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Old 04-19-2021, 08:21 AM
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Default Drilling leaf spring

Anyone got experience drilling holes in a leaf spring?

I am repurposing a piece of a rear spring from a 1 ton Chevy truck. I need to drill 2 holes through the spring steel to hold it in place. I have a few HSS bits and a carbide tipped masonry bit. I would use the masonry bit, but I am sure it would need sharpening before tackling the steel.

I could just blow a couple holes through with either oxy acet or plasma, but I am hoping for a better finish.
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:52 AM
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First thing to use would be a drill press, not hand held drill.
Second would be turning the bit as slow as you can, and keeping the bit sharp. That means checking and touching up the edge, before it quits cutting and hardens the steel in the bottom of the hole.
If you have done the burnt bit scenario, at that point is the time to bring out the carbide bit.
I would use the carbide to get through the surface hardening that has happened in the hole, and then go back to a sharp bit to continue.
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:02 AM
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Thanks Gerry

I knew someone here would have done it. I have 3 options for coolant. None, oil/water emulsion in a spray bottle, or dark threading oil. Which would you recommend?
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Old 04-19-2021, 09:13 AM
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I have used masonary bits before to cut hard steel. It does go to sharpen the edges up a bit. Green wheel works best, but don’t be afraid to use a regular wheel if that’s all you got.

+ 1 on clamped onto the drill press, slow with able to it a lot of force if needed to get it to cut.


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Old 04-19-2021, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by camdigger View Post
Thanks Gerry

I knew someone here would have done it. I have 3 options for coolant. None, oil/water emulsion in a spray bottle, or dark threading oil. Which would you recommend?
I use any oil handy, but if you have some threading oil, that would be great.
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:58 AM
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I’ve done it before many times using cobalt bits, lubricant and slow speed. It takes a great deal of force also.
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Old 04-19-2021, 11:09 AM
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If you not need it hardened, heat to a dull red to anneal the steel at the drill location. Makes drilling much easier.
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Old 04-19-2021, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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If you not need it hardened, heat to a dull red to anneal the steel at the drill location. Makes drilling much easier.
The whole idea of using spring steel is to get wear resistance.
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camdigger View Post
The whole idea of using spring steel is to get wear resistance.
Do you need it at the hole location?
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Old 04-19-2021, 01:03 PM
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Do you need it at the hole location?
not sure how a\localized annealing will work. The material is moderately thick so I am curious if it would be possible to anneal locally without the surrounding metal chill the hot spot...

No way to know for sure until I try it in an hour or so....
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