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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Solutions For Work Hardened Stainless?
 
 
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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Default Solutions For Work Hardened Stainless?

I Got a bit impatient tonight while drilling my keggles, now I've got one that just won't budge and I'm sure that it got too hot...now it's harder than all hell and my step bit seems powerless against it.

I know...slow and cool, slow and cool...

Is work hardening just at the surface level? Maybe there's a way to just remove that thin layer of steel so that the step bit can start cutting again?

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Old 03-18-2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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In all honesty I can't image that it isn't the bit itself not the steel. What kind( brand) step bit? There are some real junk ones out there. I learned my lesson quick. I use GreenLee punches and step bit. I haven't had any issues after that.

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Old 03-18-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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It is possible that the bit is the problem, but stainless does work harden if you're not careful. Here's a link I found with some suggestions for someone else who had the same problem: http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...w-what-231960/. Can't really tell you much more than that, other than more Googling. Is the bit still good anymore? How big is the hole right now and how big are you going?

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Old 03-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
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If you've already got a partial hole you can take a small grinding wheel, the kind on a shank that fits in a drill or dremel, and grind off a 1/32" or so to get past the work hardened part and then start drilling again. Just keep the hole round when grinding so the step bit can start again easily. Remember to keep the drilling and grinding cool. It's more important to cool it than to lube it. So do your best keeping it cool, even if it means using a squirt gun and with water.

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Old 03-18-2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. The bit is still decently sharp, so I think I'm good there...it's the steel at this point (it just got cooked, I'm an idiot)

The hole is all but 1/16 from being complete, so I think I should be able to just get past the hardened area and finish out the this hole.

I think I'll see if I can't get a buddy to simultaneously cool the bit and the steel with water while I drill the next set of holes and just remember to slow down and keep decent pressure so the bit doesn't just spin on the work.

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