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Old 04-07-2010, 09:53 AM   #1
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drilling metal


I recently purchased a new (huge) deck umbrella. The metal base only had 2 of thee 4 holes drilled to secure to the deck. When I tried to drill the 2 new holes, it could only make a dent in the metal.

Is there a special drill bit for drilling metal?

Thanks everyone!

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Old 04-07-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
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drilling metal


no. any standard twist bit will work.

Punch a centre mark (dimple) so the bit doesn't wander on starting the hole.
Use a small bit to predrill, them the larger bit to finish.

Of course, sharp bits work best.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #3
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drilling metal


the only thing special should be that you need a sharp bit.

Also don't go fast. in fact you should almost be able to see the drill turn and not just a blur.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:23 AM   #4
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drilling metal


they do have auger bits that are made for metal, they are made out of a stronger material than a wood bit, and are designed for easier starts in metal. You can use a regular bit though, which I would suggest, unless you frequently need to drill metal, there is no point in buying new bits.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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the only thing special should be that you need a sharp bit.
Ayuh,... Exactly,... and a few drops of Oil while drilling will Keep it Sharp...
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:34 PM   #6
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drilling metal


A low RPM drill will make things a lot easier. If you never plan on drilling through steel again, it might not be worth it, but I got a $39 Harbor Freight low-RPM drill and I find I use it all the time now. Here it is punching a 1/2" hole through an inch-thick steel plate with a cheap Harbor Freight bit. No problem at all.



At higher RPMs, it's easy to ruin the bit -- even with oil -- and you often end up with essentially a heat-treated (hardened) dimple.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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drilling metal


I don't know what size hole you are attempting to drill but generally, using a small bit first is much easier than just trying to punch out a big ol' hole.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:55 PM   #8
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drilling metal


Slow with a sharp bit as mentioned and if it's a stainless base your going to need a good bit rather than several cheap ones.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:07 PM   #9
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drilling metal


What is the base made of. Type of material being drilled and quality of drill bit both affect whether a hole can be drilled properly.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:33 PM   #10
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they do have auger bits that are made for metal, they are made out of a stronger material than a wood bit, and are designed for easier starts in metal. You can use a regular bit though, which I would suggest, unless you frequently need to drill metal, there is no point in buying new bits.
a reason to buy new tool...nuff said
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:01 AM   #11
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drilling metal


haha if i can buy new tools, i will. The only new thing I won't buy is a hammer, cuz I like mine too much

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