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  • Copper machining

    I need to make a hole about 3/4 in dia. in a chunk of copper. Can anyone tell me the proper lubricant to use, and/or the type of drill bit to use, will a speed bit do it without grabbing? I know a regular bit will dig in, and as I can't chuck this irregular shaped piece, it looks like a drill press job. I can clamp it in a vice, but my first attempt at drilling it met with disaster for the drill. This is worse than soft aluminum. I also need to tap a hole for a mounting stud, but I don't want to ruin a tap, or the piece. What's the best way to go about this?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    Drill with amorphous diamond coated bits (Dialub) or hard chromed bits. $$$$
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      Try this: take a small stone and stone the relief off the drill flutes, i.e. hold the stone parallel to the axis of the drill and stone the cutting edges a bit, so the front faces are straight up and down.

      Allegedly, the lubricant of choice for copper is...milk. No kidding.
      ----------
      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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      • #4
        Yep. Got Milk? I had a job of making several thousand contacts for industrial spot welders. Do not use a spade bit. If this is dead soft copper the hole will want to close behind it a little.
        SGW is right 0 rake in the drill bit.
        I'd do it in the mill so that you can control your downfeed. You can run the drill pretty fast, but go slow on the feed.
        Clean up thoroughly. If you've ever smelled spoilt milk you'll know why.

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        • #5
          I like the idea of controlled feed via the mill. Also, follow the idea of the relieved rake angle on the drill bit. I do this with copper, and it works well. I use normal coolant for the copper. Use a spray bottle with coolant in it, spray it on. Seems to run well. Also, run a "chipbreak" type of drilling action. Peck it in. be careful not to lift up on the peck too fast though, or you leave little "drill hooks" (the stopping point of the drill bit, leaves a ridge, or a bit of a hooked burr) to catch and spin the drill on the next pass / peck.

          never really had a hard time with copper, never figured out why, and now that I have said this. probably will next time.

          CCBW, MAH

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          • #6
            Milk. For that control flow container they talk about just sling ol' Bessie up over your shoulder grab a teat and shoot to kill.
            OK, so maybe a smaller container WOULD be a better choice, but Milk, no foolin'.
            I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.

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            • #7
              Well, who'd a thunk it, milk. Couldn't get any cooperation from old betsy, so I'll have to get some milk from the store. I did cobble up a way of chucking it in the lathe, and drilled a pilot hole using something similar to wd40, worked ok. Now to bore it to size.

              [This message has been edited by darryl (edited 10-28-2003).]
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                Is that 2% Milk or regular?? LOL

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                • #9
                  That must be 2% for occasional use, and full strength for production use.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    Fat free for thin stock?

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