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Old 09-24-2012, 03:13 AM   #1
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Default Drilling problems through pot

I've drilled through some other pots before and haven't had anywhere near the problems that I'm having now. I purchased this pot from morebeer.com and just can't seem to drill through it.

I've tried using various cobalt bits (from 3/32" to 3/16"), cutting oil and the low speed setting on my drill (400 RPM). All it seems to do is creating a dent as I'm applying significant pressure (I even broke one of my bits from pushing too hard). If i keep going, I think I'll eventually get through, but it will take several hours. I keep getting very fine particles of metal come off, but no nice shavings like i'm used to.

Is this because it is a different type of stainless? Is there another technique or tool I should try?

Nate

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Old 09-24-2012, 03:21 AM   #2
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Cobalt is a great drill for SS. A good amount of cutting oil would be advised. One thing you might try.. although I don't think you will have to go this far, is to make a small "dam" of clay.. fill it with something like Marvel Mystery Oil.. or tranny fluid. Slow speed with a sharp drill and moderate pressure should do it. I would certainly start with a small drill. Once you penetrate the metal, go to the next larger size. You might try using a small paint brush to keep a fluid puddle at the cutting point. Then you can jump up to a step drill.. they work well once you have a decent hole going.. Moderate pressure. If you hear the drill squealing, you are running dry.. not good. If you don't use enough pressure.. heat builds up and the metal work hardens.

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Old 09-24-2012, 03:23 AM   #3
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How new are your bits? It seems like you're doing it right using the cutting oil and slow speed setting on your drill. Sharpening bits on a bench grinder can be tough, but I'm sure like a lot of other stuff there is a YouTube how to video. We use the drill doctor at work and it helps a ton. From working in a shop with 25 guys drill bits can get used incorrectly and put back, and when your really need them they are dull.

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Old 09-24-2012, 04:34 AM   #4
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Maybe you have dull or cheap bits. If you can, get a new one or sharpen the bits you have. I have a 1/2" cobalt bit and don't use a pilot hole. I drilled at least 20 holes in stainless kettles and kegs. Still using the same bit. No oil, it doesn't need it. At 100rpm the drill is through in 15 seconds. It doesn't even get warm. After the 1/2" hole is drilled I use a set of punches to get whatever size hole I am looking for.

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Old 09-24-2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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Bits are brand new. Made by Ridgid. Its almost like the stainless is sooooo smooth that the bits can't find anything to grab on. I'll try to take a video tonight and you can see what I'm doing.

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:08 PM   #6
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If the bit is walking around, you need to use a center punch to give the bit a divot to start at.

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Old 09-24-2012, 01:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinjeepin View Post
If the bit is walking around, you need to use a center punch to give the bit a divot to start at.
From a former Machinist, +1 on the center punch.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:43 PM   #8
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If the bit is walking around, you need to use a center punch to give the bit a divot to start at.
Yeah, used it. No issue on that. Actually from drilling so long and applying pressure, I have created a small divot. No issue with the drill moving around on me. Also the divot has helped to keep it well oiled so I don't get much heat buildup.
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Sounds like trying to drill titanium. Cost me almost a hole set of bits. I was using cheap bits I was told at that time. Maybe get a better bit?

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Old 09-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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Hmm, weird.. If you have a Dremel tool, you could grind your starting hole pretty quickly. That'll at least give you the starting point.. from there it's smooth sailing. Another thing you could do is to back up the hole with a piece of 2x2 with a small radius on it.. wedge it into the pot.. and punch a hole thru the pot with a nail. Starting point. The purpose of the 2x2 is only to prevent deforming when assaulting the pot with the hammer and nail..or better yet a sharp center punch or awl. While at it, you might as well make the hole large enough to accept the smallest drill size on your step drill. Pressure and lubrication.. it's a key. BTW, while I would love to have done mine with a Greenlee punch, the cheap step drill set I got at Harbor Freight has served me well.. they all come with a titanium nitride coating... but still a thick grease of some sort.. works well as will the above mentioned lube's.

OBTW If you decide to do the thing with the pinpunch.. I would be careful to not make that hole too large. You could potentially create a stress fracture.. don't want to do that. Just a hole about 1/8" in diameter.. then hit it with your 3/16 bit.. then go with the step drill and lube.

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