Drill methods and bits for structural beams
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    Default Drill methods and bits for structural beams

    What type/brand drill bits do you guys use to drill holes in structural beams (wide flange W type)?
    I would normally put them onto milling machine, but this time they are way too long, so mag drill is proabbly a way to go.

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    Furnish the supplier a drawing and let them punch them.

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    When I did that chore I used a mag base drill with annular cutters..worked very well.

    Stuart

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    Furnish the supplier a drawing and let them punch them.
    I wish. Prints specifically call for drilled holes. This customer does not accept punching and thermal cutting

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    I saw this a couple years ago.

    How to Sharpen Drill Bits for Structural Steel - Ocean Rejuvenator Ocean Penetrator - YouTube


    It looks a bit like a brad point drill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezmetal71 View Post
    I wish. Prints specifically call for drilled holes. This customer does not accept punching and thermal cutting
    Then have the supplier drill them instead on their beam line. Ours has no problem doing that, if yours can't drill them, find a new one.

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    TILAN COBALT .5" drill with just air blowing on it. I got about 1000 holes with 1 bit when I made my cantilever stock racks. Drilled in my VMC. Bit was still good when I was done. I used a mag drill when I built my bridge crane system. Splice plates had a fussy hole pattern and I made a .75" steel template to drill through. Twist drill bits in mag drills tend to drift away from the base because of the play in the smaller machines. Template kept the hole pattern spot on.

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    What Atomarc said. Annular cutters in a mag drill are made for that work. No need to reinvent the wheel.

    I have used them in for many holes. They work fast and cut nice round holes.

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    I’ve seen our local suppliers beam processing machine, it can drill, punch mill, even bend tounges, oddly it’s not that expensive, adds about 20%, much more fun than a rotabroach, the next course of action
    Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezmetal71 View Post
    I wish. Prints specifically call for drilled holes. This customer does not accept punching and thermal cutting
    There is a significant hit to fatigue properties with thermal cutting. If you want to punch the holes, the usual routine is to subpunch and ream.

    For drilling, either annular cutters or have someone with a beam line do it.

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    if the customer does not allow punched holes better check they may not allow saw cut ,may require mill cutting of ends .Most Heavy columns (14x 500)require mill ends for load bearing.
    just my two cents

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    Thanks guys! Looks like a mag drill and annular cutters is the way to go, unless I find a steel supplier who offers beam processing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezmetal71 View Post
    Thanks guys! Looks like a mag drill and annular cutters is the way to go, unless I find a steel supplier who offers beam processing
    Be careful with cheaper mag drills - they frequently don't have good "Z" slide control (sloppy fit), if you do heavy cuts they may shift the hole even with a strong magnet.

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    I make a drill pattern from 1/2 plate and clamp it on to the beam, check twice and use a mag drill and hhs bit...Phil

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    allied makes inserts for structural shapes. They run a slower rpm and feed than the ones for milling machines. Beams are not rigid. Sounds like hole quality is issue, so allied thin wall structural inserts are the way to go. Clean hole, a little slow (compared to helix gen3 or even spade gen 2 inserts.
    Our drill line limits out at 1500 rpm, and rarely do I need to detune speeds to accommodate their recommendations. Gen 3 carbides are detuned from 13/16 and under for rpm limits of our machine.
    Mag drill with hougans is for forgotten or changed holes, back in the dark ages this is how all beams were done. Then we got punch lines, drill lines, and moved to coping (plasma) lines. Little secret, you can drill a hole faster than you can burn a hole 9 out of 10 times- even before clean up times.

    never heard of milled beam ends, ever.


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