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Old 12-13-2017, 12:39 PM
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Default How to drill holes in mild steel: 1/2" up to 1 1/4" or so?

My standard twist drill bits go up to 3/8" I could buy a 7/16" if I needed it. What about drilling larger holes? How is that accomplished ?(presently I do not have a plasma cutter or a drill press)
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:41 PM
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Google "step drill"
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Old 12-13-2017, 01:15 PM
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Hole Saw works too, depends on what thickness you are drilling thru.
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan View Post
Hole Saw works too, depends on what thickness you are drilling thru.
Like a diamond-dust bit?
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Old 12-13-2017, 02:41 PM
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This is the answer:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y25PFMZ...a-308479138730
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Old 12-13-2017, 03:15 PM
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But more importantly... What is the thickness of metal you are drilling into?
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:24 PM
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Probably 3/16 or so....i can see that the step bit is going to be less functional as the material gets thicker
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:36 PM
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Are you using a drill press or hand drill? Drill press will allow better speed control because most use a step pulley jackshaft vs using high/low on a drill. A bi-metal hole saw from Lenox or Milwaukee should be fine.

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---------- Post added at 06:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:34 PM ----------

If you buy a new hole saw, make sure it has an Arbor with it (it screws into the top of the hole saw and has a pilot drill bit in it). Doesn't add much to the cost of the bit and you can use it for similar sized hole saws in the future.

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Old 12-13-2017, 05:57 PM
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These are nice.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-To...1872/203499109
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Old 12-13-2017, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitetrashrocker View Post
Oofda! That's a bit expensive, those better last longer than standard hole saws at that price.

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Old 12-13-2017, 06:17 PM
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I now have a nice set of hole saws & a drill press so, it's east but, I didn't have those back when I built AusEx; you may find this helpful
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kartorbust View Post
Oofda! That's a bit expensive, those better last longer than standard hole saws at that price.

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Carbide. Treat them well and they will last.
You know how some people can break an anvil.
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Old 12-13-2017, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitetrashrocker View Post
Carbide. Treat them well and they will last.
You know how some people can break an anvil.
Well yeah as anything else. Though some anvil are built like absolute crap. HFT ones may have body filler in them instead of being solid metal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=206s&v=quL14Csmi_Y

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Old 12-13-2017, 07:35 PM
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Lol. Glad I have an ancient one from my great grandpa. It's solid.
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Old 12-13-2017, 08:03 PM
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The step drill bit will be way better that the bi metal hole saw.
Go with a step bit
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevbo22 View Post
The step drill bit will be way better that the bi metal hole saw.
Go with a step bit
Don't know of any step drill bits that go up to 1 1/4"????

But, I have used them on 12 ga. sheet metal, and before you break through, you're liable to be hitting that next step.

What do you do when you are hitting the next step on both sides of that 3/16" steel??? C'mon, man!

Next, drill press...well, great IF ... you're not trying to center a hole in a 22' piece of steel. ( Not likely, but , with such minimal imput, assume nothing, right?)

Whether it's 14 gauge or 3/16" , a Millwalkee metal hole saw will do it. ( Pretty cheap at HD.) The key is to go slow, use lubrication, and clean up the chips as you go.

OOPS!! Just saw Easy posted a unibit that goes up to 1 3/8". ( Still don't see how that works on 3/8"steel?)
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:23 AM
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Well I've gotten to the point where if I drill more than a couple holes of a size that I have to use the step bit, I just go to the hardware store and buy the individual bit. I've done that with 5/8" 11/16", 3/4" 10mm
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:31 AM
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I don't have a lathe, have purchased a step drill bit with a max diameter 1" to bore out a bushing to accept a 1" shaft. It was hairy, but it worked.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezcome-ezgo View Post
I don't have a lathe, have purchased a step drill bit with a max diameter 1" to bore out a bushing to accept a 1" shaft. It was hairy, but it worked.
The key word here being max . And this is apples and oranges in a couple of ways. To try and enlarge an existing hole, a hole saw is a difficult tool to use. While a "step drill " (I'm not sure about that terminology) or unibit, is designed to go from one size hole to the next. The only limiting factor (If the bit's max size is the same as the desired hole size) is shaft length and chuck interference. Otherwise, it's probably the best tool for the job.

Throw in one with an 1 3/8" max, and it becomes impossible.

It is possible with a bi-metal hole saw, but extremely difficult, as you have you make a guide block to guide the saw, and clamp both pieces together. In solid material from the start, the hole saw wins.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzFab View Post
I now have a nice set of hole saws & a drill press so, it's east but, I didn't have those back when I built AusEx; you may find this helpful
That's a nice looking frame. I'm going to check that out later.

---------- Post added at 11:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:32 AM ----------

I have a bunch of Lenox and Milwaukee bi-metal holes saws for wood. But I know from experience that even hitting a (soft) nail will do damage to them. Those are not meant for cutting mild steel. they're pretty expensive too...and it's getting harder and harder to find the old-timers with a shop who actually can sharpen these things (and Forstner bits and a bunch of other stuff).
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