Best way to drill through cast iron???

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Cast drills ez. Drill a pilot hole to make it easier though. Lubricants not needed.
Wes
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wrote:

why use big holes? just drill and tap some holes. then you dont have to worrie with nuts and washers. makes the addition of a table easy.bolt your brackets directly to the top. i used an old detla saw table to mount several grinders to in this manner. worked like a charm. go slow and let the bit do the work.the cast drills easy and 1 bit and 1 tap should do all the holes for you. george
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tnfkajs wrote:

What do you consider a big hole? FWIW I drilled a 1/2" hole through a piece of railroad track (just under the rail head, where it was maybe 1" thick). I used 3-in-one oil to lubricate it, because that's what was within reach. I set the speed on my drill press according to the chart, and wound up using the lowest speed I had for the job, but it came out fine. I got two perfect little twisty thingies (dang, what are those called?), and the bit is fine. The only problem was when the bit started to break through to the other side, grabbed, and tried to spin the 60-pound piece of track. I smoked the belts on the drill press a couple of times before I managed to find just the right light touch to get through without it grabbing.
Cast iron would be even easier to drill, though you have the dual problems of keeping the drill perpendicular to the table surface and maintaining a good, low speed. Maybe use a dowling jig?
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tnfkajs wrote:

Easy to drill, just do it in stages beginning with a 1/8" drill bit then 3/16", etc. until you reach the size you want for your bolts. A little oil won't hurt but you don't need to slop it on this way.
Scott
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Cast iron is easily drilled with high speed steel drill bits..
tnfkajs wrote:

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Cast iron is the easiest stuff in the world to drill. More fun that wood, IMHO. Centerpunch to locate the hole, drill one small pilot hole, then go full-size. Don't use cutting fluid--it's self-lubricating. A slightly higher speed than steel for the same bit size is good.
Can't offer any info specific to the project.
GTO(John)

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Hmmm. Flashback from working on heavy equipment! I used to hate drilling holes in thick cast iron - a realitively thin table saw should be a cakewalk. We used a 2 HP drill - if the bit bit - you went for a ride! My Delta TS has 3 holes drilled on each side for this purpose. You will need Cobalt Drill Bits. The bigger the drill the better. Start out with a small bit and work your way up to whatever size you need. I assume you'll wind up using 3/8" bolts (?). Optionally you can tap the holes to receive the bolt. Mark from Pasadena, MD
tnfkajs wrote:

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Standard HSS is fine. Cast iron is easy drilling. If you do drill a pilot hole (recommended) make sure it is smaller than the web diameter of the larger drill bit or it Will grab. The average 1/2 inch corded drill is plenty.

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I too have the Jet SuperSaw and I have added an outfeed table to the back (32"x57" I think), an extention table to the right hand side, a drawer under the extension table (for push sticks and feater boards) and a large drawer under the saw cabnet for blades and such.
Drilling through the cast iron was easy (1/4" holes). I used a BD elec drill, 1/4" 'Bad Dog' bit and a little 3-in-1 oil. Worked like a champ.
If you want more info or some pictures, email me.
Cheers, john
tnfkajs wrote:

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Take the piece off and take to a GOOD machine shop.
tnfkajs wrote:

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If there is a flat surface, you can atach a magnetic drill. Good tool rental shops have them, but it will probably be $50 for the day. You supply the bit. Yes, lube as you drill, even if it is only a spray of WD-40.

Anything you can clamp on to? Ed
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Drill cast iron dry. Hand drill would work just fine.

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Finally, someone speaking reason. Yes, it drills easily and very nicely. Tends to clog taps though. Just back out a bit after every couple turns and it works fine.

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wrote:

How do you get a couple of turns? I've never been able to get more than a half turn or so before things tighten up enough that I'm afraid of breaking the tap.
There must be some sort of corrolary to Murphy's Law about this; taps only break in locations whose position is absolutely essential and for which no alternative exists. I don't want to fall prey to that...ever.
LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
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Back up as it starts to get tight, don't wait until it's tight.
Are you using the right size tap drill for the material?
Don't have good tap drill chart?
Subtract one thread pitch from the nominal screw diameter. .250-20 Tap drill = .250 -1/20 = .200. Then pick the next largest actual drill size (assuming you have a complete set of drills). If you only have a set graduated in 1/16th or 32nds you have a problem.
Also use coarse threads everyplace you can. They are easier to cut and hold up better in many materials, cast iron and aluminum being two good examples.
Rico
LRod wrote:

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I do that. It just doesn't take very long; certainly not two turns.

Yes.
I do.

If I can remember all that, I'll try to use it if my chart isn't handy.

I have fractional and numbered, but I don't have letter size. Most of the time I'm tapping sizes that need number sized bits. No problem there.

Probably stainless, too, I would think, because of the ease of galling.
Thanks for your thoughts.
LRod
Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
Shamelessly whoring my website since 1999
http://www.woodbutcher.net
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Depends on the circumstances. You're doing it right though. If you feel excess resistance, clear the chips.

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CW wrote:

If he's going to tap the holes, it's also worth conidering using a drill jig to assure the hole is perpendicular to the surface. A block of hardwood 1.5 inches or so thick with a drill press drilled hole in it makes a good drill jig for quite a few holes before it wears out. Just clamp the jig in place and use it to align the drill. Not necessary, but it makes for a nicer job.
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I'm the OP - I asked this about a month or two ago... I asked because I didn't have the slighest idea on what it took to drill into cast iron. Now I do... :)
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