what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

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what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby greybeard » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:11 am

I need to drill 2 holes each in about 80 car/light truck tires so I can run some cable thru them to hold 2 lines of tires in place on the back side of my dam that suffered some serious erosion/washouts when the water ran over the dam. Some are steel belted--some not steel belted.
I don't want to use a hole saw because I'd have to punch the core out of the bit after every hole drilled.
Got plenty of spade bits and some helix twist bits. Any other options?

Also, how long will 3/8" galvanized cable last covered with soil?


Not even sure it's going to help much, but at the very least will provide me a legal way to not have to haul tires to the disposal place at $4-$7 fee each. (Texas Environmental Quality Board allows this use as long as the tires are covered with soil) The cables will be anchored off to existing cross tie posts in the fence and to 10" diameter pine trees that runs along the top rear of the dam.

Any thoughts/suggestions on this plan or the bits?


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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby Nesikep » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:15 am

costs to get rid of tires are stupid, and going to get worse with time..

For bits, nothing will do it nicely, but an ordinary metal bit oversized enough is probably going to be as good as it gets, hole saws probably will balk at the wire in the tires anyhow
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby Dave » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:45 am

When I built those feeders with tire base I used a piece of 1/2 rebar. I heated the rebar up in a fire and pushed the hot bar through the tire. It worked better than a drill.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby hurleyjd » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:21 pm

how about a good quality hoe saw .75 dia
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby hurleyjd » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:27 pm

okay noticed you do not want to use the hole saw. Forget the cable lay your tires out and drill through the sidewalls and peg them down. Maybe 1/2 to 5/8 re bar with a washer welded on top. Make the pegs about 48 inches. At least two in each tire.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby Supa Dexta » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:08 pm

Wonder how a step bit would handle it? Nothing to plug up, but I haven't tried one on a tire before. Get one that has roughly an OD of the max hole size you want to make.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby M.Magis » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:29 pm

I’d try a torch. There’s no easy way to drill through a tire, except to make someone else do it.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby Kingfisher » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:31 pm

Heat is going to be your friend weather it's a hot rod or bit or knife. An X will work as well as a hole
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby Nesikep » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:31 pm

Just shoot through the tires where you want the hole.. good practice and probably would work too!
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:44 pm

Bite the bullet, use a hole saw. If you come up with something better please let us know.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby greybeard » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:14 pm

Nesikep wrote:Just shoot through the tires where you want the hole.. good practice and probably would work too!

I know it sounds dumb, but I've always been afraid the bullet would bounce.. :hide:
biggest thing I have is a .270..that ammo aint cheap..
But, I might try that on 1 tire just to see...
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby zirlottkim » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:10 pm

Use a grinder with a cutting wheel. It wont be a neat hole but I have done it. Other than that, a hole saw is probably best.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby Big T » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:57 pm

Sounds crazy but a wood spade bit works great on the none steal belted tires, can't say that I have tried it on steal belted tires.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby 1982vett » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:06 am

Dave wrote:When I built those feeders with tire base I used a piece of 1/2 rebar. I heated the rebar up in a fire and pushed the hot bar through the tire. It worked better than a drill.

Hmmm...what about trying to hairpin them down using 30” rebar stirrups. Have to cut them to make hairpins but all you would need to install them would be a 2 lb hammer.
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Re: what bit to easily drill 3/8 or 1/2" holes in about 80 tires?

Postby greybeard » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:25 am

I do have about 20 joints of 5/8 rebar but I'm not sure stakes would hold tires in place, especially if water ever again goes over the top of the dam. (happened only once in 45 years) Lots of loose earth already there where I've been filling in washouts. If there's anything I learned back in August, it's the tremendous force that moving water produces. I think it would rip those skinny 30" long 'staples' right out of the ground and the tires would be spread all over the river's water shed downstream, and someone would be complaining to some govt agency.
Too much govt land around me to risk that kind of problem.
I will try to get some pictures today of the dam.
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