Drilling chrome. Anything I need to know? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Drilling chrome. Anything I need to know?

So I plan on tilting my VStar 1300 windshield a bit and this causes the lower bolt to no longer line up. So I was going to drill a hole near it through the shield chrome and then the mounting hardware and put a new bolt through. I'm thinking it's chrome plated steel. What should I do to make a nice hole and not create a spot where the chrome can start to flake off? Any specific bit to use?

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 08:38 AM
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You want to use a very Sharp slow speed bit and a slow speed drill, not only for flaking but you also don't want to turn the Chrome blue from over heating it around the hole.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 09:50 AM
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I'd use a jewelers bit, and as he said, slow speed. My drill is variable speed, but i have a high and low, too. I would set low(for screws) and take your time. Take 5 minutes to drill the hole, it beats 5 years of having a screwed up piece of metal on your bike.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 11:50 AM
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Spot punch the center of the hole before you put the drill into it. If you don't, the drill tip may wander off the mark and possibly start a hole someplace where you don't want it. You can dab the drilling location with a wet rag a few times to keep things from getting too hot....stop drilling first when doing that.

Oh and be careful:

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 01:31 PM
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One other thought is, depending on the hole size you are drilling, it may be very helpful to drill a smaller hole first before drilling it to the desired size.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 02:20 PM
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All excellent advice, but watch out for this !

Metal is cut with a sharp bit, but when you get to the plastics of your windshield, look out, the sharp bit will grab it and more than likely crack it, now it's worse, how we drill canopies on aircraft is with a high speed, very dull bit, setup for just this purpose, we melt our way through, so we don't crack it, believe me the first time your nice pretty drill bit grabs and trashes a piece of plexiglass, you will want to scream. So I hope your drilling your metal hole with the plastic shield removed, then put some masking tape in place, on the plexi, and melt your new hole in the new location. Hope this makes sense, do it right, don't screw the pooch. Replacement shields are around 150 for the typical Strat units.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-07-2012, 08:55 PM
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I've had good results using a pilot hole (made with a sharp drill bit--about 1/8" to 3/16") and a step drill bit. Once the step drill is through to the right size I flip the piece of metal over and run the step drill through the hole just enough to deburr the opening. Makes for a nice clean hole and no problems with chrome peeling.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 05:00 AM
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DC, Good tip on drilling the polycarbonate windshield, I'll have to remember that trick. On a side note, I don't think he will be drilling thru the plastic???

Last edited by stratowart; 06-08-2012 at 05:03 AM.
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