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Evil Appetite

Drilling holes in styrene rod

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Does anyone have a technique for drilling perfectly centered holes in styrene hex rod?

Edited by Evil Appetite

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15 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

In the end or the side?

Since he said "centered," I'm guessing he means in the end. 

This was the best method I ever found for drilling holes in model airplane machine gun/cannon barrels: Start by putting a nick in the center with the tip of a new Xacto knife. Examine closely. It is exact center? If not, you can "carve" it out a little to move it. Start reaming out the hole with the tip of the blade, correcting as you go to get/keep it centered. (This is easier than trying to do it with a drill bit.) When you've got a perfectly centered divot, which will be shaped like a shallow cone. When you're satisfied that the divot is centered, you can get out the appropriate drill bit and start drilling. 

I never had to drill these gun barrels very deep, as all I needed was the impression of depth, achieved with black paint. I can't imagine trying to drill any length of rod all the way through. 

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I use a compass needle tip, straight pin or a punch which I ground down to a super fine point to mark the center of styrene round/hex rods. Then, I start drilling a pilot hole with a #80 bit in a pin vise, increasing the bit size as needed. I've`drilled as deep. as 15 mm into a .040" hex rod with a #76 bit. It takes patience; but, it can be accomplished.

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1) Depending on the size of hole you need, and the size of your stock, it's EASY to make up an end-drilling-jig from pieces of concentric slip-fit tubing. 

Arrange everything so that the OUTER tube is longer than the rest, and slips nicely over your stock.

The INNER tube should be a loose slip-fit with your drill bit.

2) Similar to Joe's method: file the end of your stock as square as you can get it by eyeball.

Under magnification (if you need it) make a pilot hole in the eyeball-center with a common pin.

Start drilling with a drill chucked up in a pin-vise; as you start to drill, it's very easy to lean the drill one way or another to get it on-center if you missed getting the pilot hole dead-on.

3) If you have a drill press, this should help: the first part of the vid shows how to get a center-end-hole in rod stock, and the second part shows how to use that as a jig to drill centered holes in the SIDE of rod stock.

 

 

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The best solution I've found with centering a hole on ends of a rod was to make a set of brass tubes and a drill bit or punch the diameter of the rod being drilled in the center.

image.png.30164fe65df0b87c4e0655f4b3840daa.png

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10 minutes ago, Foxer said:

The best solution I've found with centering a hole on ends of a rod was to make a set of brass tubes and a drill bit or punch the diameter of the rod being drilled in the center.

:D Perfect illustration of suggestion #1 in my post above. VERY helpful. :D

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32 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

1) Depending on the size of hole you need, and the size of your stock, it's EASY to make up an end-drilling-jig from pieces of concentric slip-fit tubing. 

Arrange everything so that the OUTER tube is longer than the rest, and slips nicely over your stock.

The INNER tube should be a loose slip-fit with your drill bit.

2) Similar to Joe's method: file the end of your stock as square as you can get it by eyeball.

Under magnification (if you need it) make a pilot hole in the eyeball-center with a common pin.

Start drilling with a drill chucked up in a pin-vise; as you start to drill, it's very easy to lean the drill one way or another to get it on-center if you missed getting the pilot hole dead-on.

3) If you have a drill press, this should help: the first part of the vid shows how to get a center-end-hole in rod stock, and the second part shows how to use that as a jig to drill centered holes in the SIDE of rod stock.

 

 

Good stuff , thanks for posting. I saved this video for future reference 

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Took me a while to find this, but it might work for you: 

 

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1 hour ago, Pete J. said:

Buy a lathe? :blink:

Funny

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12 minutes ago, Kit Basher said:

Took me a while to find this, but it might work for you: 

 

Interesting. Thanks for looking that up! Much appreciated

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55 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

1) Depending on the size of hole you need, and the size of your stock, it's EASY to make up an end-drilling-jig from pieces of concentric slip-fit tubing. 

Arrange everything so that the OUTER tube is longer than the rest, and slips nicely over your stock.

The INNER tube should be a loose slip-fit with your drill bit.

2) Similar to Joe's method: file the end of your stock as square as you can get it by eyeball.

Under magnification (if you need it) make a pilot hole in the eyeball-center with a common pin.

Start drilling with a drill chucked up in a pin-vise; as you start to drill, it's very easy to lean the drill one way or another to get it on-center if you missed getting the pilot hole dead-on.

3) If you have a drill press, this should help: the first part of the vid shows how to get a center-end-hole in rod stock, and the second part shows how to use that as a jig to drill centered holes in the SIDE of rod stock.

 

 

Yes I found this on youtube. Thanks but I'm going to be drilling the end of .080 hex rod so i can make my own A/N fittings.

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15 minutes ago, Kit Basher said:

Took me a while to find this, but it might work for you: 

 

BTW...I love your Sig. Hilarious! 

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5 hours ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

:D Perfect illustration of suggestion #1 in my post above. VERY helpful. :D

A scaled down version (fewer pieces of tube) also works well for drilling distributor nipples. The holes for the wires are always centered.

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5 hours ago, Evil Appetite said:

Funny

It was said in jest and I know that there are only a few of us with the budget for such things.  However, it still remains the best option for center drilling.  I can and have drilled our pieces with a #80 wire gage drill bit with walls as thin as .003" .  I will also say that once you have a lathe, you find all kinds of handy things to do with it.  I use mine frequently for repairs around the house and on cars.  Very handy tool. 

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17 hours ago, Pete J. said:

It was said in jest and I know that there are only a few of us with the budget for such things.  However, it still remains the best option for center drilling.  I can and have drilled our pieces with a #80 wire gage drill bit with walls as thin as .003" .  I will also say that once you have a lathe, you find all kinds of handy things to do with it.  I use mine frequently for repairs around the house and on cars.  Very handy tool. 

It's ok, I was genuinely amused. Spending all that money just to drill a hole in a .75 cent piece of styrene

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17 hours ago, BigTallDad said:

A scaled down version (fewer pieces of tube) also works well for drilling distributor nipples. The holes for the wires are always centered.

Like the picture above, nestling lengths of styrene or aluminum rod would probably be the best way to do it.  Any idea of the size from smallest to largest I'd need to achieve this?

If my LHS was still open all I'd have to do is take a walk down there and slide the smallest piece of rod into the next size and so on. But these days I have to order online, and since I'm bad with sizes that are displayed with the numbers on the right hand size of the decimal point I'll need a little guidance. It may save me from ordering a bunch of stock I just dont need.

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5 hours ago, Evil Appetite said:

Like the picture above, nestling lengths of styrene or aluminum rod would probably be the best way to do it.  Any idea of the size from smallest to largest I'd need to achieve this?

If my LHS was still open all I'd have to do is take a walk down there and slide the smallest piece of rod into the next size and so on. But these days I have to order online, and since I'm bad with sizes that are displayed with the numbers on the right hand size of the decimal point I'll need a little guidance. It may save me from ordering a bunch of stock I just dont need.

Get yourself a cheap plastic drill guide that is fractional (5/32, 3/16, etc.). They are available at almost any hardware store or home improvement center.

image.png.024cf52267400376ef9727d85582addf.png

Insert the styrene rod in the smallest hole that fits; this will be the inside diameter (ID) for the sleeve. The next larger hole then becomes the outside diameter (OD) of the sleeve that fits over the styrene. Each larger hole after that will fit over the previous sleeve (make sure the tubing is available in that size, however).

Edited by BigTallDad

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14 hours ago, Evil Appetite said:

It's ok, I was genuinely amused. Spending all that money just to drill a hole in a .75 cent piece of styrene

True, but when you do get one you can find thousand uses for your hobby, and another thousand uses for your household projects.  For example you can scratch-build lots of round shapes for your car models.  Lathes are not just for drilling center holes. :D

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8 hours ago, peteski said:

True, but when you do get one you can find thousand uses for your hobby, and another thousand uses for your household projects.  For example you can scratch-build lots of round shapes for your car models.  Lathes are not just for drilling center holes. :D

I've always wanted to make my own aluminum rims.hmm

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10 hours ago, Evil Appetite said:

I've always wanted to make my own aluminum rims.hmm

Christmas is coming . . . .

:D

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On 9/22/2018 at 8:38 AM, Ace-Garageguy said:

:D Perfect illustration of suggestion #1 in my post above. VERY helpful. :D

Times 2.  I use that technique and it works well.

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