PCB Drilling Solutions

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by nDever, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Hey Guys,

    I bought some PCB specialty drill bits about two weeks ago. I believe they range from 0.5mm to 3mm. Last week, I tried drilling holes in my first board with a Craftsman 3/8 drill. I drilled the first hole perfectly, but the bit broke on the second hole; I'm not entirely sure why it broke (maybe too much pressure? The bit started wobbling for a while), but I think I may need a smaller drill that can accommodate the tiny bits.

    What kind of drill do you guys use for hole drilling?
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Umm..senior moment. Can't remember the name of it so I took a photo.
    Put this in a drill press so you don't aim at an angle and break the bits.

    Oh yeah...pin vise.
     
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  3. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    These are aimed at HS spindle, ~12k - 20krpm.
    A dremel might do it.
    Max.
     
  4. BobTPH

    Active Member

    Jun 5, 2013
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    I use a dremel tool and a dremel drill press stand. I have only broken one bit, and that was because I hit with the board + backing board as I removed it.

    Bob
     
  5. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    You're going to have a very hard time controlling the 3/8" drill unless it's installed on a bench... but Max is right, you need around 10,000 RPMs for those bits to behave properly (think tangential speed of cut at the drill's outer diameter)... a Dremel is definitely in order for this application... also, I hope your bits are carbide and not hss...
     
  6. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    I guess it didn't help that I drilled the holes manually (with no drill press). I probably went at it with an angle.
     
  7. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

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    THAT explains a lot... don't sweat it man... buy a Dremel... I normally drill those holes manually without a hitch using the flex shaft...
     
  8. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I have an advantage: A 1938 Walker-Turner drill press that I redesigned. Cast iron like, you don't try to move it, you bolt it to a bench, and the bearings were all changed to 21st century with adapters I designed and installed. :cool:
     
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  9. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Show-off ... :rolleyes:
     
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  10. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    Do I need some sort of special chuck for the tiny bits I have? To be honest, I've never used a dremel before.
     
  11. cmartinez

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    The dremel already comes with a miniature chuck that can hold bits from 1/64" up to 1/8" in diameter... Also, I believe Craftsman and other brands have Dremel-clones in their catalog that are quite acceptable too...
     
  12. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Dremel use a collet type chuck. You can buy various sized collets for most dremels (1/8, 3/32 and 1/16 are the options - If I remember correctly). Check the diameter of your bits and make sure what ever dremel kit you buy has the right collet. Otherwise they are an additional $5 for each collet
     
  13. MikeA

    Member

    Jan 20, 2013
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    I drilled about 50 holes (0.8mm) just yesterday with a 6 foot tall drill press weighing about 250lb with a 1/2" chuck. No problems whatsoever. :D

    You can pick up a small drill press from Harbor Freight for half what a Dremel costs. Would work much better than any handheld solution.
     
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  14. cmartinez

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    Jan 17, 2007
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    Bet you also go hunting for rabbits using a bazooka...
     
  15. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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  16. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I just added a HS spindle to my knee mill in order to use the HS bits, these use a small collet known as ER11 but the dremel or similar will work but use a rigid stand of some kind.
    http://www.maritool.com/ER-Collets
    Max.
     
  17. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Same here. My 1/2" drill press chuck will go down so far, I can't remember without going to the shed and hoping I can find the box and read the label. What matters is that you can't see any wobble in a 0.031 inch drill bit...without using a pin vise! :eek:
     
  18. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

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    That looks like pretty high quality tooling there, Max...
     
  19. nDever

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    I'm on Ebay and most of the collets that I need ship from Hong Kong, Thailand, or somewhere else in the East; maybe I'm not searching for the right thing here. I'm searching "0.5 mm dremel collet".
     
  20. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I picked up the HS spindle and a HS DC motor fairly reasonable off ebay, so I just needed a couple of extra collets.
    Max.
     
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