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Old 01-04-2013, 03:21 PM   #101
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I ordered the two pack of step bits from Bobby, which includes the small one (3/16" to 7/8")and the larger one (13/16" to 1 3/8"). Need the bigger one for my heating elements. I'm not sure how well they are going to hold up being relatively inexpensive bits.....not Greenlee's. With my HERMs system I will have a total of 12 holes to drill or punch. I will have 7 bulkheads combined in the three vessels, 2 site glass ports, a temp. probe port in the BK, and two larger holes for the heating elements (one in the HLT and one in the BK). If the bits don't hold up, I have a set of Greenlee punches that a patient of mine is letting me burrow, but it appears at first glance that they are conduit punches. Looks like I could punch the 7/8" holes for the bulkheads, but that's about with his set.

I think that I would rather drill initially, because I would hate to have a bolt snap or ruin the die on one of his punches. Greenlee punches are ridiculously expensive, so I'm reluctant about using them despite the fact that they punch a nice cleaner hole than drilling. I think I'm going to take Bobby's advice and drill slow, with moderate pressure under high torque, with plenty of cutting oil and see how it goes. I'll start with the small bit and knock out the 9/16" holes for the two site glass ports and the temp. probe port first. Then I will use the larger bit to drill the 1 1/4" hole for the heating elements. Then I will switch back to the small bit and start drilling the 7/8" bulkhead holes until it fails, at which point I'll try to use the larger bit to finish the rest of them. If both bits fail before then, I'll resort to the punches.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:48 PM   #102
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If I were you I would use the 7/8th punch for your bulkheads. Punches are a lot easier to use and make a perfectly sized hole that requires little or no cleanup. I bought a used 7/8 punch and have punched easily 15 holes with it and its still in great shape. Worth the small risk of having to replace it for your patient

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:50 PM   #103
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Thanks for the feedback. I may give the punch a try and if the first one goes through smoothly, then I will proceed with it. I know the holes will be cleaner with the punch. Were your holes punched in kegs?

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Old 01-04-2013, 05:17 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Hoppopotomus View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I may give the punch a try and if the first one goes through smoothly, then I will proceed with it. I know the holes will be cleaner with the punch. Were your holes punched in kegs?
most of them. Did a few test holes in a cheap old pot first when I was practicing the dimpling process for soldering couplers. Just put some WD40 on the threads of the draw bolt and on the actual cutting surface and it will go smoothly.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:28 PM   #105
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Much appreciated! I may try to get all of the 7/8" holes done tonight with the punch then. Just need to map out locations for all of the ports. Thanks for the feedback.....very helpful.

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:26 PM   #106
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Just put some WD40 on the threads of the draw bolt and on the actual cutting surface and it will go smoothly.
This is the most important part. I use a white lithium lube on the threads. The threads get more stress than any other part. Lube them before each hole, even if they look wet from the last one.
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:38 PM   #107
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Is that something that I could pick up from any hardware or HD?

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Old 01-04-2013, 08:43 PM   #108
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Nevermind, just did a quick web search and it's pretty much readily accessible at an hardware, auto store, or home improvement store. Thanks for the advice.....I'll stop at the Autozone next to my office on my way home!

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Old 01-04-2013, 10:38 PM   #109
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I'll need to cut the lid off the two I got for Christmas. The jig would be awesome, I already have an angle grinder from harbor freight and appropriate discs from my first keg. Do you have a step bit yet? I'm just doing bulkheads and dip tube for my HLT and boil kettle for now, sight glasses and FB weren't in the budget this time around. I probably won't get to them until after the 16th, running the Disney marathon next week before a 5 year hiatus from that distance. Lets get together after then, and let m
e know if you need a brew assistant in that sanctuary.
Sounds great. Get ahold of me when you get back and we can get your kettles cut. Or if you want the jig before you leave shoot me a text. If the greenlee punch works out well on mine, we could punch the holes for your bulkheads as well. Good luck in the marathon.
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:05 PM   #110
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Quote:
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This is the most important part. I use a white lithium lube on the threads. The threads get more stress than any other part. Lube them before each hole, even if they look wet from the last one.
I just use kitchen oil - dip it in every 30 secs or so. Haven't had any problems
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