Introduction: How to Make a Hexagonal Hole in Metal

Picture of How to Make a Hexagonal Hole in Metal

Step 1:

In this instructable, I will show you how to make a hexagonal shaped hole in metal. The reason I'm making this is because their is little information on this topic. This is not a very costly method. I hope you enjoy.

Step 2: Tools

You will need:
- Drill bits of the size of hex you want to make
- Allen key of the size hex you want
- Bench grinder
-Bench vise or some sort of shop or arbor press
- length of pipe If you're using a bench vise(for leverage)
- various sockets to use as a spacer
- drill or drill press

Step 3:

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First you are going to drill your holes. I recommend using layout fluid and a scribe to locate where you are going to drill. I used a center drill and a mill to accurately drill my holes. A drill press will work too. Tip: I recommend using a drill but that is a little smaller than the size hex you want. You can use the exact size, but a smaller drill will leave a sharper hex shape

Step 4: Making the Tool

Picture of Making the Tool

This is the key to making a hex shaped hole. You need to get an Allen key that is the size of the hex you need. You then cut it down to about 2-3 inches. You then need to put a taper on one end. You do this by using a bench grinder. You grind on each flat of the hex, try to keep it as even as possible. You then need to add rings around the whole tool. You can do this by using the side of the grinding wheel

Step 5:

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You now lay up various sockets to support the work piece in the vise. You then put the part and the tool in the vise and add a little pressure. You can tweak the straightness Of it with a hammer(lightly). Put on eye protection!!! I am not responsible if you hurt yourself doing the upcoming step. Be careful. You now tighten the vise. You'll probably want to use a pipe for leverage. Tighten until the tool is all the way through the part.

Step 6:

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When the tool is all the way through, take it out of the vise, and beat the tool out of the hole with a hammer. You can then repeat this process on the other side to make it sharper. After you're done, you'll want to debur the hole. You can use an angle grinder with a flap disk to do this.

Step 7:

You may want to clean the hole up with some small files. And now you have a hexagonal shaped hole in metal!! The part in this instructable is 3/16 steel. The tool is a 3/8 Allen key. I hope this helped. Feel free to like and comment. I would also appreciate it if you checked out my Instagram account too. Don't forget to vote, thanks.


lime3D (author)2015-03-16

What is the purpose of cutting the ring/grooves? Once the tool is past the taper, and onto the hex, isn't that far enough into the work piece to create the hex hole?

To work the same as flutes on a tap, allowing swarf to break clear

donttrustthepig (author)lime3D2015-03-18

I'm not positive on it but my best guess would be that it helps "cut" through the material

arduinoversusevil (author)2015-03-17

Not even a reach around?! Duuuuude.

here's your next one too:

I'm sorry

buck2217 (author)donttrustthepig2015-07-01

I think he is inferring that you stole his idea!

Love your YouTube Channel AvE

buck2217 (author)2015-07-01

could use to make a handy bike multi tool, how about hardening and tempering it - it's easy enough to do

ImNotKeegan (author)2015-03-21

Do you live in ny

joreknight (author)2015-03-15

I think the tool you've maked is called a broach, and the process of creating the hex hole (or any other shape) is called broaching.

You are correct, that is the correct term for this process

DavAnt (author)joreknight2015-03-17

yes you're right!

bricabracwizard (author)2015-03-16

This is so cool! And I've learned something new, I've never heard of layout fluid...that'll be on my shopping list! Thanks!

Thanks, Glad to help

michaelv1 (author)2015-03-15

How does this tool hold up to the torsion of turning out bolts and nuts? I feel like mild steel would round off pretty quickly.

I haven't really tested the tool that much yet

M3G (author)2015-03-15


FrankenPC. (author)2015-03-14

Nice. In a pinch it's good to know how one could go about doing this. This reminds me that I need to get going on my homemade EDM machine.

dmwatkins (author)2015-03-14

I'm imagining how hard it would be to make, but a step tool of this type would be amazing... one tool with several increments of hex sizes

dmwatkins (author)2015-03-14


Dustin Rogers (author)2015-03-14

Here's another method. It's not mine, but have just seen it before.

BeachsideHank (author)2015-03-14

This method is called broaching in the metalworking world, it usually calls for an expensive toolset and an arbor press, your method seems surprisingly effective though, so well done!

discostu956 (author)2015-03-14

That's really interesting, thanks for putting that up. I think this is worthy of entering into the tool contest

_soapy_ (author)2015-03-14


You can make the cuts in the hex key more symmetric by chucking it in a battery drill before hitting it with the grinder.

About This Instructable




Bio: Feel free to check out my Instagram and youtube, they are both donttrustthepig. A wannabe machinist. I'm always trying to improve my techniques. Most ... More »
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