit (pun un-intended, but OK) - then, when you wanna use a twist drill, get one of these
    G&J Hall Tools 18Y17 Powerbor Weldon Chuck Adaptor, 1/2"-2 UN Thread Fitting, 3/4" Arbor, For All Electromagnetic Drilling Systems: Drill Press Accessories: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
    And one of these
    Metabo 63535 1/16-Inch-1/2-Inch Keyed Drill Chuck - Power Lathe Chucks - Amazon.com -

    I have those, 'cause using twist drills in a mag drill is at LEAST as much a PITA as the other way 'round - my mag drill came with the regular chuck adapter, but you gotta take about half the mag drill apart to swap it. Ain't gonna happen for the occasional NON-annular hole - with those two above, I can change to a twist drill in the same amount of time it takes to swap annular cutters.

    Also, since you're using a DP it would be even easier than it is for me - on a mag drill, the chuck and adapter means you need a thick steel "spacer" to get the mag drill high enough for a twist drill to raise up enough to work. With the DP, you'd just lower the table a bit... Steve

    That reminds me, I still have to fab that "spacer" some day :=)

  3. #33
    Gold Member NCMau's Avatar
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    MF 202/Ford 8N/JD425

    Default Re: Drilling 1/4" and thicker metal with a hand drill

    That would be a DP good option. I will keep that in mind.
    The Arc was built by a DIY team. The Titanic was built by professionals... you figure!

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