Yesterday's Tractor Co. The Right Parts, Right Away
Click Here or call 800-853-2651 
   Allis Chalmers Case Farmall IH Ford 8N,9N,2N Ford
   Ferguson John Deere Massey Ferguson Minn. Moline Oliver
 
Marketplace
Classified Ads
Photo Ads

Community
Discussion Forums
Project Journals
Tractor Town
Your Stories
Show & Pull Guide
Events Calendar
Hauling Schedule

Galleries
Tractor Photos
Implement Photos
Vintage Photos
Help Identify
Parts & Pieces
Stuck & Troubled
Vintage Ads
Community Album
Photo Ad Archives

Research & Info
Articles
Tractor Registry
Tip of the Day
Safety Cartoons
Tractor Values
Serial Numbers
Tune-Up Guide
Paint Codes
List Prices
Production Nbrs
Tune-Up Specs
Torque Values
3-Point Specs
Glossary

Miscellaneous
Tractor Games
Just For Kids
Virtual Show
Museum Guide
Memorial Page
Feedback Form

Yesterday's Tractors Facebook Page

Related Sites
Tractor Shed
TractorLinks.com
Ford 8N/9N Club
Today's Tractors
Garden Tractors
Classic Trucks
Kountry Life
Enter your email address to receive our newsletter!

subscribe
unsubscribe
  
Tool Talk Discussion Forum

how to drill square holes in steel

Welcome Guest, Log in or Register
Author  [Modern View]
Joe W.

03-24-2011 17:20:37
76.252.68.171



Report to Moderator

I want to make 1/4" square holes in 1/8" x 1-1/4" plate steel. I'm going to insert 1/4" carriage bolts in them. I found a tool online called a rotary broach which does that but it is way beyond my skill and economic level. I believe the broach is over $100 plus the cost of a special tool to hold it. If I had one hole to make I suppose I could drill it and use a file to finish it which would take forever but I need to make 12 holes. Anyone have experience making square holes in 1/8" flat steel? Or should I just use machine bolts in round holes?

[Log in to Reply]   [No Email]
Mike in AR

03-27-2011 15:36:31
70.178.180.78



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I have some parts I regularly produce in my shop requiring a 1/4" square hole through 3/16" thick steel.

I bought a 1/4" High Speed Steel Cobalt tool bit ($3) and ground a round pilot on one end .245 diameter to go through a .246 hole. Use a 'D' drill bit.

From the round pilot slowly taper the tool bit up to full square and grind teeth into it like a broach. I use a Dremel moto tool with the little cutoff wheel to do this.

It pushes easily through the hole with a 2 ton arbor press and took me about 15 minutes to make.

The hole is dimensionally perfect. This aint theory folks, I really do it.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
JDseller

03-26-2011 23:42:10
208.126.196.144



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I have several square files that are the size for 1/4,5/16,3/8 carriage bolts. I just drill a round hole then I put the file in my drill press (not running LOL) and just use it to push the file through the sheet metal. It works real well on thinner steel. It is fast too. The square file works just like a broach would.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Fred Martin

03-26-2011 05:45:55
216.158.74.32



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Drill the 1/4 hole, grind an old punch or chisel to the size square you need with a bit of round lead on it to get it started in the hole and drive it through and grind the slobbers off the back side. ohfred



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Johnny form MI

03-25-2011 17:53:34
74.115.62.95



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Just buy a square drill! and keep it sharp.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
El Toro

03-25-2011 16:50:41
108.3.156.106



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Check with your local metal shop. They have hydraulic punches that can punch a 13/16" hole in 3/4" steel. They may have square punches too. Hal



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
farmer boy

03-25-2011 16:09:28
66.209.54.106



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I would have to agree with every one who suggested going to a shop with an iron worker. Would take 10 minutes to do it and it would be a perfect hole. Call first and see if they have that specific punch though.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Dave Sherburne NY

03-25-2011 15:10:49
50.48.51.74



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
How about ROUND HEAD RIBBED NECK bolts you may have to drill the holes just a little bigger



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Dusty MI

03-26-2011 15:48:50
76.247.142.157



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Dave Sherburne NY, 03-25-2011 15:10:49  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I've used this type of bolt, they worked nice and they have a small head.

I got them some other place than McMaster.

Dusty



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Mike M

03-25-2011 13:23:03
24.140.0.120



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Why carriage bolts ?

I'd use regular bolts on steel. If you couldn't get to the back with a wrench or they needed held in some way tack weld them on.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Cliff(VA)

03-25-2011 05:57:49
70.89.233.37



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I read a book on blacksmithing where the author had gotten a cherry job in the military by betting his sargent he could "drill a square hole". He made a tapered triangular bit, drilled and filed a square hole in a guide plate, attached the guide plate to the work, and allowed the work and guideplate to float while he drilled slowly on a drill press. He got the job.

That being said, quit being a wimp 8^) and get a couple of new (sharp!) quality files and get to filing. It won't take long once you get going. I would buy a couple of Nicholson 4" or 6" ba$tard cut square files with handles and get to it.

Keep your files separated and not loose in your toolbox. They will last a lot longer that way.

Cliff(VA)
And yes I am a file-aholic

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
NCWayne

03-24-2011 20:30:54
166.82.187.163



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
A 'rotary (rota) broach' us nothing but a form of hole saw,more appropriately called an annular cutter. What your actually needing is a square, push broach. With it you drill a round hole of the appropriate size and then push the broach through. Each step on the broach takes off little metal taking the hole from round to square. They are a bit pricey but they work great. I've used them many times making holders for our line boring setup that accept square shanked carbide tooling. Some of those holes were in 1 1/8 diameter rods and soime in even thicker material so 1/4 plate should be no problem. Just depends on wether you have a press to push the broach through of if you want to spend the money to buy one.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
farmboyWI

03-25-2011 14:28:11
74.99.227.58



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to NCWayne, 03-24-2011 20:30:54  
The square push broach looks interesting, what type of press do you need? Are you talking hydraulic shop press, or somthing made for that tool or that type of work? Any fixtures or jigs needed?



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
NCWayne

03-25-2011 19:23:02
166.82.187.163



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to farmboyWI, 03-25-2011 14:28:11  
For the square broaches like this any press that will handle the force necessary to push it through would do. Obviously the thicker the piece the more power needed to push it through as more teeth would be engaged and cutting the material. Honestly I don't know how much force it takes to push one through the various thickness metals but I always used our 75 ton, homeade press and never had any problems. Beyond the force needed to push it through the only other requirement is a press with enough throat to accept the height of the broach and material between the bed and the ram, and then the same amount of room on the backside for the broach to push through into.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Paul from MI

03-24-2011 20:10:35
184.32.95.28



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Drill them round, file square with a square file. On 1/8 thick stock, probably about a 15 minute job. Lots of time we spend more time trying to think of an easy way to do something with a machine when it would be faster to do it by hand.
If you just want to use carriage bolts it's not a high precision job.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Jiles

03-24-2011 20:06:18
71.207.210.109



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I don't know if this will work in your situation but I have made many small square holes by drilling the propersize hole and driving a "cut masonry nail
" to the desired size hole. It works good for thinner metal and might work for thick--if heat is used.

These are small rectangle/tapered nails. Do a Google search for an image.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Russ from MN

03-24-2011 19:57:56
68.235.68.3



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I could drill the holes and file them square in less time than it takes you to read all these posts!



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
bison

03-25-2011 08:45:48
69.168.144.140



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Russ from MN, 03-24-2011 19:57:56  
X2



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
old

03-24-2011 19:52:15
4.245.9.36



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Sorry you do not drill a square hole you have to have a punch press to do so and you do not want to pay for one. That said your a lot of times money ahead to have a machine shop punch the holes for you. Other wise a you drill your hole then use a file etc to square the hole out



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
IOWA NORTHEAST

03-24-2011 19:41:59
206.72.18.89



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
If you do not find these other option to your liking try this. Drill your hole, heat around the hole and insert the carrage bolt and smack it with a hammer, then grind the uneven surface if needed.

You can make your own punch from square stock, and grind a point on it.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
j heitkempr

03-24-2011 20:01:58
98.115.241.202



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to IOWA NORTHEAST, 03-24-2011 19:41:59  
Your Idea Might Work on thefarm,But Old knows the right way its done ina factory,, forget dremels



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Louis Torrans

03-24-2011 19:39:42
70.254.32.46



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
I think all you need is a Dremel Tool. Use it like a die grinder.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
DnA

03-24-2011 18:55:28
74.163.36.212



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Was visiting an ornamental iron fab shop a year or so back, small one man operation, and he had a punch machine to make square holes in thin square tube. If you have one nearby maybe.....



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
RodInNS

03-24-2011 18:46:22
216.118.158.123



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Find a shop with an iron worker and have them punch the holes. For one or two you could drill/file them but I think it'd get old after 12 holes. Could be done tho....

Rod



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Jiles

03-24-2011 18:43:19
71.207.210.109



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to soundguy, 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

What is a "wasplip punch" :?: :?: :?:



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Tom-TX

03-24-2011 18:36:01
75.222.5.74



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
The shop where I buy most of my steel for projects has a punching machine that will do them in about the blink of an eye. Check around. Tom



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
cubcorn

03-24-2011 18:22:07
64.19.114.105



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Just drill your hole, heat around it and smack a wasplip punch thru the hole



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
soundguy

03-24-2011 18:20:30
173.137.168.241



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
round drill plus square, flat or triangle file always works for me!

soundguy



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
big jt

03-24-2011 18:15:54
206.72.54.246



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
The square or triangle file is the budget option here.

I know when I put a Ag Leader yield moniter in my combine the kit came with any special tools needed. One of them was a square file for just this sort of situation.

Not sure where you go to get a square file but the triangle ones are available.

jt



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
soundguy

03-24-2011 20:47:23
67.76.5.160



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to big jt, 03-24-2011 18:15:54  
i find square files in the same isle as I find needle, triangular, flat and half rounds as well as full rounds. must have 2-3 of each in different sizes out in my shop.

soundguy



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
JDB

03-24-2011 18:10:32
98.23.128.129



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Take it to a machine shop and have them punch the holes



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
Slowpoke

03-24-2011 18:01:09
146.74.94.81



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
If the thickness of the material is only 1/8", buy a 1/4" tapered square file and do it. It will probably take less than 5 minutes each with trial and error to fit the bolt. Total 1 hour.



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
RayP(MI)

03-24-2011 17:23:56
207.241.137.116



Report to Moderator
 Re: how to drill square holes in steel in reply to Joe W., 03-24-2011 17:20:37  
Can you make your holes a little oversized, and file out the corners only?



[Log in to Reply]  [No Email]
[Options]  [Printer Friendly]  [Posting Help]  [Return to Forum]   [Log in to Reply]

Hop to:

TRACTOR   PARTS TRACTOR   MANUALS
Same-Day Shipping! Most of our stocked parts ship the same day you order (M-F).  Expedited shipping available, just call!  Most prices for parts and manuals are below our competitors.  Compare our super low shipping rates!  We have the parts you need to repair your tractor.  We are a Company you can trust and have generous return policies!   Shop Online Today or call our friendly sales staff toll free (800) 853-2651. [ More Info ]

Home  |  Forums


Copyright © 1997-2014 Yesterday's Tractor Co.

All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of any part of this website, including design and content, without written permission is strictly prohibited. Trade Marks and Trade Names contained and used in this Website are those of others, and are used in this Website in a descriptive sense to refer to the products of others. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy

TRADEMARK DISCLAIMER: Tradenames and Trademarks referred to within Yesterday's Tractor Co. products and within the Yesterday's Tractor Co. websites are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Yesterday's Tractor Co., our products, or our website nor are we sponsored by them. John Deere and its logos are the registered trademarks of the John Deere Corporation. Agco, Agco Allis, White, Massey Ferguson and their logos are the registered trademarks of AGCO Corporation. Case, Case-IH, Farmall, International Harvester, New Holland and their logos are registered trademarks of CNH Global N.V.

Yesterday's Tractors - Antique Tractor Headquarters