Hollowing and boring brass and plastic

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  #1  
Old 11-22-12, 10:29 AM
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Hollowing and boring brass and plastic

Hey guys, what is the best way to hollow out brass or plastic about 1/2 inch in diameter and about 1 inch deep? These are about 2 inch cylinder bar type pipes lenghtwise, and 1 inch diameter. There is already a hole to begin with, and I've been using a dremel to hollow out the hole to 1/2, and going in lengthwise 1 inch deep. But I'm wondering is there a more efficient tool like a drill press? I'm imagining a drill press can just stamp down on these pipes for me easily? Am I on the right track in thinking like this? Remember, it's for both brass and plastic cylinder bars.

Working on an invention.. Hard to explain, but hopefully I've described enough for you to help. Thank you for your time!
 
  #2  
Old 11-22-12, 11:06 AM
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Sure...a hobby type drill press would be the way I'd go. Need to make sure everything is perfectly lined up..if that's important.
 
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Old 11-22-12, 11:16 AM
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Thanks Vic! It'll be more efficient and powerful than the dremel? I don't quite understand what drill presses are for, I have an idea, but don't really know. I always thought it's more for balance when you want to drill from the top down. But you think it's what I need? It's more powerful?
 
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Old 11-22-12, 11:26 AM
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A drill press would be the way to go. Getting the small pieces lined up will be tough as Vic mentioned.
I picked one up this summer for a project for my wife's online store. I was hollowing out 1/2" threaded rod which was cut to 1.25" lengths.
The biggest issue I had was getting the pieces lined up and consistant.
For your case, a properly fitted press vise would probably do the job. I struggled to find a press vice that worked correctly with my drill press and ended up fabricating my own holder which held the threaded pieces.

With the centers already pre-drilled by the sounds of it, my other problem of the bit flexing or sliding off center shouldn't be an issue for you. In my case, I had to start very, very slowly in order for the drill bit not to slide off center a hair.

You're working with softer matterials, so you shouldn't have too much trouble with burning bits. Just pick up a good quality bit and take your time while swapping pieces (allowing the bit time to air cool).
 
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Old 11-22-12, 12:10 PM
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A drill press will do the job but as Mike said, you will need a vise to hold the work. In your case, the vise should have angled jaw blocks like a pipe vise to hold the round stock. Drilling a 1/2" hole in brass, the bit WILL grab into the work and spin it. Don't try to hold it with your hands. A drill bit will not give you a flat bottomed hole, it will be conical. If you need a flat bottom, you would have to finish it off with a 1/2" end mill. So you are going to be spending a few hundred on this equipment. If it's a one time experiment or prototype, you might be better off bringing it to a machine shop. It would be a quick job for them and they will do it far more precisely than you will with a home shop drill press. That said, if you're anything like me, you will want to go out and get all the tools you need and do it yourself. Good luck.
 
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Old 11-22-12, 12:46 PM
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yep......all good points......especially about trying to hold onto the piece.

You'll never be able to grip it by hand if you're going to drill it out.

As mentioned.....a machine shop would be able to do it on a lathe in about 5 minutes.

But.....if you have your heart set on doing it yourself.....you may consider trying this.

Take a block of wood 4" x 4" x 2" and drill a 1" hole through the center of the 4" x 4" face.

Then, with a saw.....cut the block in half.....splitting the hole diameter like this..... (l)

You should end up with 2 half pieces with a semi-circle trough running down the middle.

Put them back together with the piece of pipe in the hole and clamp the block tight.

You can use a C-clamp to do this....it will also act as a handle to hold onto it.

You're working with a thin wall.....if you try and grip it another way you may crush it.

Now drill it out.....if possible use a smaller bit first.....then work your way up to 1/2"

Depending on the accuracy you desire.....even a hand drill could be used.

But.....using a drill press would ensure a straight hole if your block clamp stays flat.



.
 
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Old 11-22-12, 01:13 PM
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Awesome! Thank you for all the advice. You guys even anticipated my concerns that I hadn't asked about yet like how to grip the object!

My eyes are set on this one, with the $15 off promotion, I think it's a pretty good starter press, no?
Amazon.com: SKIL 3320-02 120-Volt 10-Inch Drill Press: Home Improvement
 
  #8  
Old 11-22-12, 01:18 PM
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[TABLE="class: specification"]
[TR="class: odd"]
[TD="class: heading"]Here are the specs...


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[TD][/TD]
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[TD="class: heading"]Amperage:
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[TD]3.2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: heading"]Chuck Size:[/TD]
[TD]1/2-in[/TD]
[/TR]
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[TD="class: heading"]RPM:[/TD]
[TD]570 - 3,050[/TD]
[/TR]
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[TD="class: heading"]Voltage:[/TD]
[TD]120V[/TD]
[/TR]
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[TD="class: heading"]Table Movement:[/TD]
[TD]Rack and Pinion[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: heading"]Table Tilt Range:[/TD]
[TD]45 Degrees[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="class: odd"]
[TD="class: heading"]Chuck Type:[/TD]
[TD]Keyed[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: heading"]Chuck Key Storage:[/TD]
[TD]Yes[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR="class: odd"]
[TD="class: heading"]Laser Guide:[/TD]
[TD]Yes[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: heading"]Weight:[/TD]
[TD]57 lbs.[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


Features:
  • X2 2-beam laser for precise hole alignment
  • Depth adjustment system for easy depth control
  • Variable speed gearing with 5 speeds for different material types
  • 1/2-in keyed chuck to accept large diameter bits designed for woodworking and cutting
  • Adjustable depth stop for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
  • 0 - 45 degree tilting work surface for precise and accurate drilling
  • 0 - 45 degree tilting square work surface for precise and accurate drilling
  • Bump-off switch for added safety

Includes:
  • 10-in Drill Press with Laser - 3320-02
  • Cast Iron Base and Work Table
  • (2) AA Batteries
  • Chuck Key
[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
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  #9  
Old 11-22-12, 01:23 PM
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Lastly, in terms of specs, what do I look for? I understand the chuck size capability will determine how large of a bit I can use. For half inch to one inch diameters, what chuck size would I be looking for?
 
  #10  
Old 11-22-12, 01:33 PM
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That press should be fine. It's very similar to my Ryobi press.
As Halton mentioned, keep things slow, particularly lowering the bit. Don't lean on the crank arms. Just light pressure until you get things going.
 
  #11  
Old 11-22-12, 01:37 PM
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That will be just fine for your needs.....1/2" chuck is plenty.

You will still be able to drill larger holes using spade bits, prentice bits, or hole saws.

For your project......you will probably need to run it at the slowest speed.

Too fast and the drill bit will likely chatter and produce a rough finish.

Feed it slow and steady......this will lessen the chance of it grabbing or getting jammed.



.
 
  #12  
Old 11-22-12, 07:33 PM
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I think you should use an end mill to make those holes larger. A twist drill bit is going to grab and pull itself into the piece.
 
  #13  
Old 11-23-12, 12:12 AM
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Thank you all! So I think from all the advice, my initial purchases will be:

1. The drill press itself

2. Drooplug's End Mill advice.. I did some more reading and it seems these are the most appropriate bits for my project. Since my objects already have holes in them, and I would need some boring/hollowing action, and I read that end mills will do that since they also laterally cut. Is that understanding correct?

3. I'm also thinking of taking Halton's block of wood advice on how to hold the round objects. Drill a hole into a small block of wood, try and perfectly fit it to the same size as my round object, then cut wood in half, now I can place the round object between the two semi circle blocks.. I want to then take it a step further and clamp the whole block using a vise grip. Does that sound like a good idea? Or, can I skip the block and just buy one of those vise grips that has a v groove jaw to hold round objects. I saw this one on Amazon with this v groove jaw description: Wilton 11743 3-Inch Low Profile Drill Press Vise - Amazon.com
 
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Old 11-23-12, 04:38 AM
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With that drill press you will likely have a tough time using an end mill.

The RPM will be too fast.....and the drill press is not solid enough....it will wander.

The tapered tip on the drill will help guide it.....there is already a hole through the pipe.

You could use that vise but like I said you might have some difficulty.

It has to be tight enough so it won't spin but loose enough not to deform the pipe.

If you squash it a little and drill it out....the hole won't be round when you release it.

You can use the wooden block idea and grip it in the vise.....just make the block to fit.



.
 
  #15  
Old 11-25-12, 07:28 AM
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Also, can you guys advise me on bits? I think the drill press will come with no bits. Am I looking for something like this?

Amazon.com: MLCS 9146 Forstner 16-Piece Bit Set in Wooden Box: Home Improvement
 
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Old 11-25-12, 07:52 AM
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Forstner bits

They are for use on soft and hard wood. Don't use them on metal.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 08:35 AM
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You need HSS (High Speed Steel) drill bits. They are available at any hardware store.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 09:20 AM
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How do I bore up to 1/2 inch in diameter? I need 1/2 diameter bits, no? I did some searching and it seems 1/4 inch is the biggest for HSS bits. I see bigger sizes for spade bits, would they be more appropriate?
 
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Old 11-25-12, 09:27 AM
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The RPM will be too fast.....and the drill press is not solid enough....it will wander.
The drill press is variable down to 570 RPM. What would an appropriate RPM be? I know that end mills are used quite extensively in CNC routers. I don't think those are being run that slow.

Never-the-less, I don't think a twist drill is the way to go. Perhaps there is something else out there that is more appropriate for this.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 09:44 AM
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I think these options are the most appropriate. A HSS twist drill bit is likely to grab the material and pull itself into the work when enlarging a hole. They do come in many sizes. If you buy a set from the local hardware store, you will find the maximum size is 1/2".

McMaster-Carr

McMaster-Carr

McMaster-Carr
 
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Old 11-25-12, 09:50 AM
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Aronson Stack
How do I bore up to 1/2 inch in diameter? I need 1/2 diameter bits, no? I did some searching and it seems 1/4 inch is the biggest for HSS bits. I see bigger sizes for spade bits, would they be more appropriate?


1/2" HSS twist drills are readily available anywhere, you can buy them singly or as part of a set. Spade bits are for wood.




 
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Old 11-25-12, 09:58 AM
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Regarding the McMaster suggestions... I think the hole enlarging one is ideal, the name of the bit is exactly what I need to do. LOL! The variable diameter and the multidiameter step wouldn't be for me I think. If I understand those correctly, they are to make holes of certain diameters, but not for depth. I need to dig in these bars at about 1 inch in depth. So they need to be 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch deep. Those variable ones can't dig in like that, right? Because as you dig in, the hole will get larger surpassing the 1/2 inch mark. Is my understanding correct?
 
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Old 11-25-12, 10:22 AM
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How big is the existing hole in the piece? The hole enlarging bit you are looking at requires min. 5/16", other than that it looks perfect for you. Do you need a perfectly flat bottomed hole? If so you will still have to finish it off with an end mill.
 
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Old 11-25-12, 10:38 AM
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The existing hole has to be 5/16? I think the existing hole is 1/4.

Regarding flat bottomed hole, I have seen this mentioned several times, but I can't picture or conceptualize what it means. Well, my object is actually 2 inch long, I just need to go 1 inch deep. The remaining inch actually already has a diameter of about 3/4. My goal, end result is a 2 inch bar that is 1/2 inch in diameter 1 inch deep, and the remaining inch is 3/4 in diameter.

So does your flat bottom question still apply knowing that?
 
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Old 11-25-12, 11:19 AM
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A flat bottom refers to a hole that is not drilled all the way through. If you use a tapered drill bit, or a twist drill, the bottom of the hole will not be perfectly flat. It will retain the shape of the drill bit. Sounds like this doesn't matter because you are drilling all the way through.

The hole enlarging bit you are interested in require the starting hole to be at least 5/16" in diameter.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 07:17 AM
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Okay guys, one more question and I'll shut up and go get my feet wet!

Something I'm curious about... For example, lets say a bit is made to go 1.75 inch deep. I only need to go 1 inch deep. Is there a setting in the drill press that will make it automatically not drill pass a certain depth? Or, will I have to manually stop drilling based on my eyeball estimation?
 
  #27  
Old 11-26-12, 08:06 AM
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On most presses, there will be a ruler or guide on the side which will indicate how deep the bit is. You will need to set this before starting.
Alternatively, you can mark the bit with red (or other bright color) paint at the 1" so when the paint hits the piece, stop. I've done this a few times when I was not using my press. Will be marking my bit and using the ruler/guide when I get back to my project similar to yours.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 08:07 AM
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My press has a settable stop for depth, or you could also lower the table to limit depth. Do a test on a block of wood first.
 
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Old 11-29-12, 09:47 PM
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Would a step drill bit like this work? 1/2 STEP DRILL BIT.

I don't know technically what a step drill bit is, but logically, it looks like it could work based on it's shape. It's pointed at the tip which will insert nicely into the already existing hole. It's 1/2 wide which is what I need. Can someone tell me why this wouldn't work?
 
  #30  
Old 11-30-12, 05:28 AM
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Step drills are designed for thin sheet metal. I never tried using one to drill a deep hole, I don't know if it would work or not but I wouldn't use it. Use a straight twist drill.
 
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Old 11-30-12, 06:00 AM
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Hi toolman, what about for plastic? I'll be working with a mixture of brass and plastic bars.
 
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Old 11-30-12, 07:42 AM
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Use the step drill

Probably the best thing for a smooth concentric hole short of a boring bar. Just make sure the last step will clear the 1 inch depth when chucked in the press. HSS is fine for hard plastic.
 
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Old 11-30-12, 03:51 PM
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Well, I'm gonna dive in. Trial and error is how you learn, right? Let me show you guys what I just ordered:

Skil drill press
Palmgren 3 inch vise
Dewalt drill bit set
Neiko step drill bits

Amazon has a nice return policy so no big whoop if any of these don't work out.
 
  #34  
Old 11-30-12, 04:09 PM
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BTW the SKil drill press has been dropping in price on Amazon. It's down to $102 and still has the $15 promotion discount, so it came out to $87. Should I be worried? LOL
 
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Old 11-30-12, 04:17 PM
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That drill press looks like a nice little machine. I'm jealous of the laser spotting feature, that could be very handy if it's accurate. One of the things I use my press for as much as drilling is to chuck a wire wheel or cup brush in it to clean rust or paint or to soften metal edges after cutting or grinding. You will probably use it more than you think. Just one warning, never hold any small pieces with your hands when drilling. The bit can grab and spin the work and hurt you bad.
 
  #36  
Old 12-06-12, 08:26 PM
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Hey Guys, so I assembled my Drill Press, but I have one issue... I had always planned to use it on the concrete floor. But in the instructions, it says it should be secured to a work bench or secured to the floor. I don't want to drill heavy duty screws into the concrete floor.

So I want to know, how important is this? Do I really need to fasten it, and if yes, do you guys have an ideas on how I can secure it to the floor without drilling? I have a work table, but I think it would be pointless cause the table is very light, so if the drill moves, the whole table will move. All my benches, aren't benches, they are like storage type shelves and not level due to years of stacking things on them. These are the type of benches I have: 48 in. W x 72 in. H x 24 in. D Steel Commercial Shelving Unit-UR-245WGB at The Home Depot

I split these storage shelves in half and use them as work stations, but I know they aren't strong enough or leveled for the press. That's why I need to use it on the floor.
 
  #37  
Old 12-07-12, 06:05 AM
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Bolting it down isn't necessary for most small jobs that this drill press is capable of handling.

It's heavy enough.....but if need be the base can be temporarily clamped to a work bench.

But......working on the floor will be difficult and uncomfortable at best.

Bit changes, depth settings, and precise work-piece positioning is tough to do on your knees.

You may want to consider a stand for your new toy.....similar to this......


DELTA 50-330 31-1/2-Inch Tall Universal Stand with 19-1/2-Inch by 10-Inch Table Top - Amazon.com




.
 
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Old 12-07-12, 06:34 AM
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I have a work table, but I think it would be pointless cause the table is very light, so if the drill moves, the whole table will move.
And what do you think will happen when the drill moves unsecured on the floor? Don't use it on the floor, it's top heavy, you will rush the job and take shortcuts just so you can get up off the floor. It's no way to work. Get a couple of 2X4s and some plywood or planks for the top. It's time to build yourself a decent work surface.
 
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Old 12-07-12, 06:49 AM
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I agree!! My back is too old to be bending down to work off of the floor. I'd take this as the perfect excuse to build a better work bench
 
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Old 12-07-12, 09:42 AM
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I do everything on the floor, I just hate standing for long periods. I'm smaller stature though, so it doesn't bother me as much as I would imagine it would bother bigger/taller people. Well, I'll test it out, if it doesn't move for my type of work, then great. If it moves, I have no choice, right? I'll make a workbench. It's just I have zero space. This would require another cleaning out project.
 
 

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