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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns, & Hot Liquor Tanks > using a hole saw to drill a pot
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default using a hole saw to drill a pot

is there any reason not to use a bi-metal hole saw to drill a pot? i see most of the posts here mention using a step bit (which i used for the first two holes on my pot), but i gotta drill a 1" hole and i figure why not use a hole saw to save some time?

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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Hole saw will work well.

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:32 PM   #3
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I'd make sure to do a pilot hole and go pretty slowly with a high rpm. With a thin wall like a pot usually is, a holesaw will tend to heat the metal from friction and then if you are pushing hard it will warp it out of the way instead of cutting it. You might want to use a file after the cut is made to get rid of any burrs as well.

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:39 PM   #4
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cool. that being said, if i'm drilling a hole for a 1" water heater element, should i drill a 1" hole? or a 15/16 hole and dremel it out until the element just fits to make it more water-tight?

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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I've never used a water heater element, so I can't really tell. I know there are several electric system build threads around. I think most of the water tightness comes from sandwiching silicone O-rings between stainless washers, though.

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Old 12-06-2009, 09:04 PM   #6
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Better take a tape measure to it. I'm betting that it will require a 1 3/8 hole.

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Old 12-06-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Default Cutting holes

For me a step drill worked best and easiest. I burned up a hole saw.Cut several with a step drill and its still good.

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Old 12-06-2009, 10:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkone View Post
cool. that being said, if i'm drilling a hole for a 1" water heater element, should i drill a 1" hole? or a 15/16 hole and dremel it out until the element just fits to make it more water-tight?
Unless you have a jig you can't get it round enough with a dremel. And you can't drill a pilot hole for the larger one. The OD of the threads on the element (at least the one in front of me) is 1.285" so even 1 1/4 won't quite do but it might be a reasonable start.

The machine shop that does our work advises to go slow on Stainless when drilling and use lots of pressure, take lots of breaks to let it cool and use cutting oil. You might try the 1 5/16 of these:

http://www.hougen.com/cutters/sheetm...olcutters.html

Edit: That's one and 5/16 not 15/16
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:47 PM   #9
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Drilling the hole for a electrical element with a step bit is a hard job. Be prepared. I used cutting oil and a harbor freight bit. I've done two and it took at least 15 minutes (maybe more) for the first and longer for the second (the bit was a bit worn by then.

I have cut largish (1.5") holes in metal with a hole saw. It goes much faster. I think this is a much less precise hole and there is the potential for warpage and other aberrations, especially at the moment the hole saw breaks through. I might try it on a keggle, but not on a nice Blichmann pot. No way.

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Old 12-06-2009, 11:41 PM   #10
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You can call around to the tool rental places (home depot and others) and rent a conduit punch. You still have to drill a small center hole but you end up with a very clean punch out for your element.

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