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Old 04-02-2011, 12:28 AM #1
KingSky
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Milling HELP

The Question: Who can drill a hole through about 15"-20" of aluminum Hexagonal Tubing, and what would it cost? Or, does anyone know where i could find some Hexagonal tubing in the 1-1/2"-2" diameter range with a 1 1/4" hole running through it?

The Background: I'm working on a custom project, have been for sometime. I've gone through numerous materials through each prototype. It's been mostly shroud work now, and I've made models out of wood and slapped on commercially available rails and shrouds, PVC with the same thing, and PVC-Steel Hybrids. But through all this I've always had to work with what was commercially available for the upper portion that holds all the internals, and it's either been hard to work with, heavy or unable to meet my ever changing wants for an end design. I'm now looking at using a Hexagonal Aluminum Tubing, but all I've found so far is solid, I would have to drill a hole through it for the internals I'm using (Ion, because they are cheap, reliable and abundant)
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:28 AM #2
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you will need a big lathe to do it, and a 1-1/4" bore 15"-20" long is going to be costly/hard to make.

Ususally one of the hardest parts about making a body is machining the bore for the bolt system.
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:53 AM #3
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Well it doesn't have to super precise, I'm only creating a body shroud that will allow the ION Body and barrel to slide in from the back. Would it be a special lathe or would a woodworking lathe work? Also, what would be used to make the hole then? A Large Drill bit or some special tool?
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Old 04-03-2011, 04:00 AM #4
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:02 AM #5
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you could take it to a gun smith and ask if they would do it, not sure how they would respond. We had a kid a year back do a report on gun drilling and he couldn't even get them to talk about the process.

gun drilling is usually done at lengths like that though
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:09 AM #6
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There is also the option of using round tubing of the appropriate bore diameter, and having the flats for the hex look milled on to the round tubing. Just a guess, but I think that would probably be a much easier and more affordable method.
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:41 PM #7
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probably true.

a wood lathe would work right up until the tool hit the workpiece, at which point you'd probably hear something break or smell something burning. you *might* be able to get away with cutting something like delrin on a wood lathe, but anything else is going to be way too hard.
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:53 PM #8
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I agree with yoda, that would be the easiest thing to do.

have you considered the weight of the piece though? 20'' of hexagonal tubing with a 1.5" bore is going to be really heavy, even if its aluminum. if its just for a shroud, id go the delrin or nylon route. If you cant find any round tubing that you need, you might consider doing it in 2 parts (2x10"segments). thatis still a long way to drill, but it might be a little more practical for machin shops
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:50 PM #9
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15"-20" is extremely long to get any sort of tight tolerances. For something that long typically an extruded piece would be used, then chopped up into smaller parts and bored/honed from there.

*Edit* A Line boring machine would do, but is not as accurate and needs a pilot hole...
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:27 PM #10
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Well I don't need the hole to be super consistent, so that's not a huge issue.

As to weight I figured the hole would remove about 50% of the material, plus probably a pound off the bottom so I have room for hoses and whatnot and possibly more if I decide to to have material milled off of the side for looks and whatnot. A 2" diameter 18" piece weighs about 6 pounds, I figure I can remove about 3 pounds with the hole, possibly a pound or two with additional milling. One of previous prototypes was almost entirely steel, so in comparison, I should be fine.

I considered doing it two or more pieces, but I'm concerned about consistency and structural integrity of the overall design because this piece would essentially be the backbone.

As to doing it with delrin or some other material tube with a hole already, I can't find anything with a thick enough wall to allow for removal of enough material to get it to a hexagonal or octagonal shape.

So when I Google Line boring it looks like only heavy machine shops and repair companies generally have the capability, would anyone else?

Thank you all for constructive input.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:44 PM #11
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http://cgi.ebay.com/6061-Aluminum-Ro...em2eb3f6 4639

That could be milled into a hex that leaves you 3/16" thick flats to tap into.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:36 PM #12
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Thanks! I sent out a few emails to ask for pricing to do that, but do have any idea of a ballpark price?
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:26 PM #13
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http://www.mcmaster.com/#aluminum/=bs2zfg
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:40 AM #14
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most machine shops can handle that.

you need to check that there lathe has a clearance bore big enough to insert the hex bar. ususaly anything over a 16" swing will have a 2.5 -3" bore. the hole can be cut with a long jobber bit.

we used to make mandrels 16" long and bore out hex from both ends

if you dont require .005 tollerance just drill the size, if you require tight tolerence drill smaller and then use a boring bar. its not dificult just take it slow so the bit doesnt wander.

if you are going to a machine shop make sure you tell them what your tollerence is...i would suggest going to your local college that does apprentiships, they will probably undertake it for beer !
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