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  • Spotweld Drill

    Friend in a body shop drills out spot welds by the hundred and needs better drills. Would like to make him a couple of dozen 1/4" that will drill hard, thin material that could be sharpened quickly. Thinking about a stubby single flute 135* from O-1. Maybe he needs 1/8" starters by the dozen. He thinks putting all of his weight on an air drill to make a chip once in a while is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Has he tried any of the spot weld cutters from places like Eastwood or maybe the autobody catalogs?

    They have a pretty good selection, though I have no idea of the quality.

    -James

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    • #3
      I thought spot weld cutters are annular and cut around the spot which is usually slightly hardened by welding process. Simply drilling the whole weld is ok but more power onto a blunt drill will as he has found out end with lots of breakages.
      Try a carbide it may last longer but not a 1/8 get a short stubby 1/4 it will last longer and has more meat to it!!!

      Peter
      I have tools I don't know how to use!!

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      • #4
        I would not use an air drill unless it was geared way down ---- most are hi RPM critters without any torque, I would get a corded VS dewalt to start with, then I would teach him how to drill, The most common mistake is drilling to fast, he's prob. burning up his HS bits, also show him how to use cutting fluid, I bet this alone will improve things drastically --- welds are tough, they can eat HS so if he's still having trouble maybe carbide is the ultimate solution.

        I would bank on it that your friend is rapping out the air drill and turning his bit tips red.

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        • #5
          He could save a lot of time and money by doing it right. Yes, you can drill out a spot weld but, if you use a "spot weld cutter" you will be able to cut the panel loose without cutting through the skins.

          http://eastwood.resultspage.com/sear...potweld+cutter
          "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."~ Thomas Jefferson

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          • #6
            1/4" is pretty small for most auto spot welds. I use quite a few 5/16" but most bits are 3/8" and a few larger (for frame welds). I went to using end mills in an air drill with a spring loaded guide. The face of the cutter should be flat. You don't want to drill a cone as this thins the underlying metal and will cause a gap when the new panel is attached. The process is to drill the weld on the top layer only and leaving a clean flat surface on the lower panel.

            The hollow type are a pain because you have to go back and grind the center part off. Just an extra step that adds time. You could do your friend a big favor and make him a guide to fit a HF 3/8" air drill and throw in some 4-flute end mills. Beats the heck out of the $300-400 spot weld cutters.

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            • #7
              As a UK based GM (Vauxhall) dealership Panel Beater I used both types of spot weld removal drills, The hole saw style cutters are OK but but centering can be fairly poor, the drills which resemble a spot drill with a small centering point in the middle work best (in my opinion).
              BTW Air drills run at the speed they are bought for, a decent panel beater who supplies his own tools will have a range, a decent panel beater working somewhere where the company supplies air tools but where you have to wait for someone else to finish with them will also own their own, it's the only way to earn bonus.

              These are what you need-
              http://www.mhpltd.co.uk/SpotWeldDrills.htm

              Or these-
              www.wurth.co.uk/catalogue/pdfs/UK-CD_03_2205.pdf

              This also gives an idea of gemetry,
              Regards,
              Nick

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              • #8
                Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
                I would bank on it that your friend is rapping out the air drill and turning his bit tips red.
                LOL... I suspect you don't own an air drill. They're high torque, low rpm. You're thinking of a die grinder or something. While the drill's air motor is screaming fast, they have planetary gear reduction with a lot of torque. My 3/8" will break your wrist or break the bit if you hang it up. I don't think mine turns more than 800 rpm. You're more likely to burn up a bit with an electric drill.

                Forgot to mention: Also, you can get an air drill into a lot of tight places that you can't with a regular drill or the tool designed for weld cutting.

                Also an experienced "Panel Beater", Ken
                Last edited by CCWKen; 08-25-2008, 03:14 PM.

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                • #9
                  The type of spot weld cutter I have used is a very specialized type of air drill that clamps to the panel and uses a cutter that cuts flush to the lower panel. Then to install a new panel you just need to plug weld it.
                  http://www.dentfix.com/viewitem.asp?...d+AHSS+Capable
                  Mark Hockett

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CCWKen
                    LOL... I suspect you don't own an air drill. They're high torque, low rpm. You're thinking of a die grinder or something. While the drill's air motor is screaming fast, they have planetary gear reduction with a lot of torque. My 3/8" will break your wrist or break the bit if you hang it up. I don't think mine turns more than 800 rpm. You're more likely to burn up a bit with an electric drill.

                    Forgot to mention: Also, you can get an air drill into a lot of tight places that you can't with a regular drill or the tool designed for weld cutting.

                    Also an experienced "Panel Beater", Ken

                    The first time I used the air drill in my high school's auto shop, I thought it was busted. It was screaming along and the chuck was spinning really slow. I thought it must have an internal leak and be useless. Turns out thats the way that one was made.

                    We have another one that looks basically like an air drill but it's designed to be more of an angle grinder. Its super fast and it gets used for burnishing disc brakes and etc.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CCWKen
                      LOL... I suspect you don't own an air drill. They're high torque, low rpm. You're thinking of a die grinder or something. While the drill's air motor is screaming fast, they have planetary gear reduction with a lot of torque. My 3/8" will break your wrist or break the bit if you hang it up. I don't think mine turns more than 800 rpm. You're more likely to burn up a bit with an electric drill.

                      Forgot to mention: Also, you can get an air drill into a lot of tight places that you can't with a regular drill or the tool designed for weld cutting.

                      Also an experienced "Panel Beater", Ken

                      Ken, you missed the part where I said "unless its geared way down"

                      The early ones iv used were way way to fast for quality drilling --- not only that their trigger was very harsh and didnt allow you to get "variable" -- not that it mattered due to the lack of torque, Your right, i dont own one, i once did and it got cheet canned, Not sayin that thats the way they all are - once again thats why I clarified "unless its geared way down"
                      But the fact of the matter is is the guys burning up his bits right and left, AND he's using an airdrill doing it -- Hence the reason for the potential of it being a piece of cheet -- hence the reason for me mentioning it -- Other thing is I hate to run a 3Hp compressor to drill a hole in something, thats about what it takes after you subtract all the inefficiencies of running a huge motor with belt frictions to power a huge compressor with all kinds of friction to then allow heated air to cool in a tank (loss of hard earned pressure) and then run it through an archaic frictional apparatus like a piece of crap air drill, Its not rocket science, all you have to do is run your air drill a little and then put your hand on your compressor motor -- and its compressor, and then the inlet line of the tank (you might want to wear a glove) and then whatever heat you feel think about ten times the amount of heat in coal being used Just because some hillbilly wants to have an airdrill, all the while I got my little plastic de-walt humming away comfortably in my hand at about 102 degree's F --- Comprendo?
                      sorry, i hate those things , and I hate air ratchets also, 30 years of wrenching and never owned one of those either, also voted the guy who will most likely find a flaw under the hood due to the fact that while im working my hand ratchet im looking at other things and "thinking" , go figure...

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                      • #12
                        He, he, he... I laugh at your 3hp compressor.
                        I can fill an empty 80-gallon air tank to 110psi in about four seconds

                        Yeah, you're right, it's silly to fire up a compressor for one hole. But, we weren't talking about one hole. The subject was about drilling spot welds in a body shop. It's not often you come across an auto panel with less than 30-40 welds. That's why the bits wear out. Try that with an electric drill and it'll be smoking after 10 holes. Ain't got all day to wait for the drill to cool off. In a body shop, time is money. Besides that, electric drills are just too dang bulky.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have seen High quality "pint sized" electrics that can fit anywhere an air drill can, Yes I can see special applications for the air drills (around gas fumes ect.)-- the trouble is is once someone has one they seem to want to use it for everything and there's no convenience advantage -- both have to have a cord or hose but the inconvenience is the power consumption on the air drill is four or five to one...
                          I remember a fellow mechanic running his air ratchet on the bench --- he was disassembling something in a vise, making all kinds of noise, compressor firing up every other minute,, all kinds of wide open space to turn a regular ratchet and not even have to use the pawls in it, i went over there after he was fiddling for five minutes --- grabbed his ratchet away from him and plugged the socket onto mine with extension and spun everything that needed to be spun off (which was more than he already done) in about a half minute, looked at him and told him to use some common sense... (he was my old boss!)

                          Thats why I dont work with anybody anymore...
                          Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 08-27-2008, 08:06 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NickH
                            As a UK based GM (Vauxhall) dealership Panel Beater I used both types of spot weld removal drills, The hole saw style cutters are OK but but centering can be fairly poor, the drills which resemble a spot drill with a small centering point in the middle work best (in my opinion).
                            Eastwood has them on the same page that smiller6912 linked:

                            http://www.eastwoodco.com/jump.jsp?i...emType=PRODUCT
                            "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
                              I have seen High quality "pint sized" electrics that can fit anywhere an air drill can, ...
                              Show me an electric drill that is less than 6 inches from chuck nose to back end and has a body diameter close to that of it's 3/8 inch Jacobs chuck that will run a 1/4 inch drill through inch steel plate all day then I'll show you my little ARO that I bought 30 years ago.

                              The air drill is lighter for it's power, does not get too hot to hold after you've drilled out all the spot welds holding a van side in place, or have a thermal cut out episode just when you need it to keep going, stands up better to workshop conditions as there's nowhere for water/paint/dust to get in & gunk up the insides and is cheaper to refurb as a quick hone & a set of rotor vanes & it'll last you the next 30 years, unless you forget to oil it agan

                              I do use mains or cordless electric for small jobs but on a big job out come the airtools, I can walk from my toolbox to the job with airsaw, pair of air drills, air grinder, air chisel and DA sander in one hand, try that with electric,
                              Regards,
                              Nick

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