drilling steel cases?

Frequently asked questions about tools and instruments used in stompbox development.
Post Reply
User avatar
JiM
Diode Debunker
Posts: 920
Joined: 11 Mar 2008, 23:56
Completed builds

Completed builds :
Proco Rat
MXR MicroAmp in a volume pedal
TubeDriver (w/ NoS russian tube and big muff tone contol) + Phase 45 (w/ univibe cap ratio)
Dallas Rangemaster (w/ noisy OC75, negative ground)
SubCaster tube booster (w/ NoS russian tube, PtP)
Hot Harmonics
Music From Outer Space SubCommander in progress
Crackle Not OK
Simple bass blender in a 1590A
Bazz Fuss with a photo-darlington

Location: France
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 30 times

Post by JiM »

Definately doable, better with HSS bits than unibit. And maybe some lubricant/coolant.
Just be patient.
I only give negative feedback.

User avatar
lolbou
Old Solderhand
Posts: 2752
Joined: 18 Nov 2008, 22:38
Has thanked: 295 times
Been thanked: 189 times

Post by lolbou »

Aluminium is fairly "soft" as compared to steel...

Use bits progressively (getting bigger of course, every mm or two), and a fast drilling machine (high speed only, or you'll make a triangle hole).

A "drill stand/holder" would be safe for your fingers...
- Are you a mod or a rocker?
- Uh, no, I'm a mocker.

Reginald
Posts: 18
Joined: 10 Feb 2009, 21:27
Location: Vancouver, Canada

Post by Reginald »

Drilling steel isn't too difficult if you have sharp bits. If I were you I'd buy a good 1/8" bit for drilling pilot holes, and some bits in whatever size you need. You can always sharpen them again.

User avatar
soulsonic
Old Solderhand
Posts: 3752
Joined: 27 Jun 2007, 04:38
my favorite amplifier

Stopped using amps mostly...

Completed builds: too many!
Location: Cortland, NY
Has thanked: 98 times
Been thanked: 299 times
Contact:

Post by soulsonic »

I've drilled those exact cases with a Unibit without too much trouble. You might need a higher-powered drill depending on how much torque your cordless can deliver... I've seen some cordless ones that are pretty juicy so maybe you'll be fine.
"Analog electronics in music is dead. Analog effects pedal design is a dead art." - Fran

User avatar
willc1968
Breadboard Brother
Posts: 50
Joined: 05 May 2009, 18:13
my favorite amplifier: Kustom K 200 A-4 in red
Completed builds

kay fuzz, clark fuzz, ea tremelo, green ringer, tremelus lune, a few big muffs, fuzz face and factory, sft, woolly mamoth, a bunch of tonebenders and many more that need to be boxed

Location: philly
Has thanked: 13 times

Post by willc1968 »

definitely try to start out with a pilot hole and keep the bits well lubed. i will have a cap off a quart container of oil half filled and dip the bit in there prior to drilling the hole. when using the larger bits i will do a few drops of 3 in1 oil while drilling. also if you dont have one a drill press is the way to go. i got my little delta brand new for under $80 about 15 years ago. i am sure one can be had in the used market for a reasonable price. also new or well sharpened high speed steel bit are best for metal cases but i have had good luck with the cheap reconditioned carbide bits for drilling my pcbs.

Scruffie
Tube Twister
Posts: 1754
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 18:59
my favorite amplifier

Whatever sounds best at the time

Location: London.. ish, Uk
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 132 times

Post by Scruffie »

I had a steel scratch plate drilled out for my guitar, I just took it to a local hardware type shop and they drilled out 3 holes for about £2 so that could be a possibility if your near anywhere that might have a decent drill, just an idea.

Post Reply