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# Which Drill Press for PC Boards?

L

#### Lumpy

Jan 1, 1970
0
Recommend a drill press for drilling PC board

I drill boards about 3x2" with maybe 40 holes,
maybe a dozen boards per week, max.

I have a big Craftsman now (1/2" chuck) but
it seems to be a little cumbersome when
setting up for .100 spacing.

Any thoughts appreciated.

L

T

#### Tom Biasi

Jan 1, 1970
0
Lumpy said:
Recommend a drill press for drilling PC board

I drill boards about 3x2" with maybe 40 holes,
maybe a dozen boards per week, max.

I have a big Craftsman now (1/2" chuck) but
it seems to be a little cumbersome when
setting up for .100 spacing.

Any thoughts appreciated.

L
Hi,
I would use a smaller , more precise drill or perhaps a mini milling machine
setup.
You can us an X,Y table on the drill press to make life easier.
If you drill more than one size hole, a multi head tool would be nice but
for the quantity you are doing probably not worth the money.
I used a Unimat combo mini lathe and mill for most of my PC work and I was
happy.
Tom

C

#### Chris

Jan 1, 1970
0
Lumpy said:
Recommend a drill press for drilling PC board

I drill boards about 3x2" with maybe 40 holes,
maybe a dozen boards per week, max.

I have a big Craftsman now (1/2" chuck) but
it seems to be a little cumbersome when
setting up for .100 spacing.

Any thoughts appreciated.

L

Hi, L. The faster the drill bit spins, the better. It's easier to
control the drill bit, because a sharp drill bit at high speed won't
skate around. If you've got a few bucks, try a Dremel. They have a
small drill press/holder available as an accessory which makes the hand
drill ideal for small PCB drilling jobs. Don't use it without the
little drill press, though. You can't keep the drill perfectly
perpendicular by hand, and you'll break a lot of drill bits.

The Dremel is good for a lot of other things, too. It might be worth
it for you.

Good luck
Chris

V

Jan 1, 1970
0
Recommend a drill press for drilling PC board

I drill boards about 3x2" with maybe 40 holes,
maybe a dozen boards per week, max.

A few years ago I made a 'relatively' simple PCB drill from a couple
of linear slides, and a cheap dremel style drill.. Basically it
drilled from the bottom up, and a centered guide pin allowed me to
align the holes from the top [usually component only, no copper]
layer..I made a foot pedal to lift the drill, and just held it with
both hands, maybe 1/2" total travel. Turned out to work fairly well,
quick and easy to aligh, as well no vibration on the hands, and the
drill was straight.. The guide pin and the drill both moved up when I
pressed on the foot pedal, when drilling through the copper first it
seemed to make a noticably cleaner hole..

enjoy..

B

#### Bob Masta

Jan 1, 1970
0
Recommend a drill press for drilling PC board

I drill boards about 3x2" with maybe 40 holes,
maybe a dozen boards per week, max.

I have a big Craftsman now (1/2" chuck) but
it seems to be a little cumbersome when
setting up for .100 spacing.

Any thoughts appreciated.

I'd strongly consider a hand-held Dremel
instead of a press, unless these boards
have to have perfectly vertical holes. And
never, never use a drill bit. Drills for PC
boards need to be made of carbide, and
they will break at the slightest side load.
Instead, use a ball-tip dental bur (ask
your dentist where to get these). They
will last essentially forever. (My set is
over 20 years old and still going strong.)
You will want to lightly center-punch your
holes first, then you should be able to do
about one hole per second or two once you
get the hang of it. You can only drill one
board at a time this way, but it's hard to
beat it for speed or convenience.

More details at
www.daqarta.com/lptxh.htm

Best regards,

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com
Home of DaqGen, the FREEWARE signal generator

F

#### Fred Abse

Jan 1, 1970
0
Recommend a drill press for drilling PC board

I drill boards about 3x2" with maybe 40 holes,
maybe a dozen boards per week, max.

I have a big Craftsman now (1/2" chuck) but
it seems to be a little cumbersome when
setting up for .100 spacing.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Something using the Dremel tool, perhaps, or using a router motor. Small
(.040") diameter drills, especially solid tungsten carbide ones need lots
of RPM (20,000-30,000) if you're going to get any sort of precision and
life out of them. It's all down to feet per minute peripheral speed.

E

#### ehsjr

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bob said:
I'd strongly consider a hand-held Dremel
instead of a press, unless these boards
have to have perfectly vertical holes. And
never, never use a drill bit. Drills for PC
boards need to be made of carbide, and
they will break at the slightest side load.
Instead, use a ball-tip dental bur (ask
your dentist where to get these).

Thanks to you mentioning the dental burs a while ago, I searched
around for them. I got mine from Pearson dental supply.
http://www.pearson-dental.com/

They're not cheap, due to $25 minimum order requirement. As I recall, they were 10 for$12.00.

Ed

They

L

#### Lumpy

Jan 1, 1970
0
ehsjr said:
Thanks to you mentioning the dental
burs a while ago, I searched
around for them. I got mine from
Pearson dental supply.
http://www.pearson-dental.com/

I'm looking at pearson's online catalog
as well as others. None of them seem to
use the sizing convention mentioned at -
www.daqarta.com/lptxh.htm where 010=1.0mm.

Is there some other kind of measurement
convention that the dental places use?

Lump

S

#### steamer

Jan 1, 1970
0
--Get a Criterion; they're made in Sonora, CA and they're slick
as snot. I've had one for years; finally sent it in for a little
maintenance and they went above and beyond at no extra charge; for all
intents and purposes I got back a new machine. Good company.

E

#### ehsjr

Jan 1, 1970
0
Lumpy said:
I'm looking at pearson's online catalog
as well as others. None of them seem to
use the sizing convention mentioned at -
www.daqarta.com/lptxh.htm where 010=1.0mm.

Is there some other kind of measurement
convention that the dental places use?

Lump

I don't know what they use. It took me a lot of searching to
determine that what I wanted was M580010 Midwest Carbide Bur No. 1
That seems to be an ideal size for a PC board drill. I would
recommend getting a larger size as well as the No. 1, but I can't
say what size it should be. As a guess, I would say order No. 1,
No. 2 and No. 3. That brings you above the $25.00 minimum. The coding I did figure out: FG = friction grip and SS = short shank. You want FG and you don't want SS. You could go to a different brand, like Miltex, to get over the 25 dollar minimum with 2 packs of burs instead of 3. For example. Miltex costs$13.05 for a 10 pack of one size.
Add a second size and its \$26.10.

Ed

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