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-   -   using a hole saw to drill a pot (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/using-hole-saw-drill-pot-150529/)

tkone 12-06-2009 07:20 PM

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?

RonRock 12-06-2009 07:28 PM

Hole saw will work well.

shredderator 12-06-2009 07:32 PM

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.

tkone 12-06-2009 07:39 PM

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?

shredderator 12-06-2009 07:55 PM

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.

Bernie Brewer 12-06-2009 08:04 PM

Better take a tape measure to it. I'm betting that it will require a 1 3/8 hole.

hsbcapt 12-06-2009 08:15 PM

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.

OhioBrewingTechnologies 12-06-2009 09:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tkone (Post 1722572)
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

passedpawn 12-06-2009 09:47 PM

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.

BargainFittings 12-06-2009 10:41 PM

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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