Metal fabricators - need some advice

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I'm working on my fathers' log splitter (replacing the arms that hold the logs on the sides) by replacing the chinese 3/16" metal with some beefy 1/4" plate. I've have the arms cut and grinded down but I need to drill 4 holes in each arm. I'm trying to think of a way to drill a hole through all 4 arms at one to keep everything aligned. I do have a drill press and picked up a new set of drill bits. My current thinking it to stack them all up, tack weld them together then drill the holes. Then grind the weld off and marvel at myself.
 

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Well, w/e you do, keep the rpm low. Hard = slow, soft = fast. While this method can be transposed between the bedroom and a metal shop, in this case, let's focus on just the steel.

Steel = hard. Aluminum = soft (relatively speaking, that is). 30SAE oil and a good bit and a few hundred rpm for the steel. Or, low setting on a pistol drill (Dewalt, etc)


To address your alignment issues, if you have spare material, drill two holes you don't care about, and bolt all the plates together with those two holes. Those two holes can be "approximate locations" whereas the important ones will come into existence after you bolt the plates together.
 

warwickben

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Clamp or tack weld .
Any oil or lube will help. Higher sulfur content is better.
I use frog lube a lot lol .

Also start off with smaller bits and work your way up to the size you want .
 
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if you can get out to Woburn I will give you a sample of Tapfree Excel cutting fluid
 
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Make sure you center punch your hole locations so the drill doesn't walk and measure twice. You may want to drill one plate with a small drill and make sure it's going to work wherever it's being bolted on, then tack or clamp them all together and use the first plate to match drill the other 3. That way, you only screw up one if something's off.
 

Gator9329

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Sounds like you have a plan.

Another option is to make up a jig using some plywood and some blocks. The jig will allow you to repeatedly drill holes In the same place on different work pieces.
 
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I would do something like this. Make a fixture to hold the pieces for repeatability, accuracy.




Sounds like you have a plan.

Another option is to make up a jig using some plywood and some blocks. The jig will allow you to repeatedly drill holes In the same place on different work pieces.
 
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Any suggestion for when the pilot drill bit snaps off while drilling the last hole? I already have the pieces separated, but the tip of the bit is still in the last hole and drilling it out hasn't worked yet.
 

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From someone that has drilled millions of holes over the years.....
When I drill hardened frame rails and mild steel I use water instead of oil. I find the bits stay sharper, and it makes much less of a mess. The water removes the heat very effectively and heat is the enemy.
 
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I flipped the pice over and drilled it out from the back side.


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If you were able to drill out your broken bit you need to throw those bits you bought away. A good quality bit can not be drilled out except with a solid carbide drill bit designed for the job. If your broken drill bit was able to be drilled out that means your bits are made of soft steel and are junk. I have a set like that, I use them to make pins and not to drill holes. A good set of bits say a 29pc 1/16 to 1/2 by 1/16's will cost you minimum 150 bucks for a good set and up from there.

These less than 50 dollar sets will only cause you heartache and can be dangerous.
 
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I'm not saying it was easy. I destroyed 2 more bits getting it out. I find that WD40 works for me as a good lubricant


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warwickben

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If you screwed up the heat treating before it broke u can drill it out . I just use a punch and shatter bits and taps . So much easyier .

Allways step up in drill but sizes and when drilling with the first but peck with it . Don't just hold it the level down . Less Likely to break the bit. And if you break the bigger bits you can just tap the chunk out.
 
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Looks like I am a day late. I have drilled through 4 pieces of 3/8ths plate at once with ease without tack welding them (for aesthetic reasons). The best thing to have is some cutting oil, or something besides wd40.

Keep the bits sharp, and don't use a lot of force when drilling through he plate.
 
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If you screwed up the heat treating before it broke u can drill it out . I just use a punch and shatter bits and taps . So much easyier .

Allways step up in drill but sizes and when drilling with the first but peck with it.
It was the 5/32" bit that broke. Only one smaller that I had was 1/16". Was constantly pulling up to clean the bit.

[cerberus];3712889 said:
Keep the bits sharp, and don't use a lot of force when drilling through he plate.
Force wasn't a problem. Took an average of 2-3 minutes to drill each pilot hole.
 

Gator9329

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I hate the smell of wd40. I'm not sure how effective of a lubricant it is. Using cutting fluid will work more efficiently for you.
I have have lots of cheap hss bits that I keep sharp and always do their job . Sharp, slow, and slippery is the key.
Some times you want the bit to be a little flexible or forgiving as opposed to brittle like cobalt.
 
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I finally finished it up today.

What I was dealing with


Marked and welded




After a couple coats of chassis paint, I had my father bend the cross members flat and bolted everything up



Now if he would just get it out of my glow in the dark pod, I can clean up.
 
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