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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > Need advice on drilling out holes for a keggle
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default Need advice on drilling out holes for a keggle

I'm setting up a HERMs electric build. To that end I'm needing to drill out holes in some kegs. I started out using a punchout bit like this one. It stopped working about 3/4 of the way into the second hole. Then I got a 7/8" bit which hasn't had much better luck. What should I be doing differently? Do I need to lubricate the bit as I'm going or something else I'm not thinking of? I am at this point thinking I'll just step up with 2 or 3 bits from 1/2" to 7/8" but at $20-30 per bit and seemingly a very quick dulling curve I have to find a new method.

HELP!?!

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #2
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Should always be using some sort of coolant or lubricant. You can even use cooking oil if you want, or you can go to HD or Lowes and buy actual cutting fluid.

Otherwise, since it's stainless, slow cutting speeds and high feeds (lots of pressure).

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheGAC View Post
Should always be using some sort of coolant or lubricant. You can even use cooking oil if you want, or you can go to HD or Lowes and buy actual cutting fluid.

Otherwise, since it's stainless, slow cutting speeds and high feeds (lots of pressure).
THIS ^ and a step bit. http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Step...Bit_p_125.html
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:31 PM   #4
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The electric department of the big box stores will have conduit punches. Get the 1/2 Inch conduit punch and


Very good info here on creating good quality joints in Stainless...
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
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Unless you are going weldless, just mark and have your welder cut the holes with a plasma cutter. That way the fit is what he wants

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Old 07-11-2012, 08:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadboy View Post
I'm setting up a HERMs electric build. To that end I'm needing to drill out holes in some kegs. I started out using a punchout bit like this one. It stopped working about 3/4 of the way into the second hole. Then I got a 7/8" bit which hasn't had much better luck. What should I be doing differently? Do I need to lubricate the bit as I'm going or something else I'm not thinking of? I am at this point thinking I'll just step up with 2 or 3 bits from 1/2" to 7/8" but at $20-30 per bit and seemingly a very quick dulling curve I have to find a new method.

HELP!?!
I have had the same step bits for years. I drilled many kegs with them as well as use them for work all the time. If you have a good bit like the Unibit you linked, It should not dull so soon. As mentioned above, low speed and lots of pressure are key. I use my D-handle drill that runs at about 300RPM and put all my weight into it. If you are not taking a good chip, you are just dulling the bit. You can sharpen the bits. A dremel with a grinding wheel does a nice job.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:16 PM   #7
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Yeah, that bit I posted is exactly the one I have. I may need to re-sharpen it and start using some drill lube and/or slow WAY down.

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossi46 View Post
That one's not big enough. For a 1/2" weldless ball valve you need a 7/8" hole.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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You MUST use cutting fluid. Otherwise the steel will harden as you cut it and the bit will dull and stop.

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Old 07-12-2012, 12:23 AM   #10
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I've always used a 7/8" bi-metal holesaw for my keggle fittings. I've gone through 3/16" thick stainless with hole saws.

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