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Unread 02-10-2020, 11:45 AM   #1
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Drilling Large Hole in Steel


I built a little widget a few years ago from 1/4" mild steel. It has a 5/8" hole in it and I now need to revise the design to enlarge the hole to 1-3/8". What suggestions do you have for enlarging the hole? I don't think I can use a traditional hole saw, since they require a 1/4" pilot hole (my hole is already at 5/8"). And I do need it to be reasonably precise so a bearing will snugly fit in the hole (it's a slip fit, not a press fit). In other words, a sloppy cut that ends a few tenths bigger may be a problem. I have a metal lathe, but can't figure out how to accomplish this in a lathe. Or maybe I can do this in my drill press, but again, I'm not sure how and am trying to avoid an expensive tapered reamer bit.

Any tips?
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Unread 02-10-2020, 11:53 AM   #2
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


You can use 2 hole saws to accomplish this. a 5/8 and 1-3/8.


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Unread 02-10-2020, 12:15 PM   #3
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


I would use a step bit. 1-3/8" is the largest I've seen.



https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=step%20bit
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Unread 02-10-2020, 12:21 PM   #4
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Clamp it down and use the hole saw on the drill press. Don't need a pilot.
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Unread 02-10-2020, 12:21 PM   #5
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Machine a shoulder bushing to fit the 5/8" hole with a 1/4" center hole. Fit bushing and drill eith golesaw.

If you have a 4 jaw chuck, you can get creative with setup and possibly use lathe and boring bar to accomplish what you want.

RR
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Unread 02-10-2020, 12:48 PM   #6
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


If you can clamp a piece of wood to it, you can use your 1-375" hole saw to bore a hole in the wood, then use the wood as a pilot for the OD of the hole saw. For best results, use a hard wood like maple, and better yet, glue 2 0r 3 pieces together for more thickness.

But if you have a lathe, I would think that the better way would be to make a flange that accurately hold the bearing, and then bolt the flange to your 1/4" plate. But it would still be best to open up the hole in the plate so that the inner ring does not rub on the plate (might not be too critical depending on what you are doing with it).

By the way, if bearing is 35mm OD, thats actually 1.378".
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Unread 02-10-2020, 01:02 PM   #7
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Quote:
Originally Posted by Colbyt View Post
I would use a step bit. 1-3/8" is the largest I've seen.
https://www.harborfreight.com/search?q=step%20bit
That's a huge step bit.
Oddly enough they seem to work quite well in heavy metal.
Other than the double hole saw idea, the step bit should work.
Clamp it down very well....that bit is going to grab the work.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 08:57 AM   #8
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Always use cutting oil with the heavy stuff. It will make the bit last a lot longer.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 09:41 AM   #9
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


These are some great ideas folks. Thanks! But in my mind, I'm trying to cobble together a way to use my small boring bar on the drill press, so I can bore the hole to a precise diameter. I wonder if I can do that somehow. That way, the bearing will fit snug in the hole (not a press fit though).
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Unread 02-11-2020, 10:08 AM   #10
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


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Unread 02-11-2020, 10:09 AM   #11
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Might want to consider investing in a small boring head. Most commonly going to see them with taper shank, but you will also see them with 7/8-20 thread and available straight shank.

One of the handiest tools I have. I use it for woodworking commonly too. Most recently vacuum hose adapter and making wood plugs to go over screw holes -- able to dial in the size perfectly.
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Drilling Large Hole in Steel-boring-head.jpg  
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Unread 02-11-2020, 10:29 AM   #12
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Or just use the old school hack and drill the hole out to 1 5/16 and fine tune the hole with a hone made out of sandpaper set in a shaft.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 10:51 AM   #13
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Thanks for this video. It was very informative and revealed my suspicions of the poor behavior from a traditional hole saw and step-taper bit. In fact, he illustrated the exact scenario I'm doing; i.e., a flanged bearing in a hole. I'm going to check into the cutter they showed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPS-1 View Post
Might want to consider investing in a small boring head. Most commonly going to see them with taper shank, but you will also see them with 7/8-20 thread and available straight shank.
This is another great idea. Do you have any links for where I can buy one?
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Last edited by m_ridzon; 02-11-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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Unread 02-11-2020, 11:48 AM   #14
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Just shooting in the dark here but is there a possibility a flange bearing could be used. If so there is another possibility it could modify a similar bearing assembly for nearly 0.0 cost.



https://3bgsupply.com/bearings/mount...SABEgKrgfD_BwE
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Unread 02-11-2020, 11:56 AM   #15
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Re: Drilling Large Hole in Steel


Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Just shooting in the dark here but is there a possibility a flange bearing could be used. If so there is another possibility it could modify a similar bearing assembly for nearly 0.0 cost.



https://3bgsupply.com/bearings/mount...SABEgKrgfD_BwE
I think your type of bearing is more correctly called "mounted bearing." My project doesn't have room for that type. My attached picture from McMaster-Carr basically shows the type of bearing I'm going to use. Notice its flange.
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