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Old 05-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Drilling Keggle help

I can't seem to get the step bit to keep going to the 7/8" mark. I'm stuck about half way through the bit. Please help

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Old 05-19-2012, 04:29 PM   #2
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I can't seem to get the step bit to keep going to the 7/8" mark. I'm stuck about half way through the bit. Please help
Is the bit in good shape? Are you using WD40 or another lube?
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by chrisknight

Is the bit in good shape? Are you using WD40 or another lube?
The bit is brand new and I am using canola oil. I got through the next step but it is taking a while. Is this normal?
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #4
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SS is a very hard metal, and takes a bit of work to get through. Each incremental step up should take slightly longer than the previous step, since you are removing more and more metal as the hole gets larger.

I don't know what kind of bit you got, but fwiw, when I drilled my keggle I ordered a cheap off brand bit from amazon.com since I didn't want to spend the $40 that my local hardware store wanted to charge. My bit was ruined after one hole... Luckily, I only needed one hole lol.

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:15 PM   #5
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If you started from the pilot hole with the step but, you've probably work hardened the area around the bit. If it's a cheap bit (Harbor Freight/TiNi coated) then it could also be the bit. I use cobalt bits anytime I'm drilling into stainless steel. I have a couple (smaller bits) that are too dull to cut into it now. Luckily I don't use those too often.

You need enough coolant/lubricant to both keep the bit, material you're drilling through, cool and lubricated to do the job. Just using a little probably isn't anywhere near enough.

Try drilling one step, then cooling down with water from the hose. Make it cool to the touch again before going to the next step. If you can, you might want to have a slow stream of water going over the bit and work area too. That can be tricky if you're working alone.

IMO, drill bits is one of the tools you don't want to go cheap on. Sure, you could make a couple of holes with the cheap bits, but then you're out buying new ones for the next time you need to use them. Getting good bits means you'll get many more holes from them. The cobalt bits I've been using easily last 3-4x what the TiNi coated bits did. Cool the material/bits decently and they last even longer.

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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also might want to actually dip your bit in the oil and use a slower speed if your drill has one.

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by logdrum View Post
also might want to actually dip your bit in the oil and use a slower speed if your drill has one.
I use mine in the lowest range (0-500 rpm) and sometimes turn it at less than full speed there. I know from drilling enough that slower is better with stainless steel. It's just not easy to judge the actual RPMs you're getting from a hand drill. That's where drill presses are so much nicer/better. But unless you have a floor stand model, chances are slim that you'll be able to use one for drilling into a keg/keggle.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:42 PM   #8
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More than likely you have hardened the area around the hole. We have melted drill bits by drilling stainless at to high of a speed.

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Old 05-20-2012, 03:56 AM   #9
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Rough day. I had bought a $15 bit. I ended up alternating drilling and filing to get two wholes. I switched from canola oil to cutting fluid from Lowes. I think that tithe canola oil was actually working better. The cutting fluid was just burning the second I started to drill. I will have more holes to drill in the future so I am wondering if the Ore expensive Irwin step drill bit is worth the $40ish Lowes is asking. Does anyone know if that bit is decent?

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Old 05-20-2012, 04:30 AM   #10
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If you're talking about the cobalt bit then, yes, it's worth it. It's the one I've been using lately. Just be sure to cool it too. You could be better off with a stream of water over the hole/area as you drill.

I only need to go up to a 1/2" hole these days since I'm using a hole punch.

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