Drilling a Hogue rubber stock?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Wile E Coyote, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Well-Known Member

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    Recently I acquired a Remington 700, .308 tactical with a rubber Hogue stock. I want to add a DE cheek-piece to it BUT ... I'm wary of drilling the stock as if it were wood or fiberglass. I'm envisioning a twist drill bit grabbing and tearing the rubber material.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to drill two 3/8" diameter holes in a stock like this with out wrecking it?

    Thanks!

    Pete
     
  2. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    I agree. I've had some bad luck using common twist drill bits on rubber.
    Depending on its density and the speed of the cut, I have had some success using brad point drills in rubber. Finding a piece of dense rubber (e.g. tire tread) to make a practice run has also worked for me. I would also use copious amounts of a good quality rubber lubricant and a slow feed rate.
    I've never tried a Forstner bit but would probably consider that as long as it was very sharp and the feed rate was very slow.
     

  3. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Well-Known Member

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    Parallel to the forstner idea...

    A suggestion given to me locally is to take a 6" piece of 3/8"OD steel tubing (steel hydraulic tube stock) and sharpen it similar to the rim of a forstner bit. Chuck it in the drill press and run at low speed. Then use something like Dawn dish soap to lubricate it while slowly cutting the rubber cover. Once through the outer rubber layer, peel it off like a sticker from its backing. Then finish drilling the plastic/fiberglass or ??? with a brad point. Tedious but it just might work.

    Gonna think about this a little more before I commit to possibly tearing up a perfectly good stock.

    Pete


    '
     
  4. PhulesAu

    PhulesAu Well-Known Member

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    What color?? I've got a green one, if you need a replacement. I'd find a hole punch, like you'd use to make nice holes in gasket material or leather. punch cut over-molded rubber, and just drill the plastic.
     
  5. Wile E Coyote

    Wile E Coyote Well-Known Member

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    For those who may want to do the same, the above worked nearly perfect.

    The cutter should be a sharp as possible. Should I find the need to do it again, the only thing I would do differently is to run the drill press a little faster; I ran at my lowest speed - about 250rpm. The holes cut are neat, clean and sharp.

    Once the rubber 'skin' was cut, a HS twist drill was used for the fiberglass base layer.


    Pete