Drilling Square Holes in Roll Formed Aluminum

Okay... So now that I've got your attention, here is what my customer is
looking to do:
formatting link

...Except that these tools are only made for wood as far as I know.
Does anyone know if such a device exists for metalworking - specifically for
working a 1/8" thick aluminum product in the shape of a square tube?
Regards,
Joe Agro, Jr.
(800) 871-5022 x113
01.908.542.0244
Flagship Site:
formatting link
/ Pneumatic Drills:
formatting link
Spindle Drills:
formatting link
Tapping:
formatting link
formatting link
formatting link
formatting link

V8013-R
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
Loading thread data ...
formatting link
There is in fact a device for drilling square holes in metal . Can't remember what it's called , but basically the bit is on a floating drive system that lets it orbit in a guide - square , triangular , or other shape guides are available IIRC . You will get corners raduised at the drill bit size ...
Reply to
Snag
formatting link
>
Seems I recall a triangular cutter of some kind for cutting square holes. Sorry, don't remember where or when or what it was called, but it was pretty cool.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
formatting link
"Rotary broaching".
Reply to
Pete C.
formatting link
>>
Yep, It's called rotary broaching.
Reply to
tnik
Rotary broaching requires the part to rotate as well as the bit.
If that won't work, try looking up 'watts drill'.
Watts bros. as of 2008:
60 Airbrake Avenue, P.O. Box 335 Wilmerding, PA , 15148-1014 Phone: 412-823-7877 FAX: 412-823-4844
Dave
Reply to
Dave__67
Not anymore Dave.
formatting link
Reply to
tnik
Cool beans! hadn't seen that update.
Info on the Watts bits have been in the dropbox since '08...
Pricey either of those 2 ways.
Dave
Reply to
Dave__67
Also look at wobble broaching. Same thing.
formatting link
Reply to
Louis Ohland
How big is the desired square hole? How many holes? For small quantities of holes, 1/8" aluminum can be knockout punched if you need a hi-spec hole, or (my preferred way) nibbled if the specs aren't so tight.
As for mass production, I'd like to go visit the factory where they make Unistrut someday.
Tim.
Reply to
Tim Shoppa
A "Vika" brand is mentioned in although author says device shown is homemade. In following video, he uses it on drill press instead of lathe.
Reply to
James Waldby
formatting link
This has cropped up before and I saved this link to a bit of information about it
formatting link
. I suspect further searching would be required for current options.
Reply to
David Billington
formatting link
There is a tool for drilling square holes in metal.
You know how a normal 2-flute drill bit when used to drill improperly secured sheet metal will make something vaguely triangular? (The bit catches on one flute and pivots cutting a sort of straight line with the other until that bites and the first cuts another straight line, but not *very* straight, because the rest of the flute shape keeps it from being perfect by a long shot.
Well ... there is a special bit for the purpose, three flutes, in a holder which lets it wobble, and guides the bit properly. Three flutes makes a square hole, four flutes makes a pentagonal hole, five flutes makes a hex hole. I don't know whether they go to higher counts than that.
Here is an example set up for a lathe. A drill would need to have the guide on the bit holder.

Here is an animation on how it works.

And another:

Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
1. Can someone shoot me info on how to access the dropbox?
2. Cool beans! Dead nuts! ...All those sayings make me wonder where the heck they came from, but I'm well aware we have discussed them endlessly at times.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 x113 01.908.542.0244 Flagship Site:
formatting link
/ Pneumatic Drills:
formatting link
Spindle Drills:
formatting link
Tapping:
formatting link
formatting link
formatting link
formatting link

V8013-R
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
Tim,
Hole is approximately 1/2" to 3/4" across (square).
Mass production. Thousands of holes per day are desired.
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
For that scale it sure sounds like a job for punching, unless there is a *really* good reason punching won't work. It would be *way* cheaper and faster than rotary broaching.
Reply to
Pete C.
At that level, just punch it. Most economically it'd be punched before, or as part of, the roll forming. The companies that do roll forming will look at the frequency of holes and the diameter of their dies and set it up on the line.
Tim.
Reply to
Tim Shoppa
To punch, the end user has to use an insert to support their "tube" and the tube is neither capable of receiving the insert (die?) or modifiable. Without the insert, the tube simply deforms under the press operation.
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
Did you specify the corner radius? If so, I missed it.
I assume that someone brought up the Slater rotary broach, right?
Reply to
Ed Huntress
No. ...Because they have not done so yet. If they can find the tool that works, I sell the tool that drives their... Well... New tool.
If it's the wobble / shake / rock-n-roll broach thing, yes.
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.