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Author Topic: Drilling button holes?  (Read 3250 times)

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slybunda

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Drilling button holes?
« on: October 27, 2021, 06:16:54 am »
Got some buttons that are 30mm wide and require 30mm hole size. Should i get a 30mm hole saw or a 29mm one?

PL1

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2021, 08:10:07 am »
For 30mm buttons (Sanwa, Seimitsu, etc.) you'll want a 30mm Forstner bit or hole saw.

For standard 1-1/8" arcade buttons (Happ, etc.) you'll want a 1-1/8" (28.575mm) Forstner bit or hole saw.
- You might be able to get away with a 28mm bit/saw, but it will be a very snug fit.

Some LED buttons have a smaller threaded body diameter and a shoulder just under the bezel.
- This type of button comes with the ring you see at the bottom center of this pic. (click on pic for full-size view)
- If you install the ring above the control panel, the button body will fit into a smalller hole. (24mm IIRC)
- If you install the button without the ring in a 1-1/8" hole, the shoulder will keep the button from shifting too far to the side and exposing the hole in the control panel.




Scott
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 08:15:49 am by PL1 »

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2021, 09:23:16 am »
Thanks will try and source a kit. None iv seen come with a 30mm hole saw, but there are kits with 29mm. Is that gonna be ok?

PL1

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2021, 10:32:29 am »
None iv seen come with a 30mm hole saw, but there are kits with 29mm. Is that gonna be ok?
Probably not.

That "29mm" hole saw is probably a 1-1/8" (28.575mm) which is more than a mm too small for your 30mm buttons.

Get the right tool.

Thanks will try and source a kit.
You might get better results buying individual bits/hole saws.

The Freud FB-008 (1-1/8" Forstner bit) works great and is very reasonably priced.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RK4U/?th=1

There are some inexpensive 30mm Forstner bits on Amazon, but the one I bought years ago is no longer available.   :(
- Alternately, you could use a 1-3/16" (30.1625mm) bit.

The reason I keep steering you toward Forstner bits is that even the inexpensive ones are usually more accurate size-wise than inexpensive hole saws like the cheap but not-so-great ones from Harbor Freight.
I'm very happy with the results from the FB-008, but considering that I previously used a Harbor Freight holesaw that is slightly smaller than advertised :angry: -- no big surprise.

If you aren't comfortable drilling free-hand with forstner bits, you may want to use a drill press or a drill guide like this.




Scott

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2021, 10:36:51 am »
A hole saw works just fine for button holes.

Just buy the 2 or 3 sizes you need.

Forstner bits will also do the job just fine.

Gilrock

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2021, 10:43:45 am »
Go big or go home...buy a CNC to drill the holes. :)

I've had to use 30mm holes for the buttons I buy from Arcade Shop.  They don't say who's the manufacturer they just list them as leaf switches.  I initially tried measuring with calipers and making exact sized holes with the CNC but it was too tight.  An extra millimeter is only 0.5mm around the edges and you'll never notice after tightening the nut.

Mike A

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2021, 10:50:09 am »
You are such a cheater. ;D

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2021, 11:29:52 am »
I thought those forstner bits were boring use and will make a massive mess?

Mike A

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2021, 11:42:42 am »
Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the sawdust.

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2021, 11:55:51 am »
I plan to just drill the extra holes into the bartop i have with all the oarts in it to save time. Hopefully i dont go through the back of the screen.

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 12:25:31 pm »
Just seen some YouTube videos, these fostner bits are for use with a drill press. I just have a hand drill so can't use them.

Mike A

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2021, 12:32:03 pm »
Yes you can.


slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2021, 12:39:04 pm »

Mike A

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2021, 12:51:03 pm »
Sure.

Drill until the tip pokes through the other side. Flip it and drill from the other side. That will keep the hole from blowing out.

Both other bits are much better for this though.

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2021, 01:10:18 pm »
is this forestner set ok for me? its got the 30mm i need and price seems good:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/144225263719

are they the correct type for me cabinet?

pic attached with red circles for where im planning to put the buttons. ignore the wonky paint job in placing the circles lol.

PL1

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2021, 01:21:49 pm »
Use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the sawdust.
Very true.

You can also make a thin cardboard pocket (or use a plastic container) and tape it to the underside of the panel to contain most of the sawdust that would otherwise end up inside the bartop.   ;D

Another approach is to clamp some scrap wood to the inside to minimize blowout, but this might be difficult depending on where you need to drill the holes.
- Not sure from the pic you posted if you have the access and right type of clamps for this approach.

Hopefully i dont go through the back of the screen.
It's pretty easy to make a depth stop for a Forstner bit.
I'm conjuring up a poor mans way of using 2 with some card board in between for a cheap but hopefully effective forstner bit stop.
Cardboard is too flimsy, but you could use a hole saw cutout like this.
- You will need to drill out the center of the cutout.
- If you don't have a holesaw, drill the center hole for the cutout and cut the body with a jigsaw.
- Leave a path for the chips to escape.



Just seen some YouTube videos, these fostner bits are for use with a drill press. I just have a hand drill so can't use them.
As long as you can keep the bit perpindicular while drilling, you can use a regular power hand drill.
- I've drilled free-hand with Forstner bits before -- no problem as long as you can control the angle and feed rate.

If your hands are shaky or you can't maintain the proper angle, use a drill guide as mentioned earlier.

is this forestner set ok for me? its got the 30mm i need and price seems good:
That set should be fine.   :cheers:


Scott

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2021, 01:49:51 pm »
I noticed it doesnt have a hex shank for use in my hand drill. Is that gonna be a issue or will it be fine?

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2021, 02:38:49 pm »
I noticed it doesnt have a hex shank for use in my hand drill. Is that gonna be a issue or will it be fine?
Almost all drills have an adjustable 3-jaw chuck -- either keyed or keyless.

 

It will be fine as long as you properly tighten the bit in the chuck. (i.e. not loose or at an angle)

If you have a drill that only accepts hex shanks, there are hex drive chucks.   ;)




Scott

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2021, 06:22:47 pm »
What was i thinking. Regular drill bits i use are round and not hex. Hex is just the screwdriver bit i have.
Will get those forstner bits ordered.

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2021, 04:04:55 am »
Hole saw all the way, using Mike A's recommended drill partway through (until the pilot bores through) and then flip method.

Best blend of inexpensive and effective with best result that one can achieve.

Metal is a different animal.
What's that watermelon doing there?

Gilrock

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2021, 09:07:59 am »
I've had this Forstner bit set on my Amazon Wish List but never could pull the trigger to spend that amount but they look nice.  They even have the hex shaft you wanted.  There is also a filler set to give you the 1/16" in between ones.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007D2Y5E/?coliid=I2D8S9MFD9GR3C&colid=1CRAEE2YF3540&psc=1&ref_=gv_ov_lig_pi_dp

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2021, 11:41:33 am »
Priced way too high for me. I got the 7 kit on order so will see how that works out.

Mike A

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2021, 12:01:24 pm »
You will be fine.

You don't need to use the same bits that Mr. Moneybags is looking at.

I am still trying to figure out how to make Gilrock my sugar daddy.

slybunda

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2021, 01:37:17 pm »
How does one drill a square hole for those gambling machines i see?

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2021, 01:39:32 pm »
You will be fine.

You don't need to use the same bits that Mr. Moneybags is looking at.

I am still trying to figure out how to make Gilrock my sugar daddy.

 :laugh2:

I'm all about having good tools.
That is a nice looking kit Gilrock.

If I had unlimited funds I would be a menace to my family via my workshop.

Those rectangluar buttons I believe use round mounting holes also.
What's that watermelon doing there?

PL1

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2021, 02:46:03 pm »
How does one drill a square hole for those gambling machines i see?
Those rectangluar buttons I believe use round mounting holes also.
Correct.  Most of them use a round hole and an indexing hole or two to keep the button properly aligned.



There are some buttons that snap into a square/rectangular hole in a metal panel or maybe you want to make holes for carriage bolts.  There are many ways you can handle these situations.
- Drill a round hole and file to the corners.  It's low tech and labor intensive, but it is the el-cheapo way using commonly available tools.
- Square metal punch.

- Square broach.

- Specialized eccentric bit. (see animation at 1:15)


If you want to make square holes in wood, there are punches for use with hammers and hand drills . . .

. . . and similar chisel/bit combinations for use with drill presses.



Scott

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2021, 12:32:50 pm »
Lol think i messed up my measurements. Im gonna need smaller buttons, 30mm hole gonna be too big since screen is recessed so didnt take that into. 15mm hole should be doable. Do they make buttons for that size? Need 4 buttons.

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2021, 02:33:49 pm »


15mm hole should be doable. Do they make buttons for that size? Need 4 buttons.

Not in arcade buttons.  Smallest ones that I would consider real arcade buttons are 24mm Semitsu or Sanwa.

Ond

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2021, 03:20:28 pm »
Getting the best tools you can afford for any job is good advice, BUT, expensive tools are not what determines craftsmanship.  I've seen workshops full of expensive tools and nary a craftsman in sight.  I use spade bits for drilling most holes using a drill press.  Not expensive.  Holes come out clean every time.

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2021, 06:58:33 pm »
Drill press is the key word there.

Need to find smaller buttons for admin function use. Will have to hunt around.

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2021, 07:21:18 pm »
Lol think i messed up my measurements. Im gonna need smaller buttons, 30mm hole gonna be too big since screen is recessed so didnt take that into. 15mm hole should be doable. Do they make buttons for that size? Need 4 buttons.
How about Sanwa SDM-20 buttons?
- 20mm concave, locking tabs, 23mm bezel, 14mm plunger
- These will work great for admin buttons.
- There's a 20mm in the forstner bit set you ordered.   ;D
https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/products/Sanwa-SDM-20-Arcade-Button.html



Sanwa also makes SDM-18 buttons, but there's no 18mm in the forstner bit set you ordered.

If you can't make either of those Sanwa buttons fit, Happ makes these.
- A 12mm (0.47") bit should work fine for them.  15mm is probably a bit too large.
- You'll probably need to countersink the backside of the panel because the threaded length is only 9.9mm. (0.39")
https://www.arcadeworlduk.com/products/Happ-Mini-Momentary-Arcade-Button.html




Scott

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2021, 08:30:40 pm »
the forstner set arrived today so thats sorted on the tools side. those 20mm buttons seem like they will do the trick.

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2021, 06:25:49 pm »
Drill press is the key word there.

My drill press is a cheap piece of crap ~$90.  One day I'll invest in a nice precision drill press.  I use it for so many things, it's just a really good tool to have.  Hopefully your forstner set will do the job nicely.

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Re: Drilling button holes?
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2021, 03:36:34 pm »
Definitely late to this party, but I'll comment anyway.

The black rings sometimes supplied with Asian import buttons are not at all intended for installation above a panel.  I've seen them used this way and it looks ridiculous.  The only reason they exist is so they can be mounted to thin metal control panels, while using the shoulder to set them into place.  I.e. the rings are nothing more than spacers which allow the nut to clamp them onto the underside of the metal panel.  Without them, the nut cannot be tightened enough to make contact.  Also, using them to adapt to a larger hole is usually a non-starter, as their OD is often too close to the OD of the bezel to offer a secure mount.

Virtually any size bit between the body diameter and the diameter of the bezel its can be used, so long as there is reasonable support under the bezel.  Yes, the hole will be a little large in some cases, but the nut will tighten down and prevent the button from ever moving.  There is no absolute need for precision with the button holes.  Folks should also understand that wood and plastic shrink and swell depending on the humidity of the room.  A tight button hole may eventually lead to operational issues.  A little extra clearance is always a good idea to prevent this.

A spade bit doesn't make a clean hole like a Forstner bit, but the bezel will cover the edges, so no-one will ever know.  You CAN use a Forstner bit in a hand drill, but it can be dangerous to your wrist, as they have a tendency to bind in the hole if not drilling perfectly straight.  If you absolutely must use a hand drill with this kind of bit, make absolutely sure that you use a drill with a clutch and adjust it just tightly enough for the drill to do it's job.  Hopefully, this way if the bit binds, the clutch will break loose before your wrist does.  I don't recommend using them this way at all, but I have done it a few times when I was too lazy to set up the drill press.

CNC machines allow for any size, but they also allow one to try to be too exact, leading to tight fitting buttons (not a good thing.)  But once you get one, learn the machine and factor in the correct clearances, you'll never want (or need) to drill a button hole again :)