For those of you who don't drill through your masts, you can stop reading
now... I drill my masts and I like it.
Here's my story: (if you don't care and just want to see how to do it,
skip to the last line)
I have a 24 foot long chromoly mast that is 2" OD and I believe it has 1/4"
walls. As I'm a poor college student (the mast and antennas are all for
W4AQL, the Georgia Tech ARC), I don't have a drill press of my own, if I
did, this would have all been much simpler. However, this is Georgia Tech,
where we probably have more machine shops than women's restrooms on campus.
I finally got enough people to say they'd show up to help getting this mast
up this weekend, so I had less than a week to get holes drilled if I wanted
to. Most of the big machine shops around here are booked solid with work,
but conveinently enough, the EE machine shop was free, and it has about 10
drill presses. The problem is now that the drill presses are normally used for
small items, and are all angled such that I'd never fit a 24 foot mast in
there, but the guy who runs the place seemed to think I could drill through it
with a hand drill and a cobolt bit.
I was skeptical after seeing all the people on here how dificult it is, but I
tried it. It worked. With 1 drill bit, 1 quart of thread cutting oil, and
a Craftsman 3/8" industrial electric hand drill, I drilled 4 holes through
my mast with a few small scratches on the bit...
It was the best $12 bit I ever bought...
The moral of the story: It's really easy with a little cutting oil, a
cobolt bit, and any drill.
Sacha J. Bernstein, N2NSZ
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