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Hoping someone here might have a few pointers when it comes to drilling steel pipe. We are building some steel truss tents that require 200+ 3/8 bolts



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Just over half of the holes are drilled when the trusses are assembled on the ground. The rest are for bracing once everything is standing.

Currently we are using corded drills and 25/64 drill bits and keeping the speed low with as much pressure as we can. The problem is that it is hard on us and the drill bits.

Any other tips. We have three more of these lined up the the next few months

Thanks
 

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Hey Griz,
Have you seen them used? I linked them in another thread because they looked like they would greatly improve the leverage needed to drill steel, without being heavy, & at a modest cost.

Joe
 

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I've put up a couple of these recently.Good quality drill bits,slow speed,cutting oil and moderate pressure .Not as much pressure as you can muster.To much pressure will burn up your bits no matter what the speed.Did I say cutting oil?
I have rigged up one of the old drill press bench things that you can clamp a drill into like they sold in the old days with a V pipe vise in place of the table..It works .
Had it laying around from an auction so figured what the hell.
 

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Drilling Steel Pipe With Leverage

A friend of mine emailed the link to this forum to me because someone else on this forum mentioned the Strong Arm 5 portable drill press. I am the inventor and manufacturer of the Strong Arm 5 portable drill press. I found a neat chart online showing what it takes to drill a 3/8” hole. The chart shows that a 3/8” hole needs 440 thrust pounds at RPM 750 at the bit. The chart doesn’t show the difficulty drilling off the ground and on a slick rounded surface like steel pipe. All this adds up to a long day if you don’t have the leverage to achieve pounds you need at the bit, not only to the drill hole but also to keep the bit from slipping off of the pipe. The Strong Arm 5 portable drill press heavy duty only weighs 4.5 pounds. It has a 5 to 1 leverage to achieve the pounds needed. For additional support you can also purchase the Pipe Foot accessory but I found most of the time the Strong Arm 5 portable drill press works efficiently without the Pipe Foot. Please watch this less than 5 minute video of a greenhouse I erected using the Strong Arm 5 Portable Drill Press. The Strong Arm 5 leverage on steel pipe saved my day. http://strongarm5.com/videos/drilling-steel-pipe/ The Strong Arm 5 is guaranteed to save you time and make the job easier. I offer a money back guarantee if it doesn’t.
 
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