How does one drill a hole in a guardrail anyway?

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Today I tried drilling a hole in the guardrail - but the drill bit wouldn't make a dent.
See picture here:

What would you use to drill a hole suitable for mounting a garbage can where there is no electricity available?
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Drill bits aren't supposed to make dents.
To drill metal, you need a sharp, quality drill bit. Not the cheapo home improvement center bits. You also need some cutting oil, although lubricating oil will do in a pinch. Also, start with a 1/8" drill and work your way up. High RPM for the small bit, lower as you get bigger.
Lastly, lean into it. WIth a drill press, the quill handle gives you a lot of mechanical advantage without you necessarily being aware of it. WIth a handheld drill, you have to put your weight behind it. If you don't, the drill will just get dull, rapidly.
For the guard rail, since it's curved, you might want to center punch it to keep the drill from walking.
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James:
The problem is likely to be a dull drill bit.
That guard rail is most likely made of mild steel that has a Rockwell Hardness of about Rc5. Your drill bit looks like just a high speed steel bit, and it's got a hardness of about RcP or so. So, if that were a sharp bit, you should have made some progress.
If you were wanting advice from me on buying a new SET of drill bits, I'd tell you to buy a set of cobalt steel drill bits. These are the brownish coloured ones that look like this:
http://tinyurl.com/9flojkd
Cobalt steel bits provide for the best economy because they're made from a considerably harder kind of steel than high speed steel. Cobalt steel has a Rc hardness of about 65 or so. That results in the drill bit dulling slower than a HSS bit. And, if you dull a cobalt steel drill bit, you can have it sharpened, and you've effectively got a new drill bit for the $2 or $3 cost of sharpening it.
But, for a one-time project like this one, my advice to you would be to buy a titanium nitride coated drill bit of the size you need. Titanium nitride coated drill bits are the gold coloured ones that look like this:
http://tinyurl.com/9llqgm6
Titanium nitride coated drill bits are nothing more than high speed steel drill bits with a SUPER hard coating on them. The hardness of that titanium nitride is about Rc = low 80's or so; 81, 82, 83 maybe. But, that's vastly harder than anything else on the market so titanium nitride bits will make the fastest progress and get dull the slowest.
For a one time project like this, I'd pay a few dollars for a titanium nitride bit in the size you need, and just chuck it once it gets dull. You CAN have titanium nitride bits sharpened, but sharpening them grinds off the super hard titanium nitride cutting edges at the front of the bit, so you're effectively left with a sharp high speed steel bit that will dull just as quickly as any other high speed steel drill bit.
And, as previously suggested, I'd use a cutting oil if you have any. If not, just stop frequently and use a Q-tip to apply any kinda oil (even cooking oil or engine oil) onto the hole you're making. That'll help to keep the drill bit cool.
--
nestork


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On Sun, 02 Sep 2012 05:13:23 +0000, nestork wrote:

Following your advice, I bought this set from Home Depot today.

They're the right 'color', and they say HSS on them, but I'm not sure if they're titanium. The outside of the case just shows this:

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On Mon, 03 Sep 2012 04:32:54 +0000, James Gagney wrote:

I followed all your advice (even designing it so that it couldn't possibly harm a crashing vehicle or snag a passerby).
Here's a picture of the now-mounted garbage can:

Here's a closeup of the drill holes & mounting U bolt:

And, here's a closeup of the attachment inside the garbage can:

You guys are great!
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nestork wrote:

Any brand stand out?
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On Sun, 02 Sep 2012 05:13:23 +0000, nestork wrote:

The gold colored bit drilled into the guardrail like it was soft steel.

Obviously my 'other' bits are junk!
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Or, they have given good service, and need resharpening.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The gold colored bit drilled into the guardrail like it was soft steel.

Obviously my 'other' bits are junk!
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 08:15:24 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Good point. While the original Sheffield bits are about 30 years old, they didn't 'look' dull.
Of course, they didn't work - so it's 'something'.
I don't have a grinding wheel, so I'd have to get one before I could sharpen them (unless there is another way that doesn't use a grinder).
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I sharpen with a bench grinder, and the correct wrist twist. Some folks say "Drill Doctor" does a good job.
I wonder if it's worth having you ship me the bits, I'll give em a going over, and ship em back?
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 08:15:24 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Good point. While the original Sheffield bits are about 30 years old, they didn't 'look' dull.
Of course, they didn't work - so it's 'something'.
I don't have a grinding wheel, so I'd have to get one before I could sharpen them (unless there is another way that doesn't use a grinder).
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On Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:19:34 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I can't imagine any sharpening service being a good value (compared to the inexpensive price of the titanium bits I bought for $10 for a set of about 50 bits).
However, believe it or not, I 'do' know how to sharpen drill bits as I worked in a machine shop during my college years summers (decades ago).
So, for the $100 that a bench grinder costs, I 'should' just buy it (but funds are low at the moment).
Anyway, I'll be fine (as I have 50 brand new bits!) ... but thanks for the kind offer to help.
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You're right about value. Sadly, so. Have you looked at Harbor Freight, for a grinder? Might be worth it. http://www.harborfreight.com/5-inch-bench-grinder-94186.html Thirty five dollars.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I can't imagine any sharpening service being a good value (compared to the inexpensive price of the titanium bits I bought for $10 for a set of about 50 bits).
However, believe it or not, I 'do' know how to sharpen drill bits as I worked in a machine shop during my college years summers (decades ago).
So, for the $100 that a bench grinder costs, I 'should' just buy it (but funds are low at the moment).
Anyway, I'll be fine (as I have 50 brand new bits!) ... but thanks for the kind offer to help.
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That's pretty much what I was going to write. Prick punch, to get the location started. Brand new bit, 1/8. Use the next size larger, after that. Can also drill from the inside out, which will help with the drill bit wandering.
Some country folks would use a .22 rimfire rifle, from about 50 feet, to make the initial hole. 40 grain jacketed solid.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

To drill metal, you need a sharp, quality drill bit. Not the cheapo home improvement center bits. You also need some cutting oil, although lubricating oil will do in a pinch. Also, start with a 1/8" drill and work your way up. High RPM for the small bit, lower as you get bigger.
Lastly, lean into it. WIth a drill press, the quill handle gives you a lot of mechanical advantage without you necessarily being aware of it. WIth a handheld drill, you have to put your weight behind it. If you don't, the drill will just get dull, rapidly.
For the guard rail, since it's curved, you might want to center punch it to keep the drill from walking.
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Who makes a jacketed .22 rimfire bullet?
I think a .22 would probably not make it through steel that thick; I think you'd need a centerfire bullet to do it.
--
Tegger

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Dunno about the jackets. I havn't researched that. Sounded good. You may be right about the steel thickness. Calls for some testing.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

Who makes a jacketed .22 rimfire bullet?
I think a .22 would probably not make it through steel that thick; I think you'd need a centerfire bullet to do it.
--
Tegger



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That's the fun part...
--
Tegger

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Tegger wrote:

The Mormon does not own a firearm, and has no clue what he's talking about. Any idiot that suggests using a firearm to start a pilot hole has obviously no clue about gun safety.
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On Mon, 03 Sep 2012 01:58:08 -0500, G. Morgan wrote:

I think they were joking ... :)
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I think they have seen street signs with holes in them. That's what they were thinking, but mostly joking. They would like to hear how it works, if you try it.
Christopher They Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
On Mon, 03 Sep 2012 01:58:08 -0500, G. Morgan wrote:

I think they were joking ... :)
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I've seen bullet holes in street signs, and years ago, a bullet hole in an ice box for bagged ice. That's where I got the idea. And, you're right, very few Mormons own a gun. I sure don't. <shudder> they could go off at any time!
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The Mormon does not own a firearm, and has no clue what he's talking about. Any idiot that suggests using a firearm to start a pilot hole has obviously no clue about gun safety.
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