How do you drill through stainless steel at home?

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On Fri, Mar 08, 2013 at 03:13:02PM -0500, Jim Wilkins wrote:

The difference between the men and the boys is the boys can maybe afford to run out and buy every shiny tool on the market, but the men can make their own tools.
Recently I had to drill through a short length of tool steel. Needless to say, titanium-nitride coated bits didn't even start the hole. I found some advice on a web-site which suggested using a torch to remove the temper in the area of the workpiece to be drilled, which was not an option in my case since the item I was working with was about 1" x 1/2" x 1/16". Plus I don't have a forge yet. Another suggestion was to use a wooden dowel and some grit, which is going to take a while.
I ended up hanging a jar of coins from the drill-press handle in conjunction with the dowel method. Periodically you have to replenish the grit under the dowel, but it went through in a few hours. Stainless steel is softer than tool steel, so a carbide tile bit might work instead.
Regards,
Uncle Steve
--
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it
flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
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wrote:

Here's a thought to keep in mind for the future. It's the way that gunsmiths annealed spots on (case hardened) '03 Springfield receivers, for drilling to mount a scope.
Cut the head off of a 12d nail, or use other appropriately sized pieces of mild steel bar. Chuck the nail or bar in your drill press and mount the work firmly in your vise.
Get the spindle turning at a medium speed, bring the nail down onto the work, and press down firmly. You want to make a spot glow at least dark cherry red from friction.
Take the nail out of the drill chuck and chuck your drill bit. Drill as deep as you need, or as deep as you can. If necessary, remove the bit, re-chuck the nail, and do the whole thing again. The annealing doesn't run very deep.
I've used this method to drill flat springs, and it worked great for me. It also leaves a minimum amount of distortion and a minimal heat-affected zone.
--
Ed Huntress



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On Fri, Mar 08, 2013 at 07:54:54PM -0500, Ed Huntress wrote:

Sounds reasonable. I'll test that out one day soon.
Regards,
Uncle Steve
--
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it
flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
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Ed Huntress Inscribed thus:

Interesting technique, I'll have to remember that one !
--
Best Regards:
Baron.
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wrote:

It can work well when the circumstances are right.
BTW, just so we don't leave in inaccurate impression: The case hardening on an '03 receiver was not the thin case we use to impart surface hardness. It was a deep case hardening applied with an extended soak in a furnace, with a dissociated ammonia atmosphere, and the purpose was to strengthen the receiver, not to harden it.
So it isn't like those 'smiths were just trying to scratch through a thin case.
--
Ed Huntress

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A variation is to anneal the spot with a red-hot iron dipped into a drop of solder.
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On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 19:54:54 -0500, Ed Huntress

Thanks!! Excellent method!!
Saved!
Gunner
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Uncle Steve Inscribed thus:

I've used a similar technique for drilling holes in glass bottles to make table lamps. A copper tube with a groove filed across the end dipped in grinding paste. Slow, but you get a smooth burr free hole. Smoothing the inside is a little harder. :-)
--
Best Regards:
Baron.
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>It won't help. Suggest you review posts from George  Plimpton / Delvin

Several people in labor, mfg, design, etc ... have no theoretical or practical knowledge in metalworking, but still take, send or broker related work out. My problem with people in this group is the sickening bigotry and the convincing sock puppetry.
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Transition Zone wrote:

WHICH group? The thread is crossposted among four newsgroups.
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On 3/9/2013 11:44 AM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:

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=====================================================================
SPAMMED INTO NON-RELEVANT GROUPS / COUNTRIES
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On 3/8/2013 3:30 AM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:

Persoanlly, I drill small holes first. Then I enlarge the holes to the proper size with a larger "bit".
I simply put some motor oil on the area to keep the tooling cool (mega important) and if I'm using my at home drill press, I follow this chart for RPM rates:
http://www.drill-hq.com/?page_idx5 or http://www.multi-drill.com/drill-speed-chart.htm
#1 important thing to do is use oil or something similar to lubricate and cool the tooling. Otherwise you run into all types of issues.
Much success.
--
http://tinyurl.com/My-Official-Response

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What would be nice is a solid carbide drill. With it you simply apply power and the drill starts to cut. I have had mine red hot when it started to cut when drilling lathe bits. Those made of cobalt and are tough.
I made a forming bit. Drill and grind.
I bought mine from MSCdirect.com -
Martin
On 3/8/2013 2:30 AM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:

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A lotta bad advice from this group. You shoulda asked a metal working group.
As an ex machinist, here's the drill (sorry-couldn't resist):
You need a HSS drill bit (high speed steel). If you can't see the letters HSS somewhere on that drill, it's not and yer wasting your money. Make sure the drill bit is sharp! Brand new is even better.
You need a cutting fluid. A specialized cutting fluid is best, but clean motor oil will do, like the kind you put in yer car or lawmower. Have a squirt bottle or oil can full on hand and keep that drill bit WET! The cutting fluid is as much about keeping the drill bit cool as it is in aiding cutting action.
Use the proper drill motor "speeds" (RPM) and "feeds" for the material and drill size. Generally, the smaller the hole diameter and drill size, the higher the drilling speed (RPMs).
http://members.home.nl/b.ollivier/html/drillspeedchart.htm
Drilling "feed" is how fast the drill bit is plunged or pushed into the work. Some drill presses have an automatic feed which you can set, but usually it's jes experience and judgement that dictates how hard to feed. I see you have a drill press. This is GOOD!, as stainless steel (SS) is difficult to drill with a hand drill motor. The trick to drilling SS is to keep the feed pressure firm and constant. Once you start the hole, do not reduce pressure or "get a better grip" on the drill press handles while the bit is still spinning in the hole. Back it out and start again. Once in, constant presssure. You may see some smoke from the fluid. That's can be a good sign and an indiction to add more fluid. You should see chips ejected out of the hole. Smoke and no chips means you are not cutting, but "work hardening". Keep adding fluid to the hole/drill while cutting to keep it cool and the chips ejecting. Add fluid with left hand while right hand works the drill press handle. Light colored chips (yel, org, red) are good. Shows good pressure. VERY DARK blue or purple chips means you are pushing too hard (feed too fast) and you will prematurely dull your drill bit.
If you see no chips ejecting from the hole, you are not cutting and are now "work hardening" the SS. Bad mojo! If SS work hardens, yer screwed. It becomes almost impossible do go past that point. You will hafta buy a carbide drill. Not titanium coated or any of that crap. Go straight to carbide. If you hafta go to carbide, NEVER stop the drill motor with drill in the hole or while drilling/cutting. It will break that carbide bit instantly, gar-own-tee!
And yes!! DO use a center punch to make a starting point. It will NOT work harden the SS. Work hardening is caused by the heat generated from the drill friction. That's why you don't want yer drill getting hot. Keep that sucker douched! ;)
nb
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" one big boob"

** Nope - just from you fuckhead.,

** Got fired for incompetence did you ?

** Fraid it almost certainly will.

** ROTFL
Work hardening = hardening by "cold working".
Something most of the stainless steels are FAMOUS for.
Wanker.
... Phil
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On 3/8/2013 5:48 AM, notbob wrote:

I use Tap Magic cutting fluid. I bought a a couple of small cans of two different formulas which served me for years before I needed to buy more. The great thing about their product is the fact that it clings to the bit and will stay put so using a lot is not necessary. I've used it when cutting/drilling in different metals including stainless steel. Oh yea, it makes cutting threads into metal a lot easier too. ^_^
http://www.tapmagic.com/
http://www.tapmagic.com/TMthick.htm
TDD
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In my checkered past, I once worked for a company that made air droppable tank gun barrels and such. I swept the floor, which is a good indication of my level of expertise at the time. The company was called "Hydromill" which is a clue of how things were machined. Most everything was machined submerged in a tank of coolant. I don't know if it will work, but submerging the drill, stainless part, and vise in a small tub of oil, while drilling, might slow down the work hardening. I've never tried this mostly because it's too messy.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 08:52:12 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Hi Jeff, Funny you mention your floor-sweeping past, as I also had a summer job at a "plant" filled with metalworking machines and Germans running them (real Germans, with heavy accents).
They 'drilled' .010" holes in jet turbine blades using a machine they called the "EDM" machine. It never once broke a bit because it drilled by automatic feed in a bath of kerosene dialectic simply by shooting electric current through the bit which was merely very close to the steel being 'drilled'.
I think the EDM stood for Electro Dialectric Machining, and the concepts were that the sparks "ate away" the metal.
Needless to say, I didn't bring one home with me...
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On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 17:08:39 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

I was born in Germany. Sorry, no accent left.

Today, they use a laser.

I think you might mean Electrical Discharge Mangling: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_discharge_machining> >Needless to say, I didn't bring one home with me...
During my Cal Poly Pomona daze, part of the general engineering curriculum was to run the prospective engineer through every possible metal working machine available. If they had it, I tried (to destroy) it. My favorite was the submerged arc welder, where I successfully created a hot powdered metal and flux volcano. Another was a rather large spot welder, where I convinced a not very swift student to apply grease to his sheet metal parts before welding. The result was a small grease explosion, and a burn line across his shirt from elbow to elbow. My councilor decided that electronics would be a safer major for me.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Little did he know how dangerous you would be in that field. ;-)
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