recommendations for drilling music wire
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  1. #1
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    Default recommendations for drilling music wire

    We just got a job where we have to drill a 1/8" hole in the end of 5,000 pcs of music wire (on center). If anybody has experience with this stuff and would share drill selection and cutting parameters I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks - Joe

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    Material and Hardness??? "Music Wire" is a generality as it comes in many different materials and hardnesses.

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    All music wire that I have seen in 60 years is too hard to drill with normal drills. If you use a carbide drill,I would have the end flush in a 5c collet. If you don't have high pressure coolant thru the drill ,you must peck at it or the rod and maybe the collet will be annealed. How deep must you drill. Finally ask the guy that bid this.how he would do it.Just a joke. Edwin Dirnbeck

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    ASTM A228 says Rc41-60, which is a really broad range. Other specs for hard-drawn spring wire (not technically "music wire") might be Rc31-55, slightly less hard, but still a broad range of hardness. Generally, I assume the smaller diameters are toward the high side on hardness. Since it's a common fractional size, I'd try a HiRoc drill and use a jig/fixture with drill bushings. If not HiRoc, then some other carbide drill intended for high hardness, high carbon steel. Preferably, I'd grind a flat on the starting position for the hole.

    When you say "in the end", do you mean an axial hole or a cross hole? If axial, you are talking about some fairly large diameter music wire, and possibly the core will be somewhat less hard than the surface. If cross hole, then a drill bushing and/or starting flat may be critical to getting your holes started without tearing up expensive drills.

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    have drilled a few holes in it with hss cobalt bits but epic struggle, i would be looking at a hard steel carbide drill bit, may make way more sense to see if your customer would accept drilling spring wire then post heat treating it after drilling, lot easier to do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by adama View Post
    have drilled a few holes in it with hss cobalt bits but epic struggle, i would be looking at a hard steel carbide drill bit, may make way more sense to see if your customer would accept drilling spring wire then post heat treating it after drilling, lot easier to do!
    Most spring wire, particularly stainless, is hardened by drawing. Heat treatment will do no good.

    Tom

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    The material is A228-16. The dia. is .156 and we are drilling a .125 hole axially. If anybody has specific parameters and specific drill selection that they would be willing to pass on it would be greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Miranda View Post
    The material is A228-16. The dia. is .156 and we are drilling a .125 hole axially. If anybody has specific parameters and specific drill selection that they would be willing to pass on it would be greatly appreciated.
    How deep are you drilling ?

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    Guhring has some carbide drills that I normally recommend to others for small diameter holes ( much smaller than this ) that have always worked for others, as well. You may want to check with them on it. For what it's worth, they have never let me down and I do a fair amount of tiny hole making.

    As for parameters, that will depend on the drill and the condition of the material. The general spec is far too broad to speak to specifically. You will need to test your material or go blind and adjust as you go until you find the sweet spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    Guhring has some carbide drills that I normally recommend to others for small diameter holes ( much smaller than this ) that have always worked for others, as well. You may want to check with them on it. For what it's worth, they have never let me down and I do a fair amount of tiny hole making.

    As for parameters, that will depend on the drill and the condition of the material. The general spec is far too broad to speak to specifically. You will need to test your material or go blind and adjust as you go until you find the sweet spot.
    Thanks Zahnrad! I have used Guhring in the past and they sure make some beautiful cutting tools. I hadn't thought of them just now so I am thankful for the recommendation. I will check with our local rep.

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    no experience with the music wire but Mikron has some very nice drills that may be worth checking out

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    Have you sent a sample piece of wire to drill manufacturers for their recommendation?

    Tom

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    Per Guhring;

    95513317 Details

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    Have you sent a sample piece of wire to drill manufacturers for their recommendation?

    Tom
    Really? For music wire? I don't think your gonna have much luck with that one. Maybe a custom shop but I don't see the need. The Guhring or Walter Titex carbide drills should do this no problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edwin dirnbeck View Post
    How deep are you drilling ?
    edwin - .700 dp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    Have you sent a sample piece of wire to drill manufacturers for their recommendation?

    Tom
    I have not. Seems like too small of a potential order to garner much interest but I will consider it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Mathews View Post
    Really? For music wire? I don't think your gonna have much luck with that one. Maybe a custom shop but I don't see the need. The Guhring or Walter Titex carbide drills should do this no problem.
    Walter Titex? Is that a good one to consider?

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    I use the Straight flute drills from Guhring (link in post 14) to drill broken HSS drills and Taps out of holes. No coolant, about 100 SFM. And they have long ones too, so .125" at 8x diameter is available.

    I'm sure Titex makes the exact same thing too.

    R

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    There are certain drilling operations in human bone where you're going down the axis of the bone so the drills and reamers (as the surgeons call them) tend to stay inside the hard outer cortical later and in the soft cancellous material. Which means you can drill the full length of a femur and not worry about coming out of the bone. I wonder if this is a similar situation where the hardness increases radially so the drill will be happy staying very much on center. Do let us know how it goes.

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