Tips for effective tube drilling

Rounded tubes, whether they are circular or oval, can be challenging to drill holes in. If the correct equipment is not used, the curved surface can easily result in the bit slipping and damaging the surface. The tube may also rotate during the process, potentially causing even more issues.

Before attempting to drill a hole in a tube, it should be properly clamped in place to make sure it won’t move. A great deal of care is needed when doing this because using too much pressure when clamping can warp the tube and ruin the shape. It is typically best to use a V block clamp because this will allow the tube to sit without rotating.

Once the tube is properly held in place, it is time to tackle the rounded edge so the hole can be drilled without slipping. There are several ways to overcome the issue. The first is to gently file a flat spot on the surface of the tube so it is easier to drill. Alternatively, a punch can be used to create a small indent to seat the drill bit. A third option is to just lightly touch the bit to the surface. This will start the cut but it won’t exert enough downward pressure to cause a slip. It should create a small cut that will then reduce the risk of slipping.

One of the most difficult aspects of tube drilling is lining up holes if they are needed on opposite sides of the tube. After a hole is drilled in one side, the tube will need to be rotated and clamped back in place. It is essential that the alignment is correct before any drilling begins. A good tip is to place a spare drill bit or even a straight piece of wire through the hole that has already been made to line them up. You can then mark the exterior surface before drilling.

At Multiform Tubes we have been manufacturing tubing from a range of different materials for a number of years. We can offer a wide range of services to satisfy the needs of our clients, including tube expansion, reduction, bending, and much more. We also provide accurate and skilled tube drilling to ensure holes are placed properly and drilled accurately without harming the shape of the tube or the surface finish.