drilling steel

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Jena, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I bought one of those big canopy things to use for a turkey shelter. It is assembled by sliding the pieces together, but since I am going to haul it around, I am screwing all the joints together.

    I don't know what gauge steel it is, but it's not that heavy. 2" diameter pipes. I'm just putting a hole and a sheet metal screw in to keep it all together.

    My general purpose Dewalt wood/metal drill bit lasts about 10 holes, then just doesn't do the job anymore. What kind of bit should I get? Can I sharpen mine or are they just ruined now?

    Seems a waste to get 10 holes from a bit!

  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    High speed steel bits are used for metal drilling, I know of no drill that is for wood and metal at the same time. Drill bits can be sharpened easily with a mechanical grinder available from $49.00 and up, usually up. They can also be hand sharpened, ask an old retired craftsman to show you how. Its too hard to explain here with less than 2000 words.

    A tip, when starting to drill, 'ding' a space in the metal where you want the hole with a pointed punch. Add a drop of light oil to the ding, then start drilling.

  3. Tractorman

    Tractorman Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Self Drilling (self tapping) sheet metal screws with a 5/16 chuck would be a lot faster and probably cheaper also.
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    I was thinking self tapping screws too! Your probably just using a poor quality bit, we just bolted 45 2x6's to 2 25 foot steel WF beams (think 2, 6 inch 1/4" wall C channel beams with a gap between the two) for a hay wagon deck drilling all the holes with one drill bit, and it wasn't the most expensive one either. It was HSS as Moopups mentioned.
  5. joan from zone six

    joan from zone six Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    a good quality caulk/adhesive does a fine job holding things together - quick, cheap and reversible
  6. There are a few things to remember when drilling steel. First keep the rpm's low and the pressure high (low speed while pushing hard on the drill will yeild much better results than trying to cut at high speeds), second keep the temperature low (overheating due to friction causes your bit to loose it's hardness and no longer cut), and third is to use a lubircant such as a cutting oil, or even a general purpose household oil.

    Using these few simple tips will make all the difference with your metal drilling projects.