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How to drill holes in shipbuilding angle steel?

Posted: 9/17/2013 2:14:54 AM

Drilling holes in shipbuilding angle steel or angle iron requires drill bits capable of drilling harder materials while remaining sharp. And you need a method of reducing friction at the drilling point. High-speed drill bits are hardened beyond the hardness of iron. This allows the drill bit to cut through the steel without rapidly dulling during the cut. Using a high-speed drill bit with the proper type of drill motor will allow you to control the speed and heat of the drill bit.


1 Secure a length of shipbuilding angle steel in a bench vise.
2 Set the point of a center punch at the location you require a hole. Strike the back of the punch with a hammer to create a depression to hold the tip of drill bit on the center of the hole.
3 Select a drill bit matching the size of your hole from a drill bit set or a drill bit 1/3 the size of a hole larger than 5/15 inch. Secure the drill bit in the chuck of a variable speed drill motor.
4 Coat the center punch depression with cutting fluid.
5 Pull the trigger of the drill motor to drill slowly through the shipbuilding angle steel. Add additional cutting fluid to the drill bit when you notice smoke coming from the drilling area. Exchange the drill bit for the final hole size when drilling holes over 5/16 inch in diameter. Drill the larger hole to the correct size while continually dripping cutting fluid over the drilled hole.