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How to: Cross Drill Rotor w/ Patterns

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thelowlife, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Tools required:

    - Hammer
    - Pointed Punch
    - Drill Press
    - Various drill bits to size of pattern you want
    - Layout Fluid (Fluid used to easly make marks in metal or other products various manufactures make this stuff in various colours)
    - Cutting fluid

    Time required: Approx. 2 hours

    The patterns are based off of previous patterns found and changed up a little. All patterns that I have were made using AutoCAD so the measurements and accuracy should be spot on but there may still be small mistakes.

    I realise that this is fairly basic concept on how to do this.. but if you don't know how to do it then you don't know. Plus I thought I could give the "How-To" section a new feature.

    *The patterns I have are for 294mm rotors, you can print and use them as you like. Obviously print 4 of the patterns line the holes up and go at it. If you have other ideas for patterns that you would like I can get them up in AutoCAD and post them*

    Patterns (in .pdf format) print so that the bottom is measure at 100mm there is details on the pattern themselves. I change the angles on the multiple hole patterns so there is more holes, smaller tighter.

    Before punching your pattern make sure you have the drill bit that is recommended for that pattern. Use a caliper if you aren't sure about the size or don't have an index.


    Print a total of 4 patterns to make it around the rotor, cut around the pattern so that it fits the rotor and tape it to the rotor itself.


    Tape it securely, the tighter and better aligned it is the better your end results will be.

    When your happy with how it is taped onto the rotor grab your hammer and pointed punch, follow the pattern for the center of the circles. The patterns have been designed that it is easy to find the dead center of the circles. Give the punch one good blow after you found the center (MAKE SURE your lined up in the center you DO NOT want to make multiple punch marks for nothing).

    Punch directly through your pattern it should no be any issue to do this. After punching all the pattern I use the Layout fluid and spray directly over the entire pattern, this will leave your punch marks highlighted making it easier to see.



    At this point your ready to drill. I found that removing the center of the rotor made drilling a lot easier so that it could flat on the drill press table. Also instead of clamping it down I just held it with my other hand.

    Have your drill press on the slowest speed possible. This will keep heat down and will have large spiral of material rather then small flakes going everywhere.


    Use plenty of cutting fluid and take your time. If you notice an error in your pattern you can fix it slightly and compensate while drilling. I didn't take any pictures of my final results or the during but I will asap.


    Nov 7th, 2011 - Added a new 4 hole pattern!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2011
  2. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Nice work. I have a ? though. On the five hole pattern I assume I am looking at 1/4 of the whole pattern, if I tape it together one side has three holes but the aligning "other" side only has two holes. The other pattern seems to work in that the "overlap" has matching holes at both sides of the pattern. Am I missing something?
  3. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    No your absolutely right. Flip the pattern over and use the backside.. if you can't see through the back side sufficently just cut the pattern smaller then the 90 degrees so that the pattern lines up.
  4. Ghetto

    Ghetto Bob it!

    Pic of completed rotor? I plan on using my indexing head on the bridgeport to do this at some point.
  5. mrpink

    mrpink XS650 Enthusiast

    Used pretty much the same method. I used the depth gauge on my drill press to make the dimples.....

    Untitled by Matt Francosky, on Flickr

  6. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict


    Dimple is a great idea!

    Great way to decipate the heat.. I'd like to get ahold of a milling machine and try doing some slots as well as a cross drill pattern.
  7. PatDoody

    PatDoody XS650 Enthusiast

    you could also do this w/o the template if you have a rotary indexing table for your drill press or mill. that template is great for guys with just the basics. thanks for sharing.
  8. Ghetto

    Ghetto Bob it!

    Ya, I have an indexing head for my Bridgeport. Will be cake to do.

    I like the dimple idea a lot. Might have to steal that. :p
  9. Highside

    Highside Lord of the Flies

    Or better yet, a CNC. :cool:
  10. DirtyErnie

    DirtyErnie Renaissance Hick

    I didn't use cutting fluid when i did mine, but I didn't have any either. I drilled mine in two steps, first with a 1/8" bit to get pilot holes, then with a 1/4" bit to finish, low speed, lots of pressure to keep the bits cutting. That was a lot of drilling to put 63 holes in each rotor...
    The 1/8" bit was fairly short and double-ended (if you know the type), I chucked it just long enough to punch through the rotor without dragging chuck jaws on the disk. I'm sure the massive chuck on the drill press with that stubby bit sinked a lot of heat. Probably took 6 or 7 seconds to drill a hole. After every hole I used a .45ACP case full of water to cool the bit. With the 1/4" bit i drilled two holes, shut the press off, and wrapped a wet rag around the bit to cool it off (until the steam stopped anyways). I tried to go three holes before a cool-down, but my gut didn't like that (and I don't think the drill did either). It wasn't much of a drill press, you could smell the motor getting a workout, and it took all afternoon... but both bits are still sharp.

    Highside, that's cheating/I'm jealous.
  11. kvanderploeg

    kvanderploeg The Dutch Terror

    Did the front rotor first. Slow drill press and plenty of cutting fluid and it worked like a champ. Thanks for the templates!


  12. jim540

    jim540 Wrench turner :)

    This is great! I was going to lay them out the hard way, you know divide the disc into segments and use a french curve to get the arch. I like this a lot better. Thank you much for making this available.:thumbsup:
  13. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    It seems like most of the pics of rotors are of the front rotors. Wondering how many holes are usually done on a oem rear, to match Kvander's above, that looks like it has 45?
  14. kvanderploeg

    kvanderploeg The Dutch Terror

    Front and rear rotors are the same size, so same number of holes.

  15. TurboBully

    TurboBully XS650 Enthusiast

    Thank you so much for the PDF files!
  16. racerdave

    racerdave ^ Gone not forgotten ^

    Really? I thought the rear was smaller. Thanks
  17. b1broc

    b1broc XS650 Addict

    the rear wheel is smaller racerdave you are correct
  18. kvanderploeg

    kvanderploeg The Dutch Terror

    My bad. I could have sworn they were the same diameter.

  19. I had the rear done at a machine shop..

    Attached Files:

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