Installation and Technical Data

Recommended Chip Clearance:

To minimize drill bending and maximize hole accuracy, mount drill bushings as close to the workpiece as possible while still allowing adequate chip clearance. The necessary clearance depends on workpiece material and chip stringiness. For example, cast iron, with fine chips requires about 1/2 times drill diameter for chip clearance. Materials that produce long, stringy chips, such as cold-rolled steel and aluminum, require at least one-drill-diameter clearance. To reduce clearance even with long, stringy chips, exit-end chip breakers are available.

Direct workpiece contact is usually not recommended. Chips can escape only up through the drill's flutes, drill-bearing length is shortened by the drill point's length, and drill-withdrawal burrs can raise the jig plate. Direct contact may be necessary, though, for maximum bearing length when drilling sloped surfaces (see below). Also, reamer bushings can be mounted much closer than drill bushings, due to much finer chips, for more-accurate hole finishing.

Sloped Workpiece Surfaces:

Whenever the drilling axis is not perpendicular to the workpiece surface, locate the exit end as close to the part as possible. Otherwise the drill will tend to wander. For maximum drill guiding, we recommend specifying bushings with an angle milled on the exit end, tangent to the workpiece surface at point of entry.

Special Bushings for Close Hole Spacing:

When holes are located close together, special bushings are sometimes required. Thinwall bushings, where the bushing ID is larger than the normal ID range for a given OD, are often a good solution. Holes for thinwall bushings must be very accurate and round, because these bushings are more-easily distorted. For very-close hole spacing, especially with headed bushings, specify bushings with ground flats.

Installation-Hole Preparation:

To avoid jig-plate or bushing distortion, do not use excessive interference fits on press-fit bushings. See table below for recommended hole sizes in unhardened steel or cast iron jig plates. Always prepare installation holes using a jig borer or reamer. Standard chucking reamers (with a plus tolerance) usually produce installation holes to the tolerances shown in the table. Other factors to consider are: (1) headed bushings require less interference to resist drilling thrust; (2) longer bushings in thick plates require less interference; (3) bushings with thinner walls are more prone to distortion; (4) less-ductile jig-plate materials require less interference.

Unground Bushings Available for Oversize Holes:

We offer bushings with unfinished ODs for custom-fitting to oversize holes. They are slightly larger than nominal diameter to provide grinding stock, .005-.020 extra, depending on the OD size (see charts under each specific bushing type). We recommend grinding on a mandrel to hold ID/OD concentricity.

Installation Procedure:

We recommend installing bushings with an arbor press whenever possible. If the bushing's OD is large enough, you can also use a drawbolt with two washers as shown above. If a hammer is the only tool available, do not strike the bushing directly or it could fracture. Use a soft-metal punch to cushion the blows. Before installing a press-fit bushing, lubricate the inside of the mounting hole and outside of the bushing with a lubricant such as lithium grease. Otherwise the bushing may score the mounting hole, and may be difficult to replace later.

Ground Lead for Easy Installation:

All bushings feature a concentric ground lead and a 45° chamfer on the exit end to ensure perfect alignment during installation.

Counterbores on Long Bushings:

Long bushings with small IDs are slightly counterbored for proper drill-bearing length and chip clearance, as specified by ANSI standards. Counterbores prevent binding and heat buildup due to excessive bearing length. See Counterbore Data charts for ANSI counterbore depths. Counterbore diameters are generally 1/32 inch larger than the inside diameter, and are angled at the bottom for smooth entrance. No-counterbore bushings are available on request as specials.

Drill Entrance Radius:

Bushings feature a blended and polished radius at the drill-entrance end for smooth drill entry and proper alignment, preventing drill wear and breakage. Radius size varies in proportion to drill size.


Bushing OD is ground concentric to the ID to within .0003 TIR for ID sizes from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch (3mm to 12mm), unless otherwise indicated. For larger or smaller sizes, concentricity is within .0005 TIR. Unground bushings are concentric to within .006 TIR. On counterbored bushings, concentricity applies only over the drill-bearing length.

Other Tolerances:

Any dimensions where tolerances are not specifically listed are held to +/- .010 inches on standard ANSI sizes, and +/-.015 inches on larger sizes (extended range). Special tolerances for any dimension are available on request as specials.


Standard drill-bushing material is durable 1144 Stressproof steel, heat treated to achieve RC 62-64 ID hardness, and other high-carbon steels. Optional materials such as tungsten carbide (Grade C2 carbide with steel head), 52100 steel, A2 tool steel, D2 tool steel, M2 tool steel, 416 stainless, 440C stainless, 17-4PH stainless, 303 stainless, 660 bronze, Ampco 18 bronze, Ampco 21 bronze, Oilite, and brass are available as specials.