Go Back OFN Forums > Fabrication > Fabrication 101

Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.


Fabrication 101 Everyone has to start somewhere and for some, theOFN might be that somewhere.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:38 AM
TheBandit's Avatar
TheBandit TheBandit is offline
Instagram @chevyhotrodder
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ventura County CA
Posts: 4,307
Thumbs up Step Drill For Sheet Metal

I feel like such a stooge for not buying step drill bits until now. OMG they are amazing for holes in sheet metal. Butter smooth, fast, no catching, no shrapnel, and nice clean hole. Wow.

By contrast, when I use twist bits for sheet metal holes, especially if the sheet metal is unsupported, as holes get bigger than about 1/4" the bits will start wandering and then catch/bite hard, resulting in bent metal and a mangled ID. The problem is not solved by drilling in multiple steps, even when going in 1/16" increments.

The step bit remains always piloted on the hole by the previous step, which keeps it engaged nicely. So it doesn't wander and bounce around on the hole before suddenly cutting in like a twist bit does. Instead it cuts smoothly and quickly, producing a nice clean, round hole without bending the surrounding panel.

Money well spent.
__________________
Clint
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:50 AM
R.DesJardin's Avatar
R.DesJardin R.DesJardin is offline
Designer & Builder
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Clarkston, WA
Posts: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBandit View Post
I feel like such a stooge for not buying step drill bits until now. OMG they are amazing for holes in sheet metal. Butter smooth, fast, no catching, no shrapnel, and nice clean hole. Wow.

By contrast, when I use twist bits for sheet metal holes, especially if the sheet metal is unsupported, as holes get bigger than about 1/4" the bits will start wandering and then catch/bite hard, resulting in bent metal and a mangled ID. The problem is not solved by drilling in multiple steps, even when going in 1/16" increments.

The step bit remains always piloted on the hole by the previous step, which keeps it engaged nicely. So it doesn't wander and bounce around on the hole before suddenly cutting in like a twist bit does. Instead it cuts smoothly and quickly, producing a nice clean, round hole without bending the surrounding panel.

Money well spent.
I had the same experience and revelation. They also work great to break the edge on a hole in thicker metal, even chamfer all around. All good.
__________________
Need, Design, Build, Use, repeat........
http://www.radesignsproducts.com/
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-17-2015, 09:51 AM
stock93's Avatar
stock93 stock93 is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 157
Those are great. Like you, I can't believe I did without them as long as I did. They are definitely one of those tools you kick yourself for not buying sooner. Another one of those for me is a rotary file.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-17-2015, 10:29 AM
bullnerd's Avatar
bullnerd bullnerd is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Jersey
Posts: 721
Ditto, I learned on plastic or fiberglass a long time ago. I couldn't believe how much better they were. Now I use them constantly.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-17-2015, 10:44 AM
Graham08's Avatar
Graham08 Graham08 is online now
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 1,715
Same here. Anything 1/8" or less gets the step drill treatment if I can't punch it. I also have a set of the Jancy/Fein small hole cutters that get a ton of use on stuff up to 1/4" thick.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-17-2015, 12:40 PM
JaysinSpaceman's Avatar
JaysinSpaceman JaysinSpaceman is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Skull County, Ca
Posts: 1,637
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham08 View Post
Same here. Anything 1/8" or less gets the step drill treatment if I can't punch it. I also have a set of the Jancy/Fein small hole cutters that get a ton of use on stuff up to 1/4" thick.
Do you have a picture or link to the Jancy cutters?

I have no idea how many times I have told people to get sheet metal step drills and they say "I don't need them" only to have them use mine and then say "why didn't you tell me they worked so well". People rarely really listen.

Jaysin
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-17-2015, 12:46 PM
Graham08's Avatar
Graham08 Graham08 is online now
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Denver, NC
Posts: 1,715
Sure, this is the kit I have:

http://www.trick-tools.com/Slugger_S...Set_SMS000_429

My only criticism is the pointed center can jump out of a center punch mark if it's not large enough. On critical stuff, I will drill a 1/8" pilot hole to make sure this doesn't happen.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-17-2015, 03:57 PM
juicedz4's Avatar
juicedz4 juicedz4 is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 501
I use the heck out of step bits. In fact Ive had pretty good luck with the :gasp: Harbor Freight ones. I get the sets on sale for $10 or less sometimes. I have some good sets as well, but honestly for a weekend warrior the HF ones perform pretty well considering they are a fraction of the cost of a "real" set. I also like the 1/4" hex quick change shank as you can put them into long bit extensions for drilling holes with limited access. (hard to reach spots on a firewall for example)

Dan
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:44 PM
CarterKraft's Avatar
CarterKraft CarterKraft is offline
Master Fabricator
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: DFW
Posts: 861
Anyone had any luck sharpening them? I always seem to burn one of the steps then its a real bitch to get past. I tried sharpening one with a round stone on a die grinder (zero precision) it seemed better but quickly got back to the burned step where it evidently didn't help.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Template-Modifications by TMS
Copyright 2012, Offroad Fabrication Network