Why can't I drill a darn hole???

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asuhayda

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I must be doing something wrong! I'm brand new to power drills and DIY in general. I just bought a nice little set of Ryobi power tools. So I decide I'm going to install one of those easy-hang storm doors on my back door. The time comes to drill pilot holes to attach the hinge rail to the side of the door. I get my brand new drill and a brand new 1/8" drill bit (black oxide, rated for wood, plastic and metal) and set my drill to high speed and the collar to the drilling icon. I'm able to drill the first hole eventually after a lot of frustration but I can't drill the next hole at all. I made a little indentation but after spinning the drill for a while, I eventually broke the bit. I'm obviously doing something wrong. Watching videos on youtube it looks so simple! What on earth am I missing???
 

Eddie_T

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I hate to admit this but I have tried to drill holes with the drill motor reversed. Especially right after my first purchase of a reversing drill. Now it's a habit to check before drilling.
 
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bud16415

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It could be a lot of things and my first thought was also running in reverse but we have eliminated that. Second I’m assuming the material you are drilling is aluminum and not steel. Aluminum is softer and shouldn’t be a problem for even a cheap bit, but then again I have seen lots of cheap bits that did not have a correct grind on the cutting edge. Go to the hardware and get a good quality 1/8” high speed steel bit and try again. It helps to also center punch the spot you want to drill. If you don’t have a center punch pick one up when you get the HSS drill bit. Speed is important and as the bit gets larger or the material tougher less speed keeps what they call surface feet per minute down and that speed/SFPM is what produces heat and dulls the tool faster. With tougher materials you can also use coolant on the cut. Water works but should not be required with an aluminum door.



You need some force to produce a chip but not excessive force that will bend the bit or cause it to cut to deep of a chip. Too little force the drill wont start a chip and will just spin and heat up dulling the cutting edge.



Also be careful when you break thru as in thin material the bit can grab and pull itself thru rapidly and that’s when bits also sometimes fail.



Good luck you will get the hang of it.
 

asuhayda

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It could be a lot of things and my first thought was also running in reverse but we have eliminated that. Second I’m assuming the material you are drilling is aluminum and not steel. Aluminum is softer and shouldn’t be a problem for even a cheap bit, but then again I have seen lots of cheap bits that did not have a correct grind on the cutting edge. Go to the hardware and get a good quality 1/8” high speed steel bit and try again. It helps to also center punch the spot you want to drill. If you don’t have a center punch pick one up when you get the HSS drill bit. Speed is important and as the bit gets larger or the material tougher less speed keeps what they call surface feet per minute down and that speed/SFPM is what produces heat and dulls the tool faster. With tougher materials you can also use coolant on the cut. Water works but should not be required with an aluminum door.



You need some force to produce a chip but not excessive force that will bend the bit or cause it to cut to deep of a chip. Too little force the drill wont start a chip and will just spin and heat up dulling the cutting edge.



Also be careful when you break thru as in thin material the bit can grab and pull itself thru rapidly and that’s when bits also sometimes fail.



Good luck you will get the hang of it.
Thanks for your reply!

I do believe the door is just a thin layer of aluminum and it has a wood core. I get just barely through the aluminum and into the wood. That's where I'm getting stuck.

I checked the drill bit I got and they are indeed high speed steel and coated in black oxide. The set is from Ryobi and it's brand new.

I've now broken two bits. On the third bit, I ended up adding a little bit of olive oil because I don't have any proper cutting oil yet and that actually worked, I was able to drill the hole.

However, being that I can get through the aluminum and stuck in the wood, a drill bit shouldn't need oil for wood should it? Are Ryobi bits just not that good? Or is it me?
 

bud16415

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The critical time with drilling in thin material is when the drill breaks thru. The drill will grab as the chip goes from the full width of the flute to just two points and the drill being a spiral will want to rapidly thread itself into the material. They do make drills with a different grind for thin material and we used to call it a butterfly grind. Similar to a flat bottom grind.



As the drill gets close to breaking thru it is important to back off on the force and let it nibble away those points when it comes thru. Kind of an acquired skill.
 

DFBonnett

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If you're drilling into wood, consider the possibility that there is a hidden screw or nail under the paint in that spot.
 

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