1. Hello,

    This is a bit of a 'newbie' question - What would be a good way to go about accurately drilling and tapping holes in the ends of a fairly long aluminum plate (e.g the 100x10mm faces of a 500x100x10mm plate)? I almost certainly don't have the kit to do this yet, so I'm trying to workout what best to buy to handle this kind of job. Seems a floor standing pillar drill would be up to the task, but I'm not sure how to hold the work such that it is held rigidly at the end being drilled and in a manner which allows the drilling position to be easily controlled. Would a pillar drill with 90 degrees table tilt be required?

    I welcome any suggestions.

    Matt.

  2. #2
    If you have access to a lathe and milling machine or know a friendly someone with access to them then make a fixture like the below that you can put over the edge of the plate to act as a drilling jig. You can then use a hand drill and if you make one suitable for the tap then you can hand tap accurately as well. It would need a grub screw or similar to lock it at the point you require which I've not shown...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is a thread here about a posh version (where I got the idea) with clear plastic insert that has a cross hair on it to line up the jig....I can't remember who started the thread but I'm sure someone will remember and say...
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  3. #3
    A Floor standing pillar drill will certainly do it
    I've never seen a drill table that doesnt tilt so just set it over to 90 degrees then you could clamp the length to the table and drill away
    To make it easier place something down below to rest the 500mm length on whilst you are clamping

    The fixture that NJH describes is fine but only if you want all your holes in the centre or anywhere else that its been made for
    If you want one of those making I can do it for you

  4. #4
    There is a thread here about a posh version (where I got the idea) with clear plastic insert that has a cross hair on it to line up the jig....I can't remember who started the thread but I'm sure someone will remember and say...
    I think it was Wal here http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/6164-...e-Jig-Finished! ..Clive

  5. Thanks for the suggestions guys - Looks like I'll be investing in a decent floor standing pillar drill then. After a quick look, seems only the more expensive models tilt 90 degrees, with the cheaper ones only tilting +/-45 degrees.

    Matt.

  6. #6
    You could clamp a piece of wood on either side, two pieces of 75mm square for example. If done correctly this would create a flat area with the plate end down the centre at 90 degrees to the surface.
    Then you could attach something like this; http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Press-Benc...item566de7aea9 to the wood so it's central on the plate and drill your holes.
    Last edited by EddyCurrent; 12-01-2015 at 09:48 PM.
    Spelling mistakes are not intentional, I only seem to see them some time after I've posted

  7. #7
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 1,000. Received thanks 170 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Bench-mounted drill can work, if you can bolt it near the edge of a bench and swing the head sideways. Then clamp the work to the end of the bench. It's worked for me! Fiddly, but you get there.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Neale View Post
    Bench-mounted drill can work, if you can bolt it near the edge of a bench and swing the head sideways. Then clamp the work to the end of the bench. It's worked for me! Fiddly, but you get there.
    I've just done a similar thing drilling my rails. I put my pillar drill on the bed and clamped it whilst drilling the holes, difference here was the work was fixed and i moved the drill...but the same principle. It worked great :)
    Neil...

    Build log...here

  9. Thanks guys, for the further suggestions.

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