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How to drill a hole in a wide sheet:

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#1 stargazer193857

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 09:28 PM

For the center bolt of the bottom board.

1. Go through the bottom of the drill press.
https://www.harborfr...DCACEgLvcvD_BwE


2. An $18 press for your hand drill:

https://www.wish.com...share=mobileweb


3. A superior drill press:

https://m.aliexpress...wE&gclsrc=aw.ds


4. Better than most:

https://buymbs.com/p...CyABEgLLMfD_BwE


Finally. After clicking what I like, Google now knows what I'm into and is suggesting many similar non-traditional presses.



I'm not sure I want to drill a hole through the thick steel under my drill press. The $18 press might be accurate enough. The $45 press is not so bad if I can sell my current press for what I paid for it, $45. Probably will.



...

Edit:

Drill coming out the bottom might tip the press. But that's why you hold the press down in place. No such issue with a press plate. Just can't get the board close enough.



What are your suggestions?

Edited by stargazer193857, 24 September 2020 - 09:30 PM.


#2 vtornado

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 09:57 PM

If you are building a dob??? the center hole does not have to be that accurate, centered yes straight there is some forgiveness.

Use a  long drill bit, and your small drill press.

 

Cut a 6x6 inch square of 3/4 inch ply, use your drill press to drill a nice straight hole through that.

Place that onto your ground board where you want to drill the hole.

And use this as your drill guide  That is how I drilled my hole.


Edited by vtornado, 24 September 2020 - 09:59 PM.


#3 MikiSJ

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:16 PM

I have used something like this with great success. Easy to use and keeps things perpendicular.

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

https://www.ebay.com...acf1228b6ccccdd


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#4 doolsduck

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:32 PM

Oh, I finally get what you mean by option 1.  You want to plonk the whole drill press on the work and drill right thru the base?

I agree with MikiSJ's idea if you aren't confident.  But you can also freehand it, particularly if you have a friend eyeball a square held near to the drill bit.  Alternatively you can use a router if you have one.  This is how I do it.  Put any router bit with a pointy tip in the router and locate the router in the correct spot.  Double side tape a V block to the work so it is snug against the router base plate.  Swap out the pointy bit for the correct bit.  With the router positively against the V block, plunge through the work.

cheers


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#5 SteveV

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 10:44 PM

+1 for router.


Edited by SteveV, 24 September 2020 - 10:45 PM.

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#6 TOMDEY

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Posted 24 September 2020 - 11:03 PM

This is one hole you don't want to bung up, one chance to get it right.

 

Tom's infallible zero cost technique: >>>

 

>Spot and center-punch your aim point in the usual way

>Use a premium Bard-Point or Pilot Bit of the proper size

>Using the drill press, use that bit to bore a clean thru-hole in a true/square ~3x3x1.5-inch scrap block

>Transfer the bit to a good variable-speed hand-drill

>run the bit thru the pre-drilled hole and an inch beyond

>center the brad/pilot on the punched divot and push the block down and square

>drill the hole

 

With practiced finesse, this technique is easy and very accurate. If you haven't done it before, practice on some scrap stuff to hone your technique. Of course, use all the other best practices --- backing board on the punch-thru back side, no router chips, saw dust, etc. tween surfaces, proper speed, proper force, all sharp quality cutting bits, blades, etc. etc.

 

I've drilled uncountable thousands of need-perfect holes this way, some precarious up on ladders, etc. I assume that simple custom drilling jig is common practice among carpenters... probably where I picked it up. I came from a generation (USA 1950s) where most dads were factory workers and well-versed in shop practices. We boys would "help" around the neighborhood home repairs and learned a lot that way. That's probably 90%+ gone now. Hopefully, it will come back... Skilled trades took a terrible hit in the USA over the past few decades.    Tom

Attached Thumbnails

  • 33 dewalt brad point drill bit half-inch.jpg

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#7 xrayvizhen

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 07:41 AM

Just one amendment regarding drill bits: I have bought many things from Harbor Freight and although their prices on many items are good and worthwhile, their drill bits are not.  I could use many descriptive terms containing lots of four-letter words to describe their drill bits, most of which came out of my mouth while trying to drill quick, clean holes of various sizes. I don't know if it's the steel that's used or the sharpness of the edges but they're terrible.

 

Again, nothing against Harbor Freight, just spend a couple of extra bucks and shop elsewhere for drill bits.


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#8 TOMDEY

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 08:57 AM

Just one amendment regarding drill bits: I have bought many things from Harbor Freight and although their prices on many items are good and worthwhile, their drill bits are not.  I could use many descriptive terms containing lots of four-letter words to describe their drill bits, most of which came out of my mouth while trying to drill quick, clean holes of various sizes. I don't know if it's the steel that's used or the sharpness of the edges but they're terrible.

Again, nothing against Harbor Freight, just spend a couple of extra bucks and shop elsewhere for drill bits.

Yes indeed... Harbor Freight cutting tools are complete junk. They look functional, until you dare try to use them. Then it's an emergency run to the local hardware store, for something that actually works.

 

On top of that, many once-proud American manufacturers have sold off their brand names to the cheap junk producers. Look for the country of origin on the package and expect to pay more aka a fair price... and well worth it. >>> drill bits, saw blades, hole saws, hand tools --- really anything with cutting edges. If you've never used the good stuff, the difference is amazing! I recall, with regret, when Bausch & Lomb sold off their name and brands (Ray-Bans come to mind). In effect, the knock-off producers bought the name and B&L then became legal junk! Most European companies have retained their quality names and production.


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#9 Beeham

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 10:27 AM

Adding to the list of ideas here:

 

1) drill an oversize hole with a hand-drill, then epoxy in a bronze bushing held in place with a though-bolt and a V-block to ensure perpendicularity while the epoxy sets up; provides the added bonus of providing a nice bearing surface for the bolt to pivot against when assembly is complete.

 

2) Use a V-block, or a pair of 1-2-3 blocks clamped together, as a drill guide with a hand drill; this is actually surprisingly accurate.

 

3) Using a hand drill, drop an old CD over the location where you want the hole, and position your drill bit in the center-hole of the CD.  The reflection of the drill bit in the CD's mirror-like surface makes it easy to see if you're holding it true and perpendicular to the surface.

 

 

I have had success with all three, but for the pivot at the center of a plywood dob platform, I recommend option #1.

 

Cheers!


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#10 SteveV

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 10:52 AM

3) Using a hand drill, drop an old CD over the location where you want the hole, and position your drill bit in the center-hole of the CD.  The reflection of the drill bit in the CD's mirror-like surface makes it easy to see if you're holding it true and perpendicular to the surface.

Like using the reflections in a hand saw.  Going to try this!


Edited by SteveV, 25 September 2020 - 10:53 AM.


#11 stargazer193857

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 11:24 AM

Now I understand the V block.
The CD is good but likely best with 2 people or an extra mirror.

Lots of great ideas. I also need a router for trunnions, so that too is good.

I won't be buying an extra drill press then. Thank you, everyone.

Where is the best place for bushings so it pivots snuggly and smoothly and never wears out?

Edited by stargazer193857, 25 September 2020 - 11:25 AM.


#12 don clement

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 12:47 PM

I use a hand drill and a unibit step drill on wide sheets. https://www.irwin.co...bit-step-drills

 

Don



#13 Beeham

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 04:10 PM

Where is the best place for bushings so it pivots snuggly and smoothly and never wears out?

I buy the bronze sleeve bushings at my local Aco Hardware, but if you can't find them locally (which would surprise me, they're a common hardware-store item) you can always get them at McMaster-Carr.

 

https://www.mcmaster...sleeve-bearings

 

The friction between a bolt and a bushing is in my opinion far preferred to bolt-on-plywood.  For the truly detail oriented you can use a shoulder bolt though the bushing as well.

 

https://www.mcmaster.../shoulder-bolts


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#14 kfiscus

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Posted 25 September 2020 - 07:19 PM

Use a V-block or an inside corner cut by a table saw into a block of wood stood on its end.  Either tool can then hold a regular drill bit in a hand drill plumb.


Edited by kfiscus, 25 September 2020 - 07:25 PM.

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#15 MikiSJ

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 01:23 AM

If you also need a router then you will have the best solution at hand. Get a plunge router and a bit the size of the hole you need. The base of the plunge router will keep the hole perpendicular and is a very easy solution.

 

Many larger communities have rental shops that rent routers, so rather than make an investment in a quality tool, see if one if available for rent in your area.


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#16 MitchAlsup

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 01:12 PM

Just one amendment regarding drill bits: I have bought many things from Harbor Freight and although their prices on many items are good and worthwhile, their drill bits are not.  I could use many descriptive terms containing lots of four-letter words to describe their drill bits, most of which came out of my mouth while trying to drill quick, clean holes of various sizes. I don't know if it's the steel that's used or the sharpness of the edges but they're terrible.

I am perfectly happy with the cobalt drill set (118 bits, $100) I bought 2 years ago at HF. I have drilled hundreds/thousands of holes and I have not even had to resharpen the first one, yet.

 

I can imagine the black oxide bits are crap, too.


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#17 Cameron_C

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 04:56 PM

I manage it same way as mentioned above.

I first drill the hole square in a block of scrap.

Then I clamp the block and use it as a guide.

I mention the clamping because you also want to clamp some scrap on the drill exit side of the wood to minimize any tear outs.


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#18 stargazer193857

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Posted 27 September 2020 - 08:23 PM

I manage it same way as mentioned above.
I first drill the hole square in a block of scrap.
Then I clamp the block and use it as a guide.
I mention the clamping because you also want to clamp some scrap on the drill exit side of the wood to minimize any tear outs.


Thanks for mentioning the exit. But as wide as bottom boards are, I'll likely press rather than clamp the stack.

#19 Bob4BVM

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 12:46 PM

I am perfectly happy with the cobalt drill set (118 bits, $100) I bought 2 years ago at HF. I have drilled hundreds/thousands of holes and I have not even had to resharpen the first one, yet.

 

I can imagine the black oxide bits are crap, too.

I second that. The cobalt drill set is an amazing deal, i got mine for ~$75 with coupons. Compare that to buying a few single cobalt bits from your typical tool / hardware store...

 

It is the ONLY HF cutting tool i would recommend, their std fare is indeed junk.  I too have used the set heavily, mostly drilling aluminum , steel, and hardened steel, some wood. The cobalts are a far cry above the typical HSS or TiO2 coated bits. Just a couple of my heavily used sizes are just finally beginning to show some dulling, time to run those thru the Drill Dr, sharpener.

 

Set includes fractional, letter, & number bits. It is a real game changer to have every bit in the 3 standard size groups at your fingertips, and to know they are up to just about the toughest drilling tasks.

 

CS

Bob


Edited by Bob4BVM, 30 September 2020 - 12:49 PM.


#20 Chucke

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 01:30 PM

+1 for Cobalt drills.  Run them at proper speeds with adequate coolant and they last for a very long time.



#21 MitchAlsup

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Posted 30 September 2020 - 06:14 PM

I second that. The cobalt drill set is an amazing deal, i got mine for ~$75 with coupons. Compare that to buying a few single cobalt bits from your typical tool / hardware store...

 

<snip>

 

Set includes fractional, letter, & number bits. It is a real game changer to have every bit in the 3 standard size groups at your fingertips, and to know they are up to just about the toughest drilling tasks.

The uninitiated might wonder why one needs 118 different drilling diameters between 1/16" and 1/2".

Consider creating a bearing race for a 1/4-1/8 ball bearing that is a (thumb) press fit. I simply reach for my D drill (0.246) and drill the hole. In aluminum (6061 and 6063) this creates a thumb press fit) without having to get out the boring equipment.

 

Consider that brass threaded rod is 0.246 in diameter so one can drill a hole and have the brass threaded rod slip cleanly through the hole without slop ! Not so with 4140 threaded rod (which is 0.248).

 

There are lots of uses for just-undersized, and just-oversized holes and drill bits.

 

And at $100 these are a great bargain.


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#22 Mr.Jim

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 11:18 AM

The frustrating thing about Harbor Freight is that despite almost everything they carry comes from China they don't sell metric drill bits.



#23 cuzimthedad

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Posted 17 October 2020 - 11:32 AM

They do, however, sell numbered drill bit sets. 




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