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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Drilling through stainless
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:53 AM   #1
kmlavoy
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Default Drilling through stainless

Is it terribly difficult to drill a hole through a stainless pot? I got a new 10 gallon BK, and was planning on mounting a spigot/ball valve on the side. I went to Ace, and they had those drill bits for drilling through metal.

Is there any trick to it, or is it just like drilling though a piece of wood. I know you kind of need a pilot hole before you make your for real hole.

It's probably a stupid question, but I'd rather ask it and look like a muppet, than screw up a new stainless pot. They are not cheap.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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I generally just go slow and apply oil periodically to help the bit cut through.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:03 AM   #3
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It's not as easy as wood, but it's not difficult either. A lot of people like step bits but carbide is not cheap. I used a $7 bimetal hole saw instead and it was fine. High pressure, low speed, plenty of oil.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:10 AM   #4
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Ditto Bobby, I was suprised how easy the bimetal hole saw cut. Used PAM to spray while cutting instead of oil, wipes write off easy and SWMBO never missed it.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:10 AM   #5
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I used a step bit on mine... Was pretty nerve racking drilling the first hole into the first pot! I did 9 holes total in three pots without incident. Might check a place like Harbor Freight for a step bit if you don't have one. I wound up having to go to Home Depot to get the size I needed. Not cheap, as Bobby pointed out. I cleaned up the holes with a Dremel when I was done.

Just take your time and you'll be fine!

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
I used a $7 bimetal hole saw

That's what I used too. I was able to drill several holes in my keg with it. I've also used a bi-metal hole saw to cut into a SS kitchen sink to install a soap dispenser. Same deal. Slow speed, plenty of oil, and pressure.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:15 AM   #7
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You might want to take a nail, put the tip at the center of the hole you're about to drill, and give it a little tap and put a little divet in the metal to keep the drill bit from walking on you and scratching up the outside. They also make spring loaded devices to do this but the nail works just as well.

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reshp1
You might want to take a nail, put the tip at the center of the hole you're about to drill, and give it a little tap and put a little divet in the metal to keep the drill bit from walking on you and scratching up the outside. They also make spring loaded devices to do this but the nail works just as well.
Or, a center punch.

Use a big nail, it is easier to hold onto.

Also, if you can figure out how to, get a piece of wood, directly behind where the hole is going. If you don't, as the last of the hole is being drilled, the corners of the bit always catch, on the last piece of the hole. (Yes, it's hard to do inside a pot, but itisa worthwhile thing to do.)

Also, cover the area that you're drilling, with some tape. Mark on the tape, center punch the mark, and drill right through the tape.

steve
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:36 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tips. Also, thanks for not prefacing each reply with: Well, because you're a moron...

I can manage the wood on the inside I think. I have several clamps, and loads of scrap which would be just right. Any sort of oil in particular? I noticed someone used PAM. Would canola oil work in that case?

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Old 02-19-2008, 04:42 AM   #10
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Use cooking oil as it is easier to get rid of with hot water and detergent, all the oil does is help move the heat out of the cutting zone and save the teeth on the hole saw.

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