drilling small aluminum holes

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  #1  
Old 12-28-02, 04:10 PM
steve50
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drilling small aluminum holes

I'm am trying to drill 5/64'ths holes in 1/2 aluminum stock. I've used steel, titanium, and cobalt bits, but they all go in a little and then bits just get chewed up. Any ideas out there

Thanks,

Steve
 
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Old 12-28-02, 04:22 PM
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Lubrication?

Try keeping the drill bit/hole oiled.
 
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Old 12-28-02, 04:33 PM
steve50
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Thanks, I have been using oil. Having no problems with 1/4 bits.

Steve
 
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Old 12-28-02, 05:08 PM
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My only other thought was drill speed, either faster or slower, depending on what you've tried already.
 
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Old 12-30-02, 08:23 AM
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2 things or more maybe. I dont drill a lot of alum but using the right oil such as Tap Magic or Rapid Tap helps a lot. Putting enough pressure on the bit is important and a smaller bit needs some speed. A half an inch is thick for small holes and the bit may need to be pulled out half way through and cleaned. If you need that size use it but if you are just using for a pilot you might go to a bigger bit size.
 
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Old 12-30-02, 04:30 PM
scrapiron
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Aluminum galls very easy and on a small bit it tends to clog the flutes. This causes the cutting edges to gall and ruins the bit. With this size bit try a slow speed, a lubricant designed for cutting aluminum, and pulling the bit out often to help eject the cut material.
Years ago I was trying to drill out some bolt heads for safety wiring and I kept breaking the small bits I was using. An old machinist showed me that by disconnecting the belt on the drill press and turning the pulley by hand I could drill right through the heads. A lower RPM means less heat and heat is the primary enemy of any metal cutting tool.
 
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Old 12-31-02, 04:58 PM
NutAndBoltKing
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Drill speed, lubrication, and chip or ribbon cleansing are all very important keys, but - if at all possible - first and foremost you must choose the right bit.

Bits are made of many different materials, and there are numerous laminates and coatings or tips available, but there are also many different kinds of bits; high speed, slow speed, jobber, core, tapered, two flute, three flute, right hand, left hand, uni-bit, and so on. Many kinds are available. Choosing the right bit should be your first step.

Slow speed drilling into soft metals is best acheived with the use of slow speed spiral drill bits. The shape, pitch or angle, and number of flutes machined into a slow speed spiral drill bit is noticably different than the typical high speed fast spiral drill bit; so when it is run at speeds appropriate for the material being bored it will allow for smooth and efficent flow of chips and waste ribbons, and it will also allow for a smoother finer finish in the completed hole.

The next best choice would be a jobber bit, sometimes called a high speed half-round. It's unique shape permits greater clearance for chips when drilling deep holes and nearly eliminates deep hole bit runoff. I prefer using jobber bits in soft metals and think they're worth the added cost.

If possible; if you have a selection to choose from, first choose the right bit.
 
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Old 01-05-03, 02:35 PM
tennessee
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kerosene is an old standby lub. for alum. drilling also wd-40 works good
 
  #9  
Old 01-07-03, 07:59 PM
NutAndBoltKing
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kerosene works fine, so does lard oil - and there's "MOLYGLIDE"

to check out molyglide go to:

http://www.guhring.com/stories/moly.htm
 
  #10  
Old 01-19-03, 08:28 PM
Skaggydog
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I've used dishwashing detergent as a lubercent/coolent on alum. and it kept my hands cleen as well.
 
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