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Old 27 September 2006, 12:14   #1
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Drilling Satinless Steel.

I need to drill a hole in my Stainless Steel A Frame. Which drill should I be buying from the likes of B and Q to do this job quickly and efficently. Its only a small hole about 10 mm.
Seems like everytime I use one of my old drills to drill Stainless Steel I have to work real hard at it and end up with lots of small and hot shards of steel all over the place. Not too good near tubes.
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Old 27 September 2006, 12:16   #2
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good drill bit and a slow slow speed rather than a fast speed.
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Old 27 September 2006, 12:25   #3
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I managed to sheer a stainless steel bolt and had to drill a hole in order to extract the bolt.

Went through a number of drill bits until I purchased a set that were covered with titanium, they worked a treat.

I would recommend, using a good punch and starting off with a small bit and work your way up to 10mm.

As for the hot shards of metal it might be worth while covering up the tanks with something.
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Old 27 September 2006, 13:06   #4
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A trick my dad taught me when drilling metal is to lubricate with oil now and again to help keep it cooler. That said i still went through loads of drills when trying to drill my a-frame!
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Old 27 September 2006, 13:08   #5
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Center punch location heavy and square: drill 3mm pilot hole thru. first wall of tubing. Use a dab of cutting oil, or any oil on drill bit. If it starts to squeak then add more oil. If you are producing hot swarf then you are too fast, keep constant pressure on, do not allow drill bit to skid. A variable speed drill makes this job a whole lot easier. Re-align drill square for drilling thru. back wall of tube and repeat. Open up the two holes with your 10mm drill bit, using oil again and keep the speed down and constant light pressure on but not too heavy, the drill bit will jam if you have too much pressure, when it breaks thru. Take it slowly.

From an ex-toolmaker. Hope the above helps.
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Old 27 September 2006, 14:51   #6
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Second Linda's suggestions.

Cutting oil is the best to use; breaks down less under high heat (also works quite well for lubricating door locks, which is completely unrelated.)

Definitely drill a pilot hole, and enlarge the hole in steps rather than jumping straight to the final size.

Use a lower drill speed than you think is necessary (though smaller bits may like a faster speed), and allow the drill bit to do the cutting, rather than hog the bit into the hole using too much pressure.

jky
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Old 27 September 2006, 15:05   #7
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I used some Bosch Titanium tipped bits which i got from b and q. I started with a 2 mm pilot and them up from there. The bits were about 5.00 each and had no problem at all going thru my stainless a frame. Just let the drill cut the metal slowly, not spin so fast that it blunts the tip.

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Old 27 September 2006, 15:31   #8
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Not all titanium bits are the same - many have a pretty gold coating that wears off straight away. What you need are proper cobalt bits or failing that quality HSS.

It is so much easier if you use a drill press!!!
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Old 27 September 2006, 15:31   #9
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Biggles,

I've just drilled a couple of holes to fix a new nav light, I've got some dewalt drill bits that went through like a dream...

If you can wait until the weekend, ill bring my cordless + drill bits... Can do it quickly on the slip way if you like?

Ben
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Old 27 September 2006, 15:49   #10
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When I drill stainless I always use Parafin as a lubricant and any decent sharp drill starting with a small pilot hole of about 3mm.

Trust me Parafin works. I am an Engineer and this is the recommended lubricant for this material.
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Old 27 September 2006, 15:52   #11
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stainless steel drilling

Piranha drill bits for steel, multi pack about £36.00 or individuals about £6-8 each easy!!!!! (titanium tipped models only mind!)
I drilled 12 holes in a Ribcraft frame at moderate speed and required no pre hole or liquid cooling the only rule seems to be to drill at 90 degrees.

I have tried all other methods including cheaper bits and a vertical drill mount but these things made me wonder why I ever bothered doing it another way!
they are well worth the money
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Old 27 September 2006, 16:18   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waverunner
When I drill stainless I always use Parafin as a lubricant and any decent sharp drill starting with a small pilot hole of about 3mm.

Trust me Parafin works. I am an Engineer and this is the recommended lubricant for this material.

Yup - also great for aluminium!!!
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Old 27 September 2006, 16:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggles
I need to drill a hole in my Stainless Steel A Frame. Which drill should I be buying from the likes of B and Q to do this job quickly and efficently. Its only a small hole about 10 mm.
Seems like everytime I use one of my old drills to drill Stainless Steel I have to work real hard at it and end up with lots of small and hot shards of steel all over the place. Not too good near tubes.
Nick, if you like and can wait till after the weekend I can get you some quality drill bits from work and run them down to you on Sunday. Are you still launching from Warsash?
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Old 27 September 2006, 18:10   #14
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Try a specialist tool shop for the right bits. Pretty much everything you'll get from B&Q or the like will be a waste of time and you're likely to get mis-sold something expensive.
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Old 27 September 2006, 18:12   #15
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I've never used anything other than decent HSS bits on SS. They work a treat, provided they're sharp and as everyone says, use a very slow RPM drill.
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Old 27 September 2006, 18:28   #16
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With hand tools, I would suggest using a pilot drill of say 5 or 6mm and then 10mm one. Use plenty of coolent such as oil if you can't get proper cutting compound.
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Old 27 September 2006, 18:44   #17
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I always use a cordless drill as spins slow is lighter to hold up get in line and it tends to stall rather than break the drill bit as it breaks through . also easy to reverse after the bit breaks through and tends to jamb .

all good tips here but slow speed is the most important .
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Old 28 September 2006, 04:23   #18
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Centre punch accurately for starters.
Then a small pilot hole
Then the main hole

Use good quality HSS bits, SLOW drill speed (SS actually "work hardens"), with a decent amount of constant pressure, and plenty of cutting fluid.
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Old 28 September 2006, 14:15   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hightower
Nick, if you like and can wait till after the weekend I can get you some quality drill bits from work and run them down to you on Sunday. Are you still launching from Warsash?
Andy,

Yeh launching from Warsash on Sunday. Not too sure of the time though looking at about 1030 - 1100 hrs ish now.
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Old 28 September 2006, 15:13   #20
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You've got my phone #'s. PM sent Nick.
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