View Full Version : always nice to have the proper tool for the job

05-11-2009, 09:20 PM
one of my crazy projects involved drilling 3/4" holes in some 1/4" thick steel. i have a holesaw that i use, but the drill press i had didn't go quite slow enough, and even if it did, the belts would always slip if the holesaw even stalled for an instant. last fall i picked up the UP mill/drill for doing some work in the basement in the winter, as well as drilling larger holes in things that wouldn't fit on the lathe. well tonight i decided to finish drilling the holes for the project and put the handy-dandy huge ball bearing Jacobs chuck in the mill/drill and had at it. well when i was using the cheesy drill press it would take me literally 20 minutes to drill a hole because of the slipping belts. i am proud to say that tonight it took me all of 1 minute to drill the two remaining 3/4" holes. :)
in fact, it tool about ten times as long to get the mill/drill ready. even taking that ten minutes into account, i still saved 1/2 hour. now i am pissed at myself for not getting the mill/drill sooner because the previous six holes took me all afternoon one day. :(

it is nice to have the proper tools for the job. :)

andy b.

05-11-2009, 10:09 PM
Hi, Andy,

Agree completely. Not only quicker, but more enjoyable. This weekend, I changed the oil and sharpened the blade on the lawn mower. A made-in-china adjustable wrench and socket set would probably got-er-dun. However, using my forty year old Snap-On stuff made a chore a pleasure.

thnx, jack vines

05-12-2009, 07:20 AM
i have found that a set of these rotocutters from alfa are absolutely great. my set is 1/4" thru 3/4" and good for 1/4" material. a 3/4" hole would take about 10 seconds, maybe less.

the whole set in a box was less than $75 bucks.

i could not find the exact item in their catalog as its somewhat new but here's the general idea. . .


does anyone else share this opinion ?


Ron Davy
05-12-2009, 07:35 AM
we use theam at work and they work real good

05-12-2009, 07:45 AM
Ironworkers have went to a shell type bit cutting steel for ten plus years. On all the mag drills..

I changed the oil and sharpened the blade on the lawn mower.
Brass hammer, leather mallet, Hammer, chisel, pry bar, snap on socket set, 4" cut off tool, 7 1/2hp compressor, airline, chain hoist and Ibeam.

Victim? Very old snapper mower with 1/2 bolts holding the blade to a mount, bolts were siezed from mowing rocks. After messing with them for a while I cut them cross ways and split them off the bolts. Sharpened the blade and put them back on. I also got to beat the front of the mower deck back round instead of flat across the front. (jumping rocks)

Those old snapper roos are amazing.. there is a round rubber tire on the transaxle, a disc spins on the motor.. the gears are just moving the rubber across the disc to gain speed changes. Clutch disengages it all. Neutral is a depression in the middle of the disc. Simple. I remember seeing a tapping machine similar gearbox.

Rotten tires from sitting.. PITB. Done replaced one, another "broke" while mowing. Older brother had the snapper-roo and had bought a new Cub Cadet. So it sit.

05-12-2009, 10:16 AM
i have found that a set of these rotocutters from alfa are absolutely great...


Holy smokes... I picked up a box (maybe two dozen) of those at a machine shop auction a few months ago. They were part of a lot of "random stuff boxes" and I think I paid maybe 5 bucks for all of it. I thought they were specialized mills of some sort and just left them in the corner to become dust collectors.

Thanks for that post!

05-12-2009, 12:34 PM
For round holes in the side of pipe and overlapping holes the rotabroaches are hard to beat. I prefer to use coolant whenever possible and even went the extra $200 plus for an infuser so I only get coolant when actually cutting.
As with anything there is a downside, with the annular cutters it is cost and the swarf is nasty,stringy and sharp. The upside being round, uniform holes done with a low horsepower machine.
The little set for under 1/4 inch thick is really nice for "drilling" sheetmetal.

take a look at www.hougen.com

05-14-2009, 01:37 PM
I got a set from a friend, who got them in a grab bag of stuff at a flea market in Baton Rouge. I found that they were the "cat's a$$" for drilling holes for antenna mounts in a vehicle. :D Makes a nice neat hole without distorting the surrounding metal. I have used them for near on 20 years and am inpressed with their performance every time I use them.