Drilling aluminum


I want to make a round hole in some aluminum stock. The diameter woiuld be about 1 1/2 inches. The siz is not critical it will just allow for the pasasge of the feed lines for a faucet. The aluminum will be 1/8 in thick. I have a table top drill press. Will a standard hardware level hole saw be appropriate? I think with that size circle the slowest speed would be right. What about lubrication? Dry, water, oil or what?
I am trying to avoid a starting hole and saber saw or some other such way.
Charlie
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I use the bimetal hole saw blades from Milwaukee. They work great on Aluminum and other soft metal. I spray the metal and blade with an oil lubricant. Use the slowest speed.
The hole saws made for wood can be aggresive and will cut aluminum just be extra careful.
Jon

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clamp the piece of metal to the press table. you can lose fingers if the hole saw binds and then you'll have to sign your posts stumpy.
regards, charlie http://glassartists.org/chaniarts
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Drilled a lot my self and hole saw works fine But Use a c clamp and piece of plywood backer to keep saw on track and metal from flying.

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Ops I forgot to mention I also use a spray -on dry lube product too.

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You can use a hole saw mounted on a mandrel but be aware that Aluminum is quite bad at galling the teeth. Wax stick lubricant helps or some other lubricant.
An Irwin Speedbore or equal is available in 1 1/2" , is cheaper, is a whole lot faster.
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wrote:

I usually score the workpeice from the backside, and then flip it over and drill through.
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Charlie Bress wrote:

reamer or punch?
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The hole cutters that use a bar and two HSS cutter bits work well for aluminum.
If your drill press is like my cheapo DP,the slowest speed is 620 RPM,a bit fast for large bits. I do better using my 9.6V Makita cordless drill/driver.
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Jim Yanik
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