Drill hole in carbon tube. How?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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by Zak


I need to drill a small hole in a carbon tube. How do I do that without damaging the tube?


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by boolinwall


by Weenie

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by DaveS

Any sharp drill bit with an electric hand drill will work on CF. If you needed to drill hundreds of holes, a carbide bit would probably last longer than the ordinary high speed steel or TiN coated hihgh speed steel. CF is abrasive and wears cutting tools quickly.

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by Zak

Thanks DaveS, it's just one hole so I will keep it simple.

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by davidalone

be sure to GO SLOW. you could cause stress concentration and cracking if you try to take it too fast.

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by weeracerweenie

Light pressure, med/high speed works best, if you push to hard it will split the back out (splinters really) and looks crud...

Show us what your working on? :thumbup:
I guess there's worse hobbies than making a bike light? Right?

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by Vjl

I always drill a small hole first then, with a sharp file open hole to size i need.
If you use a new file it will do way less damage to the carbon in the inside where you cant see.

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by latman

If the tube is very thin/fragile you may want to make up a small "doubler" piece and drill through that so the strength remains (like the diamond device that surrounded water bottle bolt holes) as some fibres will be broken by the drilling

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by thisisatest

You can get a set of abrasive diamond coated needle files from places like HarborFreight super cheap. risk of splintering with those is almost zero.

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by sigismond0

Another thing you will probably want to do is make a jig for drilling at an angle, asuming you're drilling for cables or the like. What exactly are you doing this for?

You can use a small block of wood, drill a pilot hole at an angle in the block of wood, then secure that to the frame and drill a pilot hole into the frame through the block. Then re-drill the block at your desired size and repeat against the frame.

Overall, I'm not so sure I'd recommend drilling a carbon frame unless you really know what you're doing.

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by natiedean24

Don't be scared. Take your time. Go for it!

by Weenie

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