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Drilling feeler gauge

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  • Drilling feeler gauge

    I have a project where I'm using feeler gauges as springs and I need to drill holes in them for mounting. I'm using a dremel with a small grinding 'bit' to make holes in them, but it takes awhile.

    Would carbide drills work for this? Any other method?

    Thanks.
    Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

  • #2
    Punch the holes. Assuming not too large holes in not too thick material a small Roper Whitney 5jr hand punch should do it.

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    • #3
      I make suspension springs for clocks from .015 feeler gauge stock. The holes are punched after assembly to assure proper location. If the location is not as critical a steel block with an appropriate sized hole and a punch hit with a hammer will work.

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      • #4
        If you do go with drilling them (and it shouldn't be too hard), clamp the piece to be drilled between 2 pieces of flat scrap steel stock, drill all the way through - you'll get a nice clean hole with no burrs.

        Ian
        All of the gear, no idea...

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        • #5
          Clamp a piece of scrap on the drill table, drill the hole you want or slightly larger (like 0.1 mm) and put a hardened pin or some other that has been cutoff sharp and use your drill press as a cheap punch press. Done this millions of times on feelers from 0.05 to 0.8 mm, and now that I said this aloud I think I should be making a punch press for futures sake.
          Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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          • #6
            High tech punch press:
            Drill hole in metal, Slit metal (Assuming your making holes near the edge of the feeler gauges), insert feeler gauge and some chunk of broken drill bit or similar hard metal
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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            • #7
              That is a great idea Jaakko. Thanks for sharing it.

              Dan
              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by danlb View Post
                That is a great idea Jaakko. Thanks for sharing it.

                Dan
                One option is to make a sort of 'stripper plate', either with an extra bar clamped on top that has space under it to take the workpiece and a hole through it for the punch, OR, the more simpler version: Just cut/mill a slit/slot in the side so that you can feed the material from the side to get it punched. The downside is the lack of sharpening possibility.

                In a 'proper' punch there would be also a some spring loaded part around the punch itself, this would first contact the part and keep it flat while being punched, but it isn't absolutely necessary unless trying to cut near the workpiece borders. One can always bend/beat the material back to flat if needed.

                Edit: And extra points for using something hard/hardenable as the die and the punch. Case hardening, tool steel, pre-hardened, they all work. Even a basic structural steel withstands a few holes.
                Amount of experience is in direct proportion to the value of broken equipment.

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                • #9
                  Have you tried a cobalt drill? I drill 1/8" holes in bandsaw blades that are broken but still sharp for hacksaw blades.Works fine, also made a few pinless blades for a scrollsaw.The cobalt did the job on bimetal blades,might work on your feeler gauges.
                  mike

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                  • #10
                    I cut round holes in hacksaw blades to shorten them with a 3/16" dia. 2 flute carbide end mill.
                    Brian Rupnow

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                    • #11
                      Thanks all.

                      I like the punch idea. I doubt my cheap chinese drill press is up to the task of acting as a punch. The feeler gauge I'm using is .020" and .030". From what I read on the Roper Whitney site, I'm not sure if the 5 Jr is up to the task. But then I can't translate from "mild" to "tempered" steel.

                      I tried drilling with HSS, with no luck. Maybe not enough pressure or sharper bit? I'll see if I can hunt up a carbide or cobalt bit and see what that does. If I get to a point where I'm doing enough of these, I'll definitely look into a punch.

                      Thanks again.
                      Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

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