Most DIY-ers flinch back when hand-drilling their metal pieces because they lack experience and knowledge. However, drilling through metal with a hand drill is not as difficult as it seems. If you know how to drill through metal with a hand drill, it will be a piece of cake for you.
Though drilling through metal is more complicated than wood, it becomes easier after following the proper way and some essential tips. In this article, we will show you those tips that you can use to drill sheet metals, steel plates, etc. You will not find drilling significantly complicated anymore.
Choose The Right Drill And Drill Bits
At first, you need to choose the right drill and drill bits to make a hole in a metal sheet. While using a hand drill, you should check its speed level because different drillers offer speed variation.
Besides, you require a high-speed steel drill bit to use on metal. However, if you are drilling harder metal surfaces, you will need a high-speed steel drill bit with 135 degrees point angle. Such an angle is somewhat flatter than the others and helps you do better going through metal.
It is one of the absolute considerations to follow while drilling metal sheets. If accidentally a metal fragment goes into your eyes, you will face a severe eye injury or may go blind for good. Therefore, you should wear safety eyeglasses to cover your eyes and the sides of your face. You can also check out which nail size would be perfect for your fence pickets.
Create A Pilot Hole
When drilling a hole in a metal sheet, the drill bits can be reluctant to get into the metal surface. To prevent this, mark the spot where you will drill using a marker. Then create a small pilot hole using a center punch and hammer. You can also use a small yet hard nail to do that.
The pilot hole will guide you to run a hand drill and prevent you from losing track. In this way, the hole will be more precise as well.
Use Metal Lubricate
If you want to lessen the friction of the drill bits and sparks, lubricate the drill bits. It will make your work easier, and the bits last longer. If the metal is thicker, you can use multipurpose oil or cutting fluid. Besides, if you are working on a thin metal surface such as cast iron or aluminum, you can skip this step.
The Right Speed And Pressure
If you want to avoid excessive heat, you should start running your hand drill slowly. If your bit spins faster with high pressure, it will become vulnerable and heat up soon. No matter how hard the metal is, you should start with light pressure and slow speed.
Notice Metal Chips And Smoke
While running the bits through metal, small chips or splinters come out dangerously due to centrifugal action. In that case, you need to stop the pressure to give a break for a while and start again.
Besides, if smoke comes out, it is clear that you are drilling too hard or not using enough lube. Therefore, you need to take the pressure from the hand drill and let it cool down. After a short break, use oil and start drilling slowly.
Smooth Out The Hole
it is a common issue that the hole has rough edges after drilling. Thus, you need to clean and smooth out the edges with a drill bit that has a larger diameter than your metal surface hole. This step is easy. All you need is to set the bit in the spot and twist it with your hand to scrape off the edge.
However, if you want to make a cut on a metal surface without using a machine then you can use this method.
Drilling through metal might sound like so much work, but it is not much difficult if you know how to drill through metal with a hand drill. After following proper protocol, you can create a clean hole using a hand drill with the right drill bits.
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Hi, my name is Gabrielle. I have been into Automotive Industry for over 15 years. If you’re anything like me, then building, maintaining and improving your Automotive Industry/Projects is all part of the Automotive experience.
My goal with this blog is to share my experience with and help you discover new and exciting things about Automotive.