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curious about process

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  • curious about process

    So... yesterday I assembly-lined 16 little widgets, basically just custom nuts, 1" bar cross-drilled and threaded. It went well enough but, as always when I'm doing repetitive work, my mind got to wandering and I started trying to figure out other ways. I'm curious how someone with more experience would approach this.

    What I did:
    I set up a v-block and a stop in my drillpress vice, set a 1" bar horizontally in it and clamped it down. Then, I crossed drilled, starting with a center-drill (mounted in a little chuck on a bar), switched to a 5/16" drill and went right through, then switched to a short 3/8" drill and counterbored half way through, hitting the drillpress quill stop in the process. Next, I pulled out the rod and cut 1" off the end in my bandsaw, again with a stop. Repeat, alternating between 2 rods so I could drill while the bandsaw did its thing. After all that was done, I clamped each one in a vice and hand-threaded it, using the counterbore as a tap guide. When all was said and done, I deburred on a beltsander.

    It work well enough. After lots of fussing around trying to figure out how to drill a 1" deep hole with 3 different drills on a little drillpress with 2" of quill travel, and setting up the various stops, the actual process only took a couple of hours. My wrist is aching from all that chucking and re-chucking, ... and re-chucking, but I'm generally pleased with the results.

    So... disillusion me. How would a pro do a limited production run like this? I have a 3in1 lathe/mill/drill and lots of basic tooling. I'm sure I had other options that didn't occur to me. Is there an easier way that doesn't involve all that re-chucking?

    Also, changing the subject somewhat, I noticed something odd when doing all that drilling. About 1/2 way through each run with the 5/16" drill, it started cutting easier. I checked that it wasn't just something like quill handle position. It was obviously easier to drill the second half of the rod than the first Why? Is this something generally known? Is it something to do with the drill being well supported in the hole? It's no big deal, but it struck me as odd. Has anyone else noticed this?

    I've no plans to do any more of these, but I figure I might as well learn something in the process.

  • #2

    I would have set it up the same on the Mill/Drill as you did on the drill press.
    Then used a Wahlstrom automatic drill chuck to drill the holes. If the spindle reverses, you can also power tap at the same time. If not, you could use a cord or cordless reversible drill motor to tap with as a last operation before deburring. Also you could use a tapping head in the Mill/Drill. Power tapping of some kind makes life a lot easier.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Toolguy
      ... used a Wahlstrom automatic drill chuck ...
      Oh, now those look interesting. I didn't know about those. Do they work well? Any issues with slipping drills? From the looks, the harder the feed pressure, the tighter they get... true?

      That's what I like about metalworking... always more tools to buy

      Thanks for the info,



      • #4
        I would have set it up in my mill and used the DRO to locate the holes. Maybe pilot half a dozen, change bits and drill on the way back to the beginning. Then I would have put my new tap handle in the chuck and hand tapped all the holes. Remove bar from vise and bandsaw off all 6 pieces. Then start over.


        • #5
          Wahlstrom Chuck

          I have used them for a lot of years in the toolroom. They do not get tighter with more feed pressure as the Albrecht keyless chucks do. You tighten them by hand. Sometimes on reverse they will release a tap like a keyless if you don't go all the way through, as in a blind hole. If tightened good they usually hold though.
          They have four jaws so the drill bits with 3 flats don't work but anything with a round shank is fine. Normally they hold as well as a keyed chuck.
          I'm still using the same one I started with some 20+ years ago. It still works as good as new. I have done 10's of 1000's of holes with it.