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drilling holes in wheelheads -- completed and revisited

updated sun 26 may 02


Gail Dapogny on sat 25 may 02

THANKS TO MARCIA, VINCE, MATT, TOM, AND CD, we now have appropriate holes
(10 inches apart) for the new bat systems drilled in our two old Shimpos.
Last August, I sent out a post on this subject, and got truly helpful
replies from you guys. I studied and kept the advice, but was nervous
mainly about keeping the drill straight while drilling, so kept putting the
project off.

A big motivator was coming across a portable drill press (you clamp it on)
at Ace Hardware for about $39, so a friend and I bit the bullet and did
the job. This drill press was an enormous help (especially for novices like
me), and if anyone is interested, it is a Wolfcraft Drill Guide Model No.
4525. Nifty little tool and worth the price.

In a nutshell, we did the following:

1) Clamped a wooden bat --already appropriately drilled-- onto the wheel
head, being careful to exactly center it.. (Before we did this, we placed
the bat over my hydrobats and peered through the holes to ascertain that
everything lined up.)
2) Marked the wheelhead through the bat holes.
3) After removing the bat, we carefully made a dimple -- what did you call
it, Marcia? a divet -- with a center punch through the center of each of
the two marked circles. One sharp hammer hit.
4) Clamped the drill press on the wheel head (this took some doing) lining
up an already inserted 1/8 inch bit with the divet.
5) Using 3 in 1 oil for lubrication, we began drilling, and made the two
6) Then we inserted a 5/64 bit and made it larger, then a 3/16 bit --
larger still, and finally the 1/4 inch bit which was as large as we needed.

Voila, the pins fit, the bats fit!!! Throughout the hole procedure, we
carefullllllly measured and then re-measured, and then looked through the
bat holes to make extra sure.

The final (1/4 inch) bit was the hardest to drill. It seized up a few times
when I tried to go down too fast. Learning how to deal with this took a
little time but I learned to have the drill going fairly fast and ease it
down into the divet without exerting too much pressure.

Marcia, you said something about writing this up for maybe PMI. You could
add that your recent email instructions to someone totally ignorant of the
project (me) were right on the mark. You might also want to add the part
about optional use of the portable drill guide.

My drill was my corded DeWalt (about $60) drill --- it's solid and never
lets me down.

Anyway ---thanks everyone. And if you're thinking of doing this, I'm sure
you can manage it successfully. I did!

Gail Dapogny
1154 Olden Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-3005
(734) 665-9816 (single historical photo - no longer
registered with Silverhawk)