1

I want to screw aluminum to wood. If it was wood to wood, this bit:

https://d2pbmlo3fglvvr.cloudfront.net/product/full/Z1K9wvfo5oy.JPG
Image from zoro.com

makes perfect sense for the pilot and counter sink. However, it makes no mention of if the counter sink part would handle aluminum.

Alternatively, should I use this 1/2" Ryobi countersink:

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400/20/20258340-a7f8-4078-9071-5d3534cd125f_400.jpg
Image from Home Depot

and a separate drill bit for the pilot hole?

  • By "screw aluminum into wood" you mean "put a screw through a hole in aluminum to fasten it to wood", right? – Daniel Griscom Jun 3 '16 at 21:57
  • Yes. The screw is a normal zinc screw. – Justin Dearing Jun 3 '16 at 21:58
2

Generally speaking you can use the same tools you'd use for wood to work with aluminum. I've done a number of projects using aluminum bar and angle stock with my woodworking tools, including a miter saw.

However, since the metal is much harder, you'd probably have an easier time doing the drilling and countersinking separately. I'd drill with a standard high-speed bit, and use a countersink like the Ryobi you linked to finish.

On a related note, you'll not have much room for error when countersinking 1/16" stock. You might be better off with pan-head screws.

  • My main issue, which the guy at the hardware store warned me about, is I drilled too fast and aluminum shavings stuck to the bit like melted wax. My second issue was it took to long at the slower speed on my drill. – Justin Dearing Jun 3 '16 at 23:54
  • @JustinDearing - Too fast shouldn't have been an issue, drilling for too long is though (a kind of work-hardening). You weren't pushing hard enough to make chips; you were galling it. But as mentioned don't push too hard ;) over-countersinking aluminum is my usual problem. – Mazura Jun 4 '16 at 0:26
  • 1
    The tapered style drill bits need to be handled very carefully when drilling through aluminum. They have a tenancy to want to pull themselves down into the drill hole with a surprisingly aggressive force. So use care to clamp down the work piece and get both hands securely on your drill before starting the hole. – Michael Karas Jun 4 '16 at 3:43
  • True. Same with DeWalt's pilot-point bits. the primary cutting edge grabs hard with its square edge profile. – isherwood Jun 6 '16 at 14:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.