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How do I drill bed-frames?

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  • How do I drill bed-frames?

    I grab every bed-frame that I find. They are almost always 1/8" thick, w/a 3/4" to 1 1/4" Ell. It welds nicely and I've built all kinds of stuff w/it.

    I have a heck of a time drilling it. Right now I am adding LED lights to my ATV. I drilled (5) 5/16" holes...it took me over an hour. I started w/a 1/16" bit....that took about 5 minutes, tops. Then a 3/16" and that was 10 minutes or so. Then I jumped to 5/16"...that didn't do anything. Then a 32nd smaller. I would drill, sharpen, drill, sharpen. Then I heated the metal up red-hot and let it cool slowly, and repeated the drill, sharpen, drill, sharpen drill/sequence (a pun there). I don't think that it went any faster after I annealled the metal.

    What should I try?

  • #2
    You don't... Bed frames are rerolled railroad tracks and are hardened by rail use them further hardened when rolled....... Well maybe it can be drilled but it takes some really good quality bits and you need to lube them as you drill... Personally if I cant weld it, I avoid using it....

    Dale
    "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

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    • #3
      Are you saying that the process is a cold roll process utilizing rr tracks. I can't imagine that.

      What would be closer to a good answer is figuring out just what the alloy is, and how it's heated, rolled, then heat treated once rolled...…...if indeed it is heat treated.

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      • #4
        Let's say you got a bunch of rail...………..drop it in a pot to heat it so's it can be rolled.

        Heating destroys any post heating process prior to the remelt. It ain't the same batch of steel that got dumped into the pot. It's changed.

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        • #5
          Lot of steel that has to resist deformation, in thin sections, can be spring steel. Spring steel carries a temper that makes it impossible to drill with most tool steels. Or something like that LOL.

          Carbide tooling might work, but that ain't my forte...…..so I'm not sure.

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          • #6
            To drill bed frame you need very good stubby cobalt or carbide bits, lots of lube, a good drill press, slow speed and constant pressure.

            Bed frame is a spring style metal and was never made to be welded, that's why its always riveted or bolted.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by farmersamm View Post
              Let's say you got a bunch of rail...………..drop it in a pot to heat it so's it can be rolled.

              Heating destroys any post heating process prior to the remelt. It ain't the same batch of steel that got dumped into the pot. It's changed.
              Ummm ..We are talking about REROLLING and WORK HARDENING not resmelting....

              Dale
              Last edited by Dale M.; 03-15-2020, 11:02 AM.
              "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

              Comment


              • #8
                Seems this company is in forefront of rerolling steel (RR track) rails....

                https://jssteel.com/our-rail-steel-p...-steel-angles/

                Dale
                "Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here is some good advice from former member Hankj (RIP):

                  In steel, the bigger the hole, the slower the spin. If you are not getting nice sized chips, or better yet, a continuous curl of metal, coming off the bit, you re going too fast! That curl, or the chips, are the hot metal, and by getting them out of there you reduce the heat in the dril-to-metal contact. No metal chips = friction = heat = dull cutting edge. When in doubt, SLOW DOWN! Bed frames are hard steel. Use good bits (cobalt or titanium coated) or you'll just get poor buying cheap ones and still won't have a hole.

                  A drill press is what you need...

                  Hank


                  Hank means slow down the RPM. Use the proper RPM for the drill size. Use enough pressure to make swarf. Rubbing a hole in it won't work. And slowly stepping up to larger drill sizes isn't always a good idea. You end up cutting with the outer portion of the bit where the lip angles are acute. This can cause the drill to hog in too much and can bust the drill.
                  --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                  Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                  -------------------------

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    After drilling the hole, I went to use/re-use the same 5/16" bit...twas/is a Nitride coated Dewalt bit and was new. It is one of those bits that has a standard, 1/8", or so, drill center, and then a 90 degree shoulder, like a bit used as a verticle mill bit.

                    I switched jobs and started mounting another LED light on the my wife's car. After a pilot hole of 1/16", it would not drill a hole in the car's hood (ruint it twas). Then I switched to one of the the old bits, from the last job, that I'd sharpened, like 10x...it drilled right thru it.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dale M. View Post
                      Seems this company is in forefront of rerolling steel (RR track) rails....

                      https://jssteel.com/our-rail-steel-p...-steel-angles/

                      Dale
                      I didn't realize anybody could cold form rail. I thought it had to be remelted. I learn something new every day. Cool!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have mixed feelings when it comes to carbide.

                        I've started switching over to it on the mill. I'm tired of the mess from running coolant, and it's not real good for the ways.

                        The carbide runs forever, but it soaks up a bit of power. The finish isn't as good either.

                        I'd never really done ANY dry machining since day one, except on bronze. I was a little surprised by the amount of heat generated when running dry...…..kind of worrisome since the spindle gets pretty hot.

                        I might try running faster spindle speeds. I've read that carbide runs better when the chips take the heat away......somewhere in the blue to straw color range. Dunno if it's a fact, but might be worth a try for S&G's

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by farmersamm View Post

                          I didn't realize anybody could cold form rail. I thought it had to be remelted. I learn something new every day. Cool!!
                          Sam, Jersey Shore Steel has a video showing some of the heating, splitting and re-rolling of the rails. I like the part just after 3:33 where they snap the rail into smaller lengths.

                          https://jssteel.com/videos/take-virt...y-shore-steel/

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d3s-PB_dGk
                          Last edited by usmcpop; 03-16-2020, 10:24 AM.
                          --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                          Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                          -------------------------

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by usmcpop View Post
                            Here is some good advice from former member Hankj (RIP):

                            In steel, the bigger the hole, the slower the spin. If you are not getting nice sized chips, or better yet, a continuous curl of metal, coming off the bit, you re going too fast! That curl, or the chips, are the hot metal, and by getting them out of there you reduce the heat in the dril-to-metal contact. No metal chips = friction = heat = dull cutting edge. When in doubt, SLOW DOWN! Bed frames are hard steel. Use good bits (cobalt or titanium coated) or you'll just get poor buying cheap ones and still won't have a hole.

                            A drill press is what you need...

                            Hank


                            Hank means slow down the RPM. Use the proper RPM for the drill size. Use enough pressure to make swarf. Rubbing a hole in it won't work. And slowly stepping up to larger drill sizes isn't always a good idea. You end up cutting with the outer portion of the bit where the lip angles are acute. This can cause the drill to hog in too much and can bust the drill.
                            Only real success I've had when step drilling, is when I make the first hole just about the size of the "dead" zone on the finish size bit. Take out too much of the material, and like you say...………...it'll kill your bits, and make life a bit complicated. Anything over about 1/2" gets an annular cutter (if feasible). Less runout, and better finish IMHO. Although...……..the quill on my little baby mill isn't all that tight, so I will get a bit of wobble, even with an annular.

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                            • #15
                              Great video links BTW Click image for larger version

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