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Date:  12-21-2007
Number of Hours:  4.00
Manual Reference:  6W1 4-7
Brief Description:  Drill #40 left flap & cleco

EXPERIMENT: Several folks on the Matronics Zenith Forum have suggested that high speed drills made better holes than low speed drills. I have certainly made rounder holes with my drill press than with my hand drills. I'm sure the stability of the drill press is a major contributor to that improved performance, however.

To test out the high speed drilling, I had D&S Machining in Hamilton turn down one end of a 3/8"x24 bolt to 1/4" Φ so that I could mount it in the collet on my die grinder and use the 3/8" threads to mount a 1/4" keyed chuck that I bought surplus from Brown Tool Co. See Figs. 1 & 2. There were some problems with the implementation. D&S chucked my keyed chuck into their lath. They must have over tightened it and distorted the outer shell, because the chuck no longer adjusted freely. Also, there was a bit of a concentricity problem. A drill bit in the check could be seen to move, noticeably, out of true. More importantly, when using the die grinder to drill, it seemed like the very high speed caused the drill bits to dull very quickly. One bit became dull after 4 or 5 holes. When drilling with dull bit, I could easily feel the heat generated by friction in the aluminum skin. Occasionally, if I used too much force on the grinder while drilling, the hole in the aluminum would become noticeably larger than the bit.

CONCLUSION: The die grinder is not a useful tool for drilling in 6061-T6 aluminum with #40 bits.

Other's have suggesed using cheap Harbor Freight drill bits (~$0.30/ea in lots of 10) to drill. The HF bits are only available in fractional sizes, but since I typically pilot drill with #40 and then use #30, and, if necessary, #20's, I could use 3/32" and 1/8" in place of the #40's and #30's. The HF bits actually appear to be of equal or higher quality than the bits supplied by ZAC. I think I'll order a supply of HF bits with my next order to them.

Construction Details

1. Called ZAC and talked to Roger Re: the orientation of the nylon control plate. The PAM shows it with the na
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Die grinder chuck tool

Die grinder chuck tool

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Die grinder set up as drill

Die grinder set up as drill

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Left flap drilled & clecoed

Left flap drilled & clecoed

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