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Thread: Drilling with Foredom

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default Drilling with Foredom

    Hi All,
    I recently purchased a Foredom pendant motor from Cousins UK. (https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/je...-jaw-handpiece) It was an impulse purchase, one that I shouldn’t have made as I am still very new to jewellery making. Anyhow, I cannot seem to drill a hole in to a 2mm sterling silver sheet. I think I have spent 15 minutes trying to drill a hole and have only managed to go half way. If anyone can suggest what I may be doing wrong I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you

    Sofina

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    669

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cartres View Post
    Hi All,
    I recently purchased a Foredom pendant motor from Cousins UK. (https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/je...-jaw-handpiece) It was an impulse purchase, one that I shouldn’t have made as I am still very new to jewellery making. Anyhow, I cannot seem to drill a hole in to a 2mm sterling silver sheet. I think I have spent 15 minutes trying to drill a hole and have only managed to go half way. If anyone can suggest what I may be doing wrong I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you

    Sofina
    Well a few ideas anyway...
    Prime the location for drilling by creating a small point depression using any number of small tools e.g. carbide tip. This not only gives the bit somewhere to start but reduces teh chance the bit will skid off location when drilling.
    Pre-drill using a small drill bit (make sure the bit is appropriate for drilling metal)
    Lube the drill-bit with a light oil, wax or bespoke product
    Drill slowly - I don't know how slow a Foredom will go, but I usually use manual methods to start out.

    Hope this helps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    632

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cartres View Post
    Hi All,
    I recently purchased a Foredom pendant motor from Cousins UK. (https://www.cousinsuk.com/product/je...-jaw-handpiece) It was an impulse purchase, one that I shouldn’t have made as I am still very new to jewellery making. Anyhow, I cannot seem to drill a hole in to a 2mm sterling silver sheet. I think I have spent 15 minutes trying to drill a hole and have only managed to go half way. If anyone can suggest what I may be doing wrong I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you

    Sofina
    The motor has a forward and reverse gear. Are you sure you've not got it in reverse?
    Also, have a look at the state of your drill bit under magnification. Is its tip in good condition?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,410

    Default

    Dear Sofina,
    As for your purchase, It will stand you in good stead for many years to come. Many beginners buy a Dremel and do come to regret it with good reason.

    As for your drilling efforts, 2.0mm thick sheet takes some persistence, but you have not said what size drill you are using.

    Assuming it is a twist drill, new and sharp, and is not going in reverse, then:

    1. Run it only at a medium speed, using oil or candle grease as a lubricant.
    2. The drill should never turn blue, or it will loose its effectiveness.
    3. If the hole size is to be more than say, 1.0mm, then drill a smaller hole first, and once through, change to the final size.

    Drills are liable to snap off doing this and are then the devil to remove. So use only medium pressure and keep you handpiece upright and steady. Also remember eye protection, or you might get a piece of metal in your eye.

    Dennis.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
    Posts
    4,771

    Default

    What size drill bit and is it sharp?
    Larger twist drills usually come sharpened with a web between the cutting flutes, which doesn't cut - hence the need to drill smaller holes first when using larger drill bits.
    You'll need some downward pressure too, how much comes with feel.
    Clear the swarf from the hole occasionally so it doesn't pack (not that much of an issue in that thickness with e.g. a 1.0mm drill)

    Everything suggested by metalsmith & Dennis will help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,410

    Default

    Ha, if you look at the timing of the last four posts you will see that we were all typing simultaneously.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Thank you for the speedy replies and sorry for missing out vital information. Just to clarify i am using a brand new 1mm twist drill, i have started off with a small drilling point and using oil to lubricate. As far as i can tell i am doing everything you all have suggested, but still having no luck. I have used a pendant motor in a few jewellery classes i attended and i dont recall finding it this hard to drill a hole. Should i be using a smaller drill bit then 1mm?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Rural Somerset, between Yeovil and Shepton Mallet
    Posts
    201

    Default Drilling with Foredom

    Double check that it is not running in reverse - the switch on the motor has three settings forward, off and reverse. Make ABSOLUTELY certain that the drill is rotating the correct way. A 1mm hole in 2mm silver should go through in a less than a minute or so. Follow all the suggestions above.

    Edited to add - if you have the quick release handpiece make sure it is properly closed (the flip handle in line with the body of the handpiece) and that the drill is the correct size (2.35mm shaft). Otherwise the jaws in the handpiece will not be gripping the drill and it will never drill a hole.
    Last edited by BarryM; 16-09-2015 at 09:24 PM.
    Barry the Flying Silversmith👍

  9. #9

    Default

    Cartres, check the direction. At the top of the motor is a black three way switch for Off, Forward and Reverse. From your description it sounds as if the motor is running in reverse as has been mentioned in the previous answers. Nice tool by the way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    22

    Default

    It is definitely not in reverse, I've checked this several times now. Ive now tried using my 2mm burr to drill into an existing hole but even the burr is not shifting any metal. I guess this tool is definitely way too advanced for me.

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