How to drill steel plate, need suggestions - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 03:36 AM
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What are you building and how many holes do you need drilled?
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Whoo-hoo. D. Cooper always does good business. They drilled those suckers in about 3 minutes, perfectly, charged me $5, and gave me two locking washers to fit, to boot.

Pictures of the project to come, when I have my compressor fired up, later. Pouring rain right now.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-28-2013, 11:55 PM
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Congrats on finding a good machine shop, that's always a worthwhile discovery. I was groaning at $25 for drilling a hole through a piece of sheet metal.
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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2013, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Explanation of the project ongoing here.


Last edited by DKShrimporium; 07-01-2013 at 02:15 PM. Reason: ...
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
Congrats on finding a good machine shop, that's always a worthwhile discovery. I was groaning at $25 for drilling a hole through a piece of sheet metal.
Ditto...made me squirm when I read it.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-01-2013, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
Congrats on finding a good machine shop, that's always a worthwhile discovery. I was groaning at $25 for drilling a hole through a piece of sheet metal.
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Originally Posted by Black Hills Tj View Post
Ditto...made me squirm when I read it.
I agree, on first glance a quoted price of $25 for two lousy holes is cringe-worthy.

However, my calculus was as follows:
  • This is a piece of equipment that costs in the ten thousand dollars range.
  • It does not belong to me, but to someone else who needed help with it.
  • The tolerances for my placement were very tight, so my holes had to be exact.
  • The holes are in a structural member, so if I messed up, drilling MORE holes is not advised, due to weakening the member. And there was no more real estate to drill the holes where my tolerances would have been met for placement of the air springs.
  • The cost to me to do it myself would have been at least this much, by the time I bought a suitable DECENT drill bit and messed around.
  • Buying a drill bit myself would have added several days at least to the turnaround time, and this is the season where the mower is in use all day at least every five days. (There was nothing in stock locally that I was interested in buying for this purpose - it was a shorter drive to the machine shop than to where I'd have to drive to look for a suitable bit.)
  • I like to touch base with this machine shop every few years, so they remember me. In this case, they remembered me and gave me a tour of their new LED fixtures, even pulling one for me to examine and feel the heat.
  • Mostly, I just wanted the holes, fast, and right. Cost to an extent was secondary, due to mowing season. The guy riding the mower just had retinal surgery and it is critical he have shock absorption now.

So for me, it was a no-brainer at $25. It was a plus that when I showed up there they only charged me $5. The $25 quote was assuming half hour of shop time, but the holes took only under 5 minutes.

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