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Drilling holes into frame?

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by JFon101231, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    I do some Fisher plow installs on the side for extra $, and getting annoyed everyone seems to be buying Fords and they take ~10 holes to drill. Have been using a 1/8" pilot hole then a cobalt 1/2" bit from tractor supply in a Dewalt spade handle drill (here). Going slow with decent pressure, cutting oil...

    Looking for other options to speed things up. What are the dealers that are members on the board here using?

    - Perhaps investing in some higher quality bits would help, but think that would just keep them from dulling as fast, not necessarily make them cut faster?
    - Don't think a hole saw would be great for this, but could be wrong.
    - I think the best setup would be an annular cutter (aka rotabroach) in a mag drill, but the latter requires a roughly 4-5" square flat piece of steel for the magnet to stick to, which isn't available on the front of a full-size pickup. Unless I had something fab'd up on some kind of rolling cart...

    Does someone make annular cutters for handheld drills that would work for this? Not sure the depth of cut available - what are most truck frames, 3/16 to 5/16" I assume?
     
  2. BIG NICKY

    BIG NICKY Member
    Messages: 43

    i like using the step bits because there are no pilot holes needed and they actually cut really fast. my two cents
     
  3. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 463

    I havent used them but saw the demo and was impressed....Ever try Bad Dog Drill Bits?
     
  4. BIG NICKY

    BIG NICKY Member
    Messages: 43

    i have not tried them but i do like the fact that they are warranted for anything
     
  5. novawagonmaster

    novawagonmaster Senior Member
    Messages: 177

    X2 on the step drills (Unibits). Use cutting oil to extend bit life. My step drills last forever compared to regular bits.
     
  6. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,695

    Step bits are normally not an option with plow installs for two main reason.

    1st bracket is normally used as a template. Step bit would damage bracket and I personally don't want to keep taking the brackets on and off.

    2nd some holes need to be drilled all the way through the frame. This is impossible with step bits.

    We just use HSS bits and a lot of them. Cutting oil is a must.
     
  7. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    If you are using bracket as template and a guide for drill bit you are correct. However, if you can briefly install bracket and mark for holes with spray paint or silver marker, the step drill will be far superior for ease of use.

    You can drill from both sides sometimes, and if not, at least use the step drill for the first side.

    And whatever bit you use, a pilot hole and lots of cutting oil will work wonders.
     
  8. kimber750

    kimber750 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,695

    Don't get me wrong, step bits are great. IMO not practical for most mount installs. I am too lazy to take a 40# mount on and off just to drill holes. Takes me about 20 minutes to drill all the holes for MM2 on a 99-04 f350 and this is one of the worst for drilling. Around here we get the drill bits from Fastenal, can by a box of 20 pretty cheap. On average 2-3 bits used per install.
     
  9. LON

    LON Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    Usually use only 2 bits to drill. One normal HSS, other is 16" long. I sharpen all my own bits though. This also helps - http://www.zipcut.com/ - I estimate ours has drilled at least 92,000 holes in frames in the years we've owned it.
     
  10. AccuCon

    AccuCon Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 463

    Yup when I was talking to the lady I said so basically you want me to try and break this....She was like well...lol

    It was very impressive demo though...When I need new bits I will def. try them out I want some of the 4.5" cut offs
     
  11. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    last i checked , drilling of any type into a new chassis will result in a voided warantee. unless the driller is dealer certed. I could be wrong .
     
  12. Dawdy Services

    Dawdy Services Senior Member
    Messages: 149

    I drill a pilot hole then use a 9/16 ream bit and it takes no time at all
     
  13. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    Thanks guys. Guess my results aren't too far off, but I'm not quite down to 20 minutes for the 99-04 @#$% brackets as mentioned above. I'd say I average about 2 bits (not junk, just need to be sharpened) per install.

    LON - that thing looks awesome. I had seen once before, but pretty sure that unit is out of $ range. Ballpark price? That is the kind of idea I was referring to when I said "unless I had something fab'd up on some kind of rolling cart" :)

    I work fairly close to where the Bad Dog bits are manufactured so may have to try a few and report back...
     
  14. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,345

    I never use a marker, paint or spray paint. You still have to get the center of your mark. I always use transfer punches. Saves time in the long run cause the hole is accurate. It lets you bring your hole tolerances closer which means less wobbe and movement, i.e. bolt fits tighter in the hole.
    T.J.
     
  15. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Air Drill, cutting oil (fluid film) HSS bits and a helper to hold the drill while I turn the steering wheel and apply pressure by ear. Why try to fight the mag drill in when the truck has a press built in.:cool:

    Spend less time drilling holes then it take to R/R the mount. As LON says instead of high dollar bits with fourteen odd cutting surfaces just keep sharpening a good old 135 degree HSS.
     
  16. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    Sorry, you lost me :confused:
     
  17. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,992

    Many times you can use the front tire of the truck as a "press" to apply steady even pressure to the drill motor.

    Use a air drill, electric drills will burn up quickly and they can break the holders wrist if they hang up.

    You want a Slow drill (Snap on and Blue point both make a half inch drill 480RPM that works great) with power. Experienced users can tell if amount of pressure they are applying is right by the sound.

    You can also throw a strap/clamp/chain around the frame or use a solid object on the truck and use a sledge handle or long bar as a lever, and the drill as the fulcrum.

    Simple single angle cutting edge drills are easier to sharpen and work as well.
     
  18. JFon101231

    JFon101231 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 423

    As I started to reread the quote to start your post it dawned on me :) I guess with a helper to make sure the angle stays proper to keep from snapping a bit I could see some benefit, but I work alone.

    Thx for opinions. Anything else comes to mind fire off!
     
  19. LON

    LON Senior Member
    Messages: 749

    http://www.hougen.com/mag_drills/hmd115/ultra_low_profile_hmd115.html
    Talked with the Hougen guy at an NTEA show once and he told me about the Golden Gate Bridge crew that used around 40 of these to pop holes in the side of the girders. Lunch time came, the guys headed off to eat and when they came back all the drills were GONE! About $30,000.00 worth of drills just vanished. Seems someone failed to check the fuel level in the big diesel generator and it shut off, sending all the drills into the Bay!
     
  20. Citytow

    Citytow Senior Member
    from phila
    Messages: 548

    not too sure The GG Bridge can be drilled into . anywhere on it . zzzzz