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Old 12-11-2012, 06:54 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by dallasdb View Post
Conduit punch, or a different drill? I think I would use a different drill more!
Well, yes, a nice DeWalt Lithium 3AH hammer drill cordless would be a nice xmas present to yourself. The issue here though, if I'm assuming correctly, is that you've burnt up a few bits on the same hole already. The only way to get further if you haven't gotten to your desired hole size is to avoid that work hardened edge entirely. A conduit punch would do that for this particular hole. If that hole is already done.... disregard. Hmm, well a conduit punch/die set is still a pretty awesome thing to have in the toolbox.


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Old 12-11-2012, 07:51 PM   #42
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I bought the TiN coated ones at Harbor Freight... the hardest part was finding one that is 1.375" dia for the heating element installs.
That's the biggest I'd want to go with a unibit, too. The torque has to be pretty scary for a 1.375" hole. -I went with 2" tri clamps to use the stilldragon element protector solution so stepbits were "out" as an option to cut the holes. (Hole saw in a drill press worked great, though.)


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Old 12-11-2012, 07:58 PM   #43
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I used bobby's step bit just last weekend with an 18v LION drill and cutting oil and it worked just fine. Running the step bit from the inside out after getting the hole to my desired size deburred the hole in 1/2 a second, too.

The REALLY tough part was applying enough pressure to get the pilot bit started. I broke two metal bits and 4 MM bit was just too big to start the hole so I bought a proper carbide bit to make the pilot hole and the step bit did the rest.


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Old 12-11-2012, 09:23 PM   #44
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That's the biggest I'd want to go with a unibit, too. The torque has to be pretty scary for a 1.375" hole. -I went with 2" tri clamps to use the stilldragon element protector solution so stepbits were "out" as an option to cut the holes. (Hole saw in a drill press worked great, though.)
Adam
How do you like the stilldragon parts?
Was looking to go that way myself, but had assumed the 2" triclamps used 2" "pipe" and the clamp fitting was bigger.
The actual ferrule uses 1 3/8 hole?
Have hole saw that size and might even get lucky with Greenlee punch set - gotta go track it down and find out.

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:18 PM   #45
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How do you like the stilldragon parts?
Was looking to go that way myself, but had assumed the 2" triclamps used 2" "pipe" and the clamp fitting was bigger.
The actual ferrule uses 1 3/8 hole?
Have hole saw that size and might even get lucky with Greenlee punch set - gotta go track it down and find out.

Dale
You're assumption is correct.
I LOVE the stilldragon option especially for the price (still expensive but the best value TC stainless and safe option) but they really stick it to you on the shipping.

The other problem is that it ships with 3 copper "blade" connectors and if you actually use them, even with the shrink tubing and even after bending them at a 90 degree angle they can easily ground out on the inside of the TC and create a very scary and potentially deadly situation. Both hot legs had grounded out on one of mine. -I replaced the 2 hot blade connectors with a proper plastic coated one and then applied 2 wraps of shrink tubing just to be safe. -Use the copper blade connector for the ground strap but don't even THINK about it for the 2 hot legs.

I borrowed a 2" green lee punch, but it makes a hole that's WAY larger than 2" so choose your punch size carefully...

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Old 12-12-2012, 10:26 PM   #46
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Good info, thanks. Will need to watch assembly closely.

Sounds like you borrowed the conduit sized punch, which is the set I have.

1/2 inch pipe punch-- > 7/8 inch hole
Good for 22mm control box stuff.
3/4 inch pipe punch -> 1.115 inch hole or approx. 1 3/32 inch hole

1 inch pipe punch -> 1.362 inch hole or approx. 1 3/8 inch hole
Which would be perfect for standard element coupler.

1 1/4 is "almost" 1 3/4. Reckon I could use that and the butt-weld adapter trick to dimple it out???

OSH had smoking deal couple weekends back. Anything Milwaukee 50% off and no sales tax. Picked up the large hole saw set and couple extra 2" bits. But then I'd have to rig up cradle/ratchet strap jig on drill press for one stinking hole.

Or...... buddy has lathe I could chuck the hole saw in and use horizontal feed at looow speed, and clamp it up to square bottom and won't need to fab a cradle.
Anyone heard of doing it that way?

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Old 06-18-2013, 12:01 PM   #47
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Going slow is important and that's why corded drills are usually the culprit. Most corded drills have very low torque at low speeds so when you're sitting at the proper speed, the drill stalls out. I don't even like seeing the bit turn one revolution without making a cut. Spinning it fast work hardens the stainless in 2 seconds and it doesn't matter how many more bits you buy or what brand they are at that point. Now it's time to get a conduit punch.
Okay, so I used a Harbor Freight step bit to get a 1 1/4" hole in my keg for an element. I can't get the hole bigger than 1" and the bit started burning the stainless, even with plenty of lubricant. So, based on Bobby's comment above, is there any way other than a punch to get the hole bigger? I was ready to buy another step bit, but if the metal is burned to the point of where a bit won't cut it, what then? Would a grinder work? Something like a grinding attachment on my Dremel?
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #48
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Okay, so I used a Harbor Freight step bit to get a 1 1/4" hole in my keg for an element. I can't get the hole bigger than 1" and the bit started burning the stainless, even with plenty of lubricant. So, based on Bobby's comment above, is there any way other than a punch to get the hole bigger? I was ready to buy another step bit, but if the metal is burned to the point of where a bit won't cut it, what then? Would a grinder work? Something like a grinding attachment on my Dremel?
You were probably spinning the bit too fast, so you hardened the area around the hole. You can try to break through that with a grinding attachment, just be sure you don't go beyond your hole target size.

IMO, you're going to have an easier time using the drill to make a pilot hole, then using hole punches to get to the final dimension. It's easy to make a 1/2" hole, to feed the shaft for the hole punch through. Then a few (not many once you've taken up the slack) pumps on the hydraulic ram for the hole punch and you're done.

IME, the HF bits are really crappy. Go a little too fast, or don't flood with oil/lube/coolant, and they're pretty much toast. I've had far better results with cobalt bits. Also, you need to go SLOW with the bit speed. If your drill has speed ranges (for hand held) get into the low speed range and go just fast enough to get the bit to turn/cut. I wouldn't go more than 1/2 speed on that setting (<300 rpm). You can go faster on the small holes, but once you get above about 1/2", go SLOW. It also pays to have someone helping with hitting the spot with coolant/lube while you're drilling. Unless you have a system to do that for you.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:49 PM   #49
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You were probably spinning the bit too fast, so you hardened the area around the hole. You can try to break through that with a grinding attachment, just be sure you don't go beyond your hole target size.

IMO, you're going to have an easier time using the drill to make a pilot hole, then using hole punches to get to the final dimension. It's easy to make a 1/2" hole, to feed the shaft for the hole punch through. Then a few (not many once you've taken up the slack) pumps on the hydraulic ram for the hole punch and you're done.

IME, the HF bits are really crappy. Go a little too fast, or don't flood with oil/lube/coolant, and they're pretty much toast. I've had far better results with cobalt bits. Also, you need to go SLOW with the bit speed. If your drill has speed ranges (for hand held) get into the low speed range and go just fast enough to get the bit to turn/cut. I wouldn't go more than 1/2 speed on that setting (<300 rpm). You can go faster on the small holes, but once you get above about 1/2", go SLOW. It also pays to have someone helping with hitting the spot with coolant/lube while you're drilling. Unless you have a system to do that for you.
This is helpful. But just so I'm clear: once the steel is hardened, a bit won't cut, right? Also, your comments suggest that a grinding wheel (something that would fit a Dremel) will take away the steel, which means I could potentially either (1) burr away the hardened metal and try the bit again or (2) grind away the material to get to my hole size.
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:02 PM   #50
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This is helpful. But just so I'm clear: once the steel is hardened, a bit won't cut, right? Also, your comments suggest that a grinding wheel (something that would fit a Dremel) will take away the steel, which means I could potentially either (1) burr away the hardened metal and try the bit again or (2) grind away the material to get to my hole size.
You'll need to use some silicon carbide (or aluminum oxide) burrs to grind away the hardened steel. once you get through the hardened material, you might be able to finish with the bit, again. It's also possible that you've ruined the bit after you hardened what you were going into. Coated HSS bits can only do so much. To really cut easily, you need to use tooling made to cut the material.

I'm not sure how much material you'll need to remove to get past the hardened area. It might be <1/32" or >1/8". If it's the larger amount, then you'll be getting to your target size. Depending on the element, you might have some fudge room to work with.

Working with stainless is where either experience, or having someone with experience to help you out, really comes into play. It's not the same as drilling mild steel, aluminum, or other softer (and non-hardening) materials. You can typically drill through aluminum really fast. Try to do that with stainless (or tool steels) and you'll be destroying bits in a hurry.

I have a floor drill press that I've thought about using to drill the next keg with. It's lowest speed is 300rpm, so it could do a good job. I'm working on making a coolant/lube dispensing system too. I'm actually using some brewing related items in that construction.


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