Not sure you have much recourse Robin other than buying a cobalt or titanium drill bit specifically for drilling metal…they are expensive, but will do the job. Hitachi, Dewalt, Milwuakee all make bits that will work. My dad always told me to use a couple drops of oil at the point of contact, which seems to help the cutting action, but makes it harder to hold the bit to the spot when starting the hole.
Robin I think that when the saws are made the holes are punched in the steel rather than drilled. If you have some way of making a pilot hole to start then a normal steel drill bit should finish it. The oiling is to lubricate and cool the drilling process.
Hi Robin I have been told by some saw “Doctors” the best bit to use are carbide tip ones which you can buy from Enco here in the states. I haven’t bought any yet but am planning to as I have a couple saws I am wanting to make. I can’t do anything yet until I am to get my Paul Sellers style bench finished.
I’m guessing you’ve got this resolved, but you want a center punch to mark the spot where you want to try to drill. Go as slow as you can with the drill until you get it started, and a pilot will help get you through, but without a drill press to keep the hole aligned, it can make the final hole wander when you try to bore it out to the final dimension.
Of course the hand tool method is to find a post drill, but they can be pricey and a big restore project. I think Pat’s right about the hole being punched out instead of drilled, but that seems to take specialized equipment too.
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