Step Drill?
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
Like Tree37Likes

Thread: Step Drill?

  1. Top | #1
    coaltrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 06:25 AM
    Location
    NW Penna
    Posts
    19,778
    Thanks
    1,057
    Thanked 3,059 Times in 2,224 Posts

    Step Drill?

    I know nothing about working with metal.

    I need to drill 2 - 1/2" holes in 3/8" steel on my tractor to mount my new seatbelt. I have a mismatch of drill bits but nothing as large as 1/2". So I will be buying a new set of bits for this project - something I've needed for a long time anyway.

    Then I thought of the step drills. I had never heard of them before I read about people using them on this forum - mostly when installing Ken's hooks. So I wonder if a step drill will work better for me on this project or should I just do it the old way I know of and start with a small bit and work my way up to the 1/2".

    I'll be using both a 3/8" and 1/2" electric (read plug-in old school) drills.
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

  2. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. Top | #2
    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 06:06 AM
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    16,235
    Thanks
    4,990
    Thanked 4,029 Times in 2,509 Posts
    How thick is the metal Stan? That makes a big difference (IMHO) on the answer.
    Kenny

    -John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab TLB
    FEL, MMM, Artillian 42" Forks and Modular Grapple, I-Match, Ballast Box, and lots of other STUFF.
    -John Deere 455 w/60" MMM


    Bolt on Grab Hooks and other cool stuff are now for sale!!

    Visit our YouTube Channel

    My Equipment:
    John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab, 300cx FEL, 366 Front Blade, 59" Front Snowblower, Ballast Box
    Artillian 3K Forks, Grapple, Front-Hoe Bucket
    John Deere 455, 60" MMM

  4. Top | #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Last Online
    08-31-2018 @ 12:17 PM
    Location
    upstate new york
    Posts
    523
    Thanks
    328
    Thanked 35 Times in 32 Posts
    i did it with hole saw bit -it works better than you would expect lots of oil -sorry thought that you have to drill a 2 1/2 inch hole For 1/2 inch hole you can use a step drill but a good one is bit expensive What will ruin the bit is high rpm better use a cordless drill on low
    Last edited by danmorea; 03-09-2016 at 06:36 PM.

  5. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. Top | #4
    coaltrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 06:25 AM
    Location
    NW Penna
    Posts
    19,778
    Thanks
    1,057
    Thanked 3,059 Times in 2,224 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    How thick is the metal Stan? That makes a big difference (IMHO) on the answer.
    3/8" as said in my OP. This is why I am asking because I haven't drilled this large a hole in this thick a metal before.
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

  7. Top | #5
    56FordGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 02:09 PM
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    10,028
    Thanks
    482
    Thanked 1,658 Times in 1,088 Posts
    Step drills are great for sheet metal, 1/8" thick is getting right on the border of what you can do with one. Some have longer steps for slightly thicker material, but 3/8" will be thicker than a step bit can go.
    coaltrain and Rope_Chucker like this.
    -Blake

    Your mileage may vary.

    JD 6410
    Some other stuff

    YouTube- Life in Wyoming

  8. Top | #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 06:42 PM
    Location
    Burton, Ohio
    Posts
    2,721
    Thanks
    530
    Thanked 433 Times in 342 Posts
    Be careful when you step your way up to the larger bit with the plug in drill. They don't stop the split second you lay off the trigger like the cordless drills do. Chances are when you are about to break through with your finished diameter the bit could plunge and corkscrew on you and put a hurting on your wrist.
    1025R FILB, vintage: 2015
    54D MM mowing deck
    Imatch hitch
    2 inch receiver for three point
    "18" cart
    Piranha Tooth Bar
    Ken's hooks and differential lock pedal
    Artillian 36" forks
    Stihl equipment: Saws; MS261C, MS462C, MS661RCM and Blower; BR600 and Trimmer; FS70R and Hedge Cutter; HL 56K and Pressure Washer; RB400
    Husky log splitter

  9. Top | #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Last Online
    09-14-2019 @ 09:13 AM
    Location
    Texas Panhandle
    Posts
    931
    Thanks
    64
    Thanked 90 Times in 83 Posts
    Lots of people talk about step bits. I have no experience with them. For the past 10 years I have been buying the Dewalt pilot point bits. I find that the 1/2" bit along with some WD-40 will go through 3/8" soft metal in less than 10 seconds. It may not be the best as I haven't tried others, but at only 10 or so seconds I see no reason to change.

    Some tips: I rock the bit back and forth a bit on older bits that are getting duller. When you're close to punching through I stop pushing so that it makes a nicer punch through and doesn't catch. With this method I only use the 1/2" instead of first drilling a smaller hole. Again this is what I use and do and I'm not saying that it's the best method but it works for me and I have done a bunch this way.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    3046r Cab, H165 w/61" bucket, Frontier 72"BB, MX6, and Woods TCR68" Tiller.

  10. Top | #8
    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 06:06 AM
    Location
    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    16,235
    Thanks
    4,990
    Thanked 4,029 Times in 2,509 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    3/8" as said in my OP. This is why I am asking because I haven't drilled this large a hole in this thick a metal before.
    Yup...Sorry I sure missed it

    As Blake wrote, this would not be a good project for a step drill as each "step" is usually only 1/8 or so-so you'd have a hole that has three steps in it.

    Get a good bit, the Dewalt "pilot points are my current fav and doesn't even really need a pilot hole, Bosch has some nice ones too. Go slow and use (any) oil and it will cut easily.
    Kenny

    -John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab TLB
    FEL, MMM, Artillian 42" Forks and Modular Grapple, I-Match, Ballast Box, and lots of other STUFF.
    -John Deere 455 w/60" MMM


    Bolt on Grab Hooks and other cool stuff are now for sale!!

    Visit our YouTube Channel

    My Equipment:
    John Deere 3720 Deluxe Cab, 300cx FEL, 366 Front Blade, 59" Front Snowblower, Ballast Box
    Artillian 3K Forks, Grapple, Front-Hoe Bucket
    John Deere 455, 60" MMM

  11. Top | #9
    coaltrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Last Online
    Today @ 06:25 AM
    Location
    NW Penna
    Posts
    19,778
    Thanks
    1,057
    Thanked 3,059 Times in 2,224 Posts
    OK - thanks folks - this answers my question.

    Yeah - even just holding the 1/2" drill horizontally will be a chore in itself. I know I am going to have to be careful when I am about to break through.
    ~Stan~
    It is what it is
    Knowledge is power, ignorance is bliss
    2520 w/200CX w/62D2

  12. Top | #10
    Old Pa-pa Old Cajun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 08:23 PM
    Location
    South Louisiana
    Posts
    10,876
    Thanks
    779
    Thanked 1,318 Times in 973 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    I know nothing about working with metal.

    I need to drill 2 - 1/2" holes in 3/8" steel on my tractor to mount my new seatbelt. I have a mismatch of drill bits but nothing as large as 1/2". So I will be buying a new set of bits for this project - something I've needed for a long time anyway.

    Then I thought of the step drills. I had never heard of them before I read about people using them on this forum - mostly when installing Ken's hooks. So I wonder if a step drill will work better for me on this project or should I just do it the old way I know of and start with a small bit and work my way up to the 1/2".

    I'll be using both a 3/8" and 1/2" electric (read plug-in old school) drills.
    Normally use DeWalt bits, seem to hold up better.

    Old school here, center punch, 1/8 pilot, 1/4 inch afterward, 3/8 inch than finally 1/2 inch when going through 3/8 or better
    iron where I can't use the drill press and have to use a hand held.

    Watch out for the wrist, go slow with the 3/8" and 1/2" bit, keep as straight as possible, they can hang up in an instant when
    you're about through with the hole and you "wobble".
    If you have a "power handle" for the big drill, use it.

    Have sprained a wrist a time or two by being too aggressive with the pressure.
    Neil

    2019 4066R with cab (aka Cooterpiller), 2014 997 Z Trak
    Other equip: 1982 IH 274 diesel, 1957 Farmall Cub, Woods Billy Goat 5 foot rotary cutter, Ford three point hitch 6 foot dozer blade,
    home brew dirt and gravel grader, dirt scoop, choppers, Woods six foot belly mount sickle bar, home brew 3PH 25 gallon sprayer, 1992 33 inch cut Snapper
    rear engine rider, 1984 30 inch cut Snapper rear engine rider.

  13. Remove Advertisements
    GreenTractorTalk.com
    Advertisements
     

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •