Drilling at a Slower Rate In general, it's best to drill through metal at the slowest feasible speed with a metal drill bit. Hard metals, such as steel, and bigger drill bits need even slower rates. Most metals may be drilled through at 3,000 rpm with a tiny twist bit (1/16 in. to 3/16 in.). For best results, use a torque wrench to keep the torque on your drill below 15 ft-lbs (20 Nm). Metal can break if overdrilled, so take care not to go too deep.
The advantage of drilling slowly is that you don't heat up the metal being drilled. This can cause it to soften or melt, which can lead to failure of the connection. Drilling faster also uses less energy than drilling slower, so this is an environmental benefit too. Of course, if you want a really strong connection, you should drill deeper rather than slower.
Drilling Metals - Best Practices
When connecting metal objects together, it's important to avoid heating them up too much during drilling. This can lead to failure of the connection. If possible, drill into a cold piece of metal to get the most strength from the connection.
It's also important to use a torque tool to make sure you aren't overdriving your drill. You don't want to destroy your drill because you thought it was a good idea to drive it hard when making a connection.
Copper is a soft metal that can be easily drilled through with a high-speed steel drill bit. However, if you want to drill several holes, a carbide or cobalt-tipped drill bit is a better and more durable option. The trickiest aspect of drilling through copper is determining if it is a copper tube or a copper pipe. If you are not sure what type of material you have, contact your local heating supplier. They will be able to help you determine whether drilling is possible and provide you with the correct bit for your application.
Once you have determined that you will be drilling into copper, make sure that you use protective gear. Wear gloves, safety glasses, and a heavy-duty dust mask. Also, make sure that you clean and dry your work area after drilling into copper.
If you are planning on using copper for heating water, check with your local building department to make sure that you are not violating any plumbing codes. Some communities require that exposed pipes be insulated to prevent heat loss/gain. Other than that, there should be no problem using copper for hot water.
Drilling into copper is easy if you follow some simple instructions. First, measure out exactly how many holes you need and divide that by four. This is how many total holes you will need. Then, take the number from step one and subtract it from this value. This is how many holes you need for your drill bit to fit properly.
Drilling through a hard surface necessitates the use of specialist drill bits. Drill bits are not intended to pierce through metal. As a result, they are readily worn away. As a result, strong bits that can drill through metal without being destroyed are required.
The most common cause of unable to drill through metal is when the hole you have drilled does not go deep enough. If you stop drilling before the depth is reached, the bit will need to be changed. This could be difficult if the hole is large or deep.
If the hole has been drilled too far, the metal may be weakened where it was pierced. This may cause it to break later on when a much greater force is applied. Drilling too far also risks damaging other nearby materials, such as wood or drywall. These materials may be penetrated instead.
Some metals, like zinc and copper, are soft and can be drilled with standard drill bits. But these metals are usually used for their appearance rather than for their strength. They are easy to drill because there is no risk of breaking off a bit while drilling.
Other metals, like iron, are hard to drill because they won't break or wear away. But they aren't always unusable; special steel alloys are now used which allow iron objects to be drilled using standard drill bits.