[Blabber] Holes drilled in aluminum sheets

Chris Stratton cs07024 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 31 19:59:52 UTC 2017

A drill press may not actually help with positioning much, unless you
get a drill press that is more a heavy milling machine, build a good
fixture, and use a short, stiff "spotting" drill that goes in exactly
where it is positioned, rather than wandering around a bit until if
finds a spot where it feels like making a hole.

An issue there would be that the distance from the edge of the sheet
to the hole determines how large a machine you need; HM's milling
machine is fairly small.

A possibility worth considering is centerpunching where you want the
hole, and then using a hand drill.  This may actually more more
accurate than an everyday drillpress, at least without a special bit.

Stacking the sheets may help some, but then perpendicularity of the
drill bit matters more than it does for one at a time.

You'll want to drill into a backing material, and probably a new area
of it for each hole.

Assume that a twist drill is going to grab in thin aluminum; if things
are not secured you could end up with the sheet metal spinning around
cutting body parts.

You may be just barely into the size range where a bit that does not
have twisted flutes is practical.  The step versions are commonly sold
for chassis drilling, would assume you can get a single-size one
without steps as well.

On Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 2:51 PM, Brent B. Powers
<brent.b.powers at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is the drill press in the shop gone?
> On Jan 31, 2017 2:42 PM, "Warren Eakins" <warren.eakins at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I need some help. I am going to have my first photography show in March
>> and in preparation I need to have two 5/16” holes drilled in 25 sheets of
>> aluminum 1/32” thick, measuring 13” x 19”. The positioning of the holes has
>> to be exact so a drill press is required. I need to find a place I could
>> take the aluminum to in New York.
>> I would greatly appreciate any information. Thanks.
>> Warren Eakins
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