The majority of do-it-yourselfers may have to punch a hole in a piece of metal at some point in their lives. The equipment and techniques used to perform this task are as diverse as the various types of metals that exist in the world today.
These drilling tips make the job go more quickly, easily, and safely. Think of this as a drill guide (not to be confused with a drill guide), as a guide for drilling.
Drilling Tips 1: Take Precautions to Preserve Your Eye
Eye protection is essential when drilling metal, as one tiny metal piece can inflict catastrophic damage. Wearing protective goggles that cover both sides of the face is the most effective method of defense.
Drilling Tips 2: Drill Bits are Essential
Drilling holes in a metal can be accomplished with any general-purpose twist bit. Most metal drill bits are designed to work with a wide range of substances, particularly wood and plastics. High-speed steel (HSS) is the lowest priced material for twist bits, and these are adequate for most metal drilling applications. A black oxide drill bit for metals can cost a few extra dollars if you plan on piercing a lot of holes or want to drill through strong, rough metals like steel or cast iron. These bits have a longer life span than other types of drills. Titanium nitride (TiN), a unique coating, claims to resist heat and pressure better than ordinary high-speed steel bits, enabling these pieces last four to 6 times longer.
Drilling Tips 3: Center Punch
When drilling for the first time, drill bits often stray. Using center punches and a hammer, punch a small indentation into the surface where you need the hole to be. While drilling, the head of the drill bit can rest on this surface.
Drilling Tips 5: Lubricated Bits
Use liquid or a multipurpose oil to drill holes in steel at least 1/8 inch thick. Drilling becomes simpler, and the bits last longer if you lubricate the bit, which lowers friction and temperature buildup. Lubrication isn’t normally required for metals that are easier to drill, like aluminum, brass, or cast iron.
Drilling Tips 6: Using Clamps
Attempting to drill through a piece of steel while holding it in one hand is a recipe for disaster. In a split second, the material could be slashed to pieces by the sharp metal edges of a drill bit. When it comes to clamping down the work, three clamps are always recommended.
Drilling Tips 7: Try a Step Bit
Step drilling bits are made for drilling through thin materials like sheet metal. When you want a good size, neat hole in a metal connector, electricity supply panel, or even a pedestal sink, they’re the right solution. With a step drilling bit for metal, you can drill holes approximately 3/8 in. deep and in a range of diameters.
The cost of step bits is higher than that of normal bits.
Drilling Tips 8: Clean Out the Hole
It’s a good option to clean up any burrs or rough edges left behind after making a hole in metal. To smooth down rough edges, you can purchase a fancy deburring tool, but before you do, try this trick: Using a twist bit somewhat larger than the bit you drilled, wrap it across the head of the device with a gentle hand-turning motion. This will remove burrs from the hole’s border and smooth it out.
However, just because it’s conventional doesn’t mean it’s simple to perform drilling tasks. If you want to complete the task quickly and efficiently, there are several considerations to bear in mind. We hope these hints will assist you in getting started and that you will soon be drilling holes with no issues.