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  #1  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:16 AM
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Default 1 1/2 hole in aluminum

All,

I need to drill a 1 1/2 inch hole in an aluminum sheet. The largest step drills I can find go up to 1 3/8.

I found an annular bit but they won't fit in my drill press which has a 3/4 shank limit.

I thought "hole cutter" but looking at those teeth I wasn't sure how that would turn out.

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:23 AM
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I have drilled lots of holes in aluminum with a hole saw - have to clean up the edges a bit when done but does an acceptable job. A fly cutter is cleaner. In both cases be sure to clamp the material tightly, and best results are with a drill press.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:24 AM
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I've used a hole saw at a slow speed with good success. Try to use a drill press if you can & clamp material down good. Also use some lubricant like Boelube or kerosene.

Sam
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:25 AM
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Fly-cutter in the drill press. Works well as long as you respect it.

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  #5  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Fly-cutter in the drill press. Works well as long as you respect it.
Didn't know such a thing even existed, nice! And Cleveland has it.

Thanks! Any notes on usage? (what did you mean by "respect it")
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:31 AM
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Another possibility is to use a knock-out punch if you have access to that equipment.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkervaski View Post
Didn't know such a thing even existed, nice! And Cleveland has it.

Thanks! Any notes on usage? (what did you mean by "respect it")
It's a dangerous tool -- a whirling knife that will show no mercy to the careless. You want the material being cut tightly clamped to the drill press table, no loose clothing, body parts well clear until the drill press stops.
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkervaski View Post

Thanks! Any notes on usage? (what did you mean by "respect it")
This thing is notorious for grabbing the work and spinning it around--------DO NOT hand hold the work piece. Use a vise or clamps to hold the work to the drill press table.

Also, not a good idea to use a hand held drill.

I suggest you practice on scrap until you get used to how it works.

Lastly, the cutting bit as shown in the photo will leave a taper in the hole------you will need to reverse the bit (if the cutting rake will allow), or be sure you plunge deep enough to clean up the inner face of the hole.
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:45 AM
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How thick is the sheet you are cutting? The taper Mike mentioned is really only an issue with say .063 and thicker. Also you might could just reverse the cutting blade to avoid it completely.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2018, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
Fly-cutter in the drill press. Works well as long as you respect it.

My, how times have changed....
Back in the day.... when people actually had to build an RV (vs just put some parts together), This was the standard tool for cutting all of the lightning holes in wing and empenage ribs and many other parts.
Yea, that's right. All parts were solid with no openings (or pre-punched rivet holes).
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