Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-04-2017, 11:48 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
What drill bit does one use to drill through ceiling

So I have decided to leave my ceiling in my 1996 Bluebird school bus up, now I am facing the Dilemma of trying to get my studs into the metal ceiling, moreover the part of the metal ceiling where the two panels meet where all the rivets are. I've tried a Milwakee 5/8 inch what they claim to be Cobalt drill bit and the darn thing just keeps breaking, the ceiling can't be that hard can it? Really need some good solid guidance on what drill bit to purchase.
mjfreespirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 12:20 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 5,691
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
"where the two panels meet" is where the roof ribs are located so you are drilling through two pieces of sheetmetal then something like 10 gauge (probably galvanized) steel. That said, any decent drill bit should make it through.

But, start with a smaller bit. If you need a 5/8" hole you should begin with something like a 1/4" pilot hole.

I gave up long ago on Big Box and hardware store bits. Try to find a real "Tool Supply". You will pay a little more but the difference in bit performance is amazing.

Best of luck.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 12:30 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 192
1/4" Norseman drill bits from Fastenal have done better than any other bit I've tried, and they're less expensive than the Milwaukees, too. I've been using them to drill through the sheet metal I'm reusing from my ceiling panels and 1/4" thick steel bar that I used on my roof raise. They will have no problem whatsoever getting through two layers of sheet metal plus the rib underneath. Do try to avoid drilling into the rivets, though. The drill goes through, but the screws don't like them at all, pilot hole or not.
mysty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 08:06 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
Posts: 349
Year: 1997
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
I swear by step bits for thin metal like you described. Standard bits catch and then break. Step bits seem to cut better. IMO Also when using standard bits, a slow speed is better.
leadsled01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 09:25 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,410
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
Send a message via Yahoo to Robin97396
Drilling rivets is an expensive way to remove rivets. You're going to get some really strong arms doing that ceiling too.

Why not use the punch and chisel method? Use the punch to push the center mandrel out the back of the rivet. Put the punch in the middle of the rivet and hammer the mandrel up into the ceiling. After the mandrel is out the remaining rivet is much easier to chisel off.

That said, at this time all five of my drill bit sets are missing a certain size of bits. It's much easier to punch and chisel the rivets off than it is to drill them. You can use hand tools or air tools.

When you're replacing your ceiling, after insulation, you'll accidentally hit an old rivet hole in a rib occasionally. That still snaps off drill bits.
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 11:07 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,217
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Cobalt is real hard. Unfortunately they're also brittle; breaking easily comes with the territory. That bus metal is just mild steel, so a normal HSS (high speed steel) drill should do fine. Don't run it too fast or bear on it too hard; those both make heat which causes the drill to lose its cutting edge quickly.
family wagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 02:26 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 1,837
Year: 1999
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, AT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
And of course drill straight.

I do not look forward to all the rivet removal. I do recall that MuddaEarth was using a pneumatic drill for the exterior rivets.
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 09:21 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
Thankfully I decided to not remove the ceiling panels, but still have to screw in the studs. Thanks for all the responses
mjfreespirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 09:38 PM   #9
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,410
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
Send a message via Yahoo to Robin97396
You don't want to remove rivets until you temporarily loose 50% of your hearing? But why?
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2017, 09:41 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
You don't want to remove rivets until you temporarily loose 50% of your hearing? But why?
Haha! Funny! This decision was purely financial and time based.
mjfreespirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.