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DIYstompboxes.com  |  DIY Stompboxes  |  Building your own stompbox  |  enclosure drilling tips -- please help! 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: enclosure drilling tips -- please help!  (Read 10306 times)
ian87
Posts: 174


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« on: December 02, 2003, 12:26:36 PM »

this should prolly be in the "Beginner" section, but what the hell.....

was drilling up a Hammond enclosure last nite, and it's clear that I don't have the right tools for the job. I was drilling (or rather trying to drill) pilot holes w/ my Dremel mini-press w/ whatever bit came with the thing, and it was travelling all over the damn place. Also the bit wouldn't even cut all the way thru the case -- it would basically just dig a hole in the aluminum, which wasn't tragic, because it was a pilot hole after all.

so....

1. what bit do i need for the dremel?

B. do i need a punch? if so, what one?

iii. do folks recommend using 3-in-1? and lastly,

d. Unibit: yay or nay?

thanks in advance for yr help.

-ian
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Samuel
Posts: 640


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2003, 12:54:22 PM »

Number 1: You should probably just use a regular old drill. The dremel is not really designed for punching through heavy materials. Drilling through cast aluminum at 35,000 rpm is prolly not the way to go. Smiley (I know, I know they're usually variable speed, but it's not as funny if I don't exaggerate.) (Not that it's really that funny anyway.) (Please move on to the next paragraph now.)

A center punch is an easy cheap way to avoid bit travel as you describe. If you're really in a pinch, find a nail and a hammer, you just want some kind of indentation, and the drill bit will find its way home.

Unibit: Never used one, but I have heard unanimous unconditional "yay"s as far as they go for drilling Hammond boxes. I imagine they're very convenient, as they take a lot of work out of "stepping up" the hole you're drilling.

Especially when you start getting out to larger diameters, like the 1/2" stomp switch hole, lubricant is a very good idea, and will save you money on drill bits in the long run.

Slightly OT, but if you're willing to sink a little money into this hobby, a honest-to-gosh-drill press is a *great* thing to have, if you have the space. You might also be surprised at the price - I ordered one online from Grizzly - $75! It's occasionally a little on the small side, but it gets the job done generally speaking. I went with the 10" model and I've been generally pleased...
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moosapotamus
Posts: 1591


New Hampshire USA


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2003, 12:56:02 PM »

Regardless of the type of bit, I don't think a Dremel is powerful enough to machine a Hammond box. Not enough torque. I use a 1/2 inch power drill.

I would recommend marking the drilling locations with a little spring loaded center-punch. Keeps the drill bit from skidding around. I also use the center-punch on PCBs for the same reason. But, I do use a Dremel to drill PCBs.

I do not use any oil when I drill boxes. It might help a little. Certainly wouldn't hurt.

The Unibit ROCKS! Go get one... NOW! Smiley (really!)

~ Charlie
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moosapotamus.net
"I tend to like anything that I think sounds good."
Marcus Dahl
Posts: 238


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2003, 01:09:38 PM »

I agree with Samuel, a dremel is not the right tool to use in this case. A regular drill would be, and better yet a drill press. If you have a Tractor Supply(store name) in your area you can get a table tope drill press for around $45. It does the job and it's small and takes up little space.

Also a punch is a great idea to use, and can be gotten for cheap. I picked up a punch and chizel set at NAPA for $3. Unibits are great for freehand layouts, but if you go so far as to make a jig, trhen it doesn't work so well with that.

If you do have a layout that you use often, make a wooden layout after you drill one of you boxes out. You can use scrape 2x4 peices to put it together with and some long drywall screws or wood screws. 4 peicesf is all that's needed. One for the top, and three for the sides. After putting it together you can drill your holes out except for the sides. I took a dremel to do those with because I was to lazy to mark it take it all apart and drill.
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Marcus Dahl
Doug H
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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2003, 01:38:27 PM »

Quote from: Marcus Dahl
If you have a Tractor Supply(store name) in your area you can get a table tope drill press for around $45. It does the job and it's small and takes up little space.



Wow, I drive by one of these every day. I didn't know what they sold in there (tractors??? Cheesy ). I will check that out. I've been thinking of getting a drill press and didn't realize they were so cheap.

Thanks for the tip, Marcus! (I need to build a drilling jig like you described too.)

Doug
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smoguzbenjamin
Posts: 2718

Ben Allen


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2003, 01:45:00 PM »

I drill my boxes at school with regular metal drill-bits. Schools got a great technology room, huge-ass mounted drills with variable RPM from 400 to about 15000 RPM. Cheesy Thank god for school, sometimes Smiley
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I don't like Holland. Nobody has the transistors I want.
nightingale
Posts: 617

RyanS - Denver, Co


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2003, 01:45:28 PM »

hello~
if you are using hammond 1590bb... geofex.com has a great "paper drilling template" that you can printout, and reuse several times... it's under the "tech tips" button on the navigation bar...
hope this helps,
~ryanS
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ian87
Posts: 174


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2003, 02:52:33 PM »

thanks to all for the great advice!!

i'm off to the hardware store for a Unibit, center punch, and some 3-in-1 oil. but first a quick stop at geofex for that template, and then to figure out how to rig up a jig....

i wish someone had warned me about this stuff before i embarked on this hobby!!!   :roll:



 Cheesy
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smoguzbenjamin
Posts: 2718

Ben Allen


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2003, 03:00:23 PM »

Don't worry, once you do it once you'll have gotten the hang of it. It's not as difficult as one might think. I mean about the boxes. Depending on the circuit you can make it as difficult as you want it to be!

I generally look for a ckt that does what I want it to do, and decide wether or not I wanna build it. Usually this means that I end up with 6 or 7 ckts I want to make and I end up making none 'cos I can't decide...  :x

But never mind my rambling  Smiley
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I don't like Holland. Nobody has the transistors I want.
tambek
Posts: 97


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2003, 03:10:43 PM »

i have a question about drilling PCB-s

What diameter should the drill bit be and can i find it in a regular hardware store?
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Samuel
Posts: 640


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2003, 03:16:31 PM »

I personally like 1/32" bits for drilling PCBs. The only place a hole this small causes an issue is if you're using heavy guage wire, which will have a hard time fitting in that small a hole.

Occasionally you can find these bits packaged in a set of five, on the racks for Dremel attachments. Other than that I've never seen them in a big hardware store, and the smallest bit available (1/16") is, IMO, too big for many PCBs.

Also if you're going to use 1/32" bits you almost need a drill press of some sort. Bits that thin are *extremely* fragile, and a slight tilt of the drill while working through the board will cause them to snap. I've even had them snap on a drill press. So be careful.

Steve at SmallBear sells appropriate bit sizes, and I've seen them at larger electronics stores (not Radio Shack). Other than that, maybe hobby shops or jewelers supply stores...
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smoguzbenjamin
Posts: 2718

Ben Allen


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2003, 03:19:09 PM »

I think you should be able to find it in a hardware store. Doesn't seem like a problem to me...

But I prefer perf! :mrgreen:
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I don't like Holland. Nobody has the transistors I want.
moosapotamus
Posts: 1591


New Hampshire USA


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2003, 03:26:23 PM »

Hole size for PCBs depends on the components... Different components have different size leads or pins. Check out the PCB layout of R.G.'s Funny Cat project at GEO for an example.

~ Charlie
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moosapotamus.net
"I tend to like anything that I think sounds good."
tambek
Posts: 97


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2003, 03:27:05 PM »

thanks, i'll try to find some Smiley
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ErikMiller
Posts: 623


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Step bit
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2003, 04:36:38 PM »

I'll echo what others have said on here about the Unibit, but also add that Harbor Freight sells cheaper knockoffs of the Unibit that work almost as well.

So if there's a Harbor Freight in your area (they are on the www as well), you can get cheaper step bits there. They also sell cheap tabletop drill presses.
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ian87
Posts: 174


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2003, 05:07:20 PM »

hey, erik, thanks for the tip. as it happens, i'm in oakland! is there a harbor freight in alameda or its environs?

thanks!
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The Tone God
Global Moderator
Posts: 5296


Maggie


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2003, 06:00:50 PM »

There is an article about building a drilling jig for stomp boxes called Jiggerealla here:

http://www,geocities.com/thetonegod/

Andrew
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Marcus Dahl
Posts: 238


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enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2003, 07:04:41 PM »

Quote from: Doug H
Quote from: Marcus Dahl
If you have a Tractor Supply(store name) in your area you can get a table tope drill press for around $45. It does the job and it's small and takes up little space.



Wow, I drive by one of these every day. I didn't know what they sold in there (tractors??? Cheesy ). I will check that out. I've been thinking of getting a drill press and didn't realize they were so cheap.

Thanks for the tip, Marcus! (I need to build a drilling jig like you described too.)

Doug


I was surprised too. I need a couple more were I can set them up with a placement jig and a bit. That way I can move a little quicker on my boxes. Sears has some too, I think about $99.

tractor Supply sells lots of things. Like casters, cloths, extra gas tanks for your truck, drill bits, paint guns, etc.... It's a great place to go and get things cheap. I;m glade I was able to help Doug H.
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Marcus Dahl
BillyJ
Posts: 555


enclosure drilling tips -- please help!
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2003, 07:07:59 PM »

Train and other hobby stores are a great place to find smaller drill bits.
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ErikMiller
Posts: 623


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Step drills for cheaper
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2003, 07:34:16 PM »

Quote
hey, erik, thanks for the tip. as it happens, i'm in oakland! is there a harbor freight in alameda or its environs?


East Bay in the hizzy, yo.

There are Harbor Freight stores in Union City and Vallejo. I usually go to the one in Union City because there is other good shopping down there like Fry's. HF is the same exit you'd take for New Park Mall.

First thing I'd do is go to their web site and grab the part number(s) of the bit(s) you're interested in. Fill out the form for the printed catalog as well. That way you can phone down there ahead of time to be sure they have them in stock. If you are a hobbyist, it's worth the trip anyway just to be knocked out by the sheer volume of cheap stuff they have. I like their parts bins. I think their $60 tabletop drill press is in my future.

They also have reconditioned DeWalt and Makita at good prices.
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