Modifying a router mounting plate - drilling thru aluminum

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Forum topic by Jimmy0x52 posted 02-08-2012 05:07 PM 2232 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 2295 days

02-08-2012 05:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi All

I need to modify the router mounting plate for my BT3000. It is setup with slots for a ryobi router (shocking, I know) and I have a newer Hitachi. I made a little convertor ‘plate’ out of a 1/2” piece of plywood but ideally I’d like to just drill the proper mount holes in the aluminum mounting plate so I don’t lose 1/2” of travel on my bits.

Here’s the manual picture of the plate I’m talking about

The newer Hitachi routers have a triangular hole pattern (two on one side, one centered on the other). That plate has those four slots for a router with four holes.

So, my question is how do I drill these holes? I have zero experience drilling in metal. Can I just use regular twist drill bits or do i need special metal ones? I do have a drill press so it won’t be an issue to clamp it down and get straight holes. I’ll also need to countersink them. Do I need to get a special metal countersink bit or will a regular one get through aluminum ok? Do I need to use water or oil when making the cut?

Thanks for the help! This place is awesome!

-- Jimmy, Austin, TX - Software developer by day, woodworker by night

3 replies so far

View cloakie1's profile


204 posts in 2550 days

#1 posted 02-08-2012 05:22 PM

regular twist drills will work fine…just run them quick and use a bit of cutting fluid if you want …but for what you want to do i wouldn’t worry….and has for counter sinking i just use a specially sharpen twist drill that is shaped the same way as the screw head…....the alternative is to go out and buy a counterbore bit that will do both jobs at once for you

-- just get stuck in and have a go!!!

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2482 days

#2 posted 02-08-2012 05:27 PM

Aluminum is soft, so you won’t have any problem drilling it.
You can use standard HSS bits with no problem and for that thickness you won’t need any cooling liquid.
When I did mine I used a 3/4” bit to do the counter sinking. It worked great.

If I recall correctly someone over on the BT3 Central forum has a template for different router mounts if you need it.

Good Luck!


-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Jimmy0x52's profile


31 posts in 2295 days

#3 posted 02-08-2012 05:32 PM

I have the plastic removable plate from the bottom of the router so I can use that as the template since it has the same holes.

I heard that if you use too much speed you’ll get heat issues and the aluminum can bind to the bit. Sounds like not the case here. I’ll maybe drill something small, counter sink it, and then finish drilling out the hole. Cut as little material away at a time.

And yeah, a 3/4” bit sounds like a good substitute for spending $10 on countersink bits right now. I’ve sunk enough money into buying missing parts and ‘modifying’ bits of this BT3000 for my needs ;)

-- Jimmy, Austin, TX - Software developer by day, woodworker by night

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