Is drilling stainless difficult? - Page 2 - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks > Is drilling stainless difficult?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-10-2011, 05:35 PM   #11
MalFet
/bɪər nɜrd/
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
MalFet's Avatar
Recipes 
 
May 2010
NYC / Kathmandu
Posts: 8,632
Liked 1473 Times on 975 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsnik View Post
I was going with weldless fittings. There are a few commercially available weldless brewpot fittings that I figured I'd use.

Should I expect to be drilling for 10 minutes? Or is it quicker than that.

Also, is a step bit worth getting? I figured I'd just buy a single bit rather than ruin a bunch from my collection since I've heard the bits wear out quickly.
A single bit? How big of a hole are you planning to drill? You could manually step up through a dozen different bit sizes, but that would be tedious and would eat up your entire collection.

5-20 minutes, depending on how thick your pot is and how quickly you work. Take your time, though. Better to go too slow than too fast. You'll get a cleaner hole that way.
__________________
"Be excellent to each other." -Benjamin Franklin

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
TheYoshi
Recipes 
 
Oct 2010
Austin, TX
Posts: 68

I drilled a bayou classic pot with a greenlee step bit and a bit of vegetable oil as lube. It was insanely easy.. lots of pressure, low RPM went through in maybe a minute, very easy to step the hole bigger after that.. maybe 2 minutes TOPS to make the pilot hole that I then used to punch a clean hole with my greenlee punch (which I highly recommend doing vs just drilling with the step bit)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 05:46 PM   #13
TopherM
Recipes 
 
Mar 2011
St. Petersburg, FL
Posts: 3,975
Liked 447 Times on 353 Posts


Quote:
I drilled a bayou classic pot with a greenlee step bit and a bit of vegetable oil as lube. It was insanely easy.. lots of pressure, low RPM went through in maybe a minute, very easy to step the hole bigger after that.. maybe 2 minutes TOPS to make the pilot hole that I then used to punch a clean hole with my greenlee punch (which I highly recommend doing vs just drilling with the step bit)
+1 I drilled the same pot in about 5 minutes with a pilot hole, a step bit, and dish soap as lubricant, then regular sandpaper to smooth out the hole. Perfect seal, no leaks.
__________________
Primary #1 - Midnight Ryeder (Midnight Wheat and Rye)
Primary #2 - Florida Weiss
Primary #3 - Kane-DOH APA (Honey Citra APA)
Secondary #1 - Downtown Flanders Brown (brewed August 2012)
Keg #1 - Raspberry Florida Weiss
Keg #2 - Cinnamon Raisin Cider
Keg #3 - NONE!
Bottled - NONE!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 07:17 PM   #14
CidahMastah
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
, New York
Posts: 4,241
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsnik View Post
I was going with weldless fittings. There are a few commercially available weldless brewpot fittings that I figured I'd use.

Should I expect to be drilling for 10 minutes? Or is it quicker than that.

Also, is a step bit worth getting? I figured I'd just buy a single bit rather than ruin a bunch from my collection since I've heard the bits wear out quickly.
you should just suck it up and buy a harbor freight step bit because they will make a cleaner hole for the larger holes. If you are drilling a 1/4 inch hole you can get away with using a single bit.

If you try to drill a 1 1/4 inch hole (like for an electrical element), your drill bit will bind up and you will either ruin your hole, break the bit, spin the pot or hurt yourself. The step bits allow you to take off layers of the stainless at a time and that is what will give you a clean hole.

You won't take 10 minutes for the actual drilling though - at least mine didn't. You are talking probably <3 minutes of drill time. But don't rush it or time it. Let the process define the time frame.
__________________
Man,... That's a lotta hooch!
Steel rig in progress
ebuild info

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 07:28 PM   #15
bblack7489
Recipes 
 
Sep 2009
Austin
Posts: 124
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


+1 to basically all of the advice here.

There have been heated debates about whether or not a "good" step bit is worth it. I've drilled 8-10 holes in my two keg kettles with the cheap Harbor Freight bit, and I've never had a problem.

Go slowly. Use some sort of lubrication, and if it starts to smoke, stop drilling. Let it cool down, or cool it down with some more lube or a splash of water. Then get back to the drilling. Keep constant pressure on it while you're drilling.

It's highly doable.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 07:35 PM   #16
CidahMastah
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
, New York
Posts: 4,241
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts


+ 1 to the above and I used the bobby method for all my drilled holes and it worked great up to the 1 1/4 inch sized holes.

1. take an empty can of beans, or whatever and fill with motor oil or similar.
2. dip the bit and drill with firm pressure and medium RPM.
3. take brakes by swishing the bit in the oil can, then resume work.

the rest as noted above.
__________________
Man,... That's a lotta hooch!
Steel rig in progress
ebuild info

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 07:53 PM   #17
Misplaced_Canuck
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
Misplaced_Canuck's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2011
NE Columbia SC - Formerly, Montreal Canada
Posts: 2,884
Liked 166 Times on 134 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by CidahMastah View Post
+ 1 to the above and I used the bobby method for all my drilled holes and it worked great up to the 1 1/4 inch sized holes.

1. take an empty can of beans, or whatever and fill with motor oil or similar.
2. dip the bit and drill with firm pressure and medium RPM.
3. take brakes by swishing the bit in the oil can, then resume work.

the rest as noted above.
It's a helluva lot easier to just spray a shot of WD-40 every 10 seconds or so.

I've cut through 3/8" mild steel just fine using regular steel bits and plenty of WD-40. It's not cutting oil, and it can smoke easy, but it works.

M_C
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck
Carbonic bite? Is that like the bubonic plague?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebstauffer
Needless to say after more than a few drams my mental efficiency matched my mashing efficiency.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 08:20 PM   #18
CidahMastah
Recipes 
 
Nov 2010
, New York
Posts: 4,241
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Misplaced_Canuck View Post
It's a helluva lot easier to just spray a shot of WD-40 every 10 seconds or so.

I've cut through 3/8" mild steel just fine using regular steel bits and plenty of WD-40. It's not cutting oil, and it can smoke easy, but it works.

M_C
What is so difficult about dipping a bit in the oil?

You don't have to take your hands off the drill, you drill, dip, drill. easy peasy

Since motor oil is more viscous I would guess it coats better, then lubricates better. Though I am sure just about any oil works.
__________________
Man,... That's a lotta hooch!
Steel rig in progress
ebuild info

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2011, 08:46 PM   #19
day_trippr
Recipes 
 
May 2011
Stow, MA
Posts: 17,144
Liked 2920 Times on 2180 Posts


All the recommendations to go slow and use drilling lube are spot on. Heat hardens stainless steel and is to be avoided. And if the oil is smoking the metal is already starting to harden.

I'd definitely recommend an appropriately sized step bit for anything much larger than a quarter inch diameter through SS. Using individual bits is ok except it allows for the human tendency to speed up the process and jump too many sizes along the way. Then all kinds of bad things can happen. The step bit is like a governor

Cheers!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2011, 05:32 AM   #20
jcav
Still Believing In God, Family, & This Great Country
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
jcav's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2010
Central Florida
Posts: 979
Liked 160 Times on 133 Posts


The best advice I could give you is what many have already said. I found the main thing is to definitely use a punch to make a small dent and mark the center of your hole. This way the drill bit will not wander around and it will stay where you want to start your pilot hole. If you don't use a punch, nail, or something the bit will wander off target and your hole will not start exactly where you want it.

Drill your pilot hole with a small bit and then use a step bit, it will go through like butter and make the hole wider with no problem. Just remember to use oil, WD-40, or other lubricant and go slow and use a lot of pressure. If the metal gets hot and starts to smoke, stop and spray some water on it. Using to high an rpm will make the metal get hot very fast.

Go for it, have fun, and then grab a brew and marvel at your work!

John
__________________
My Brew Rig Build
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=541449

"Talent is hitting a target no one else can hit. Genius is hitting a target no one else can see."

"Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they really aren't after you!"

"Perfection is unobtainable, but if you chase perfection you can catch excellence."- Vince Lombardi

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drilling through stainless kmlavoy Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 15 05-20-2015 09:00 AM
Drilling kegs shushikiary Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 8 02-09-2011 02:53 PM
If You Hate Drilling Through Stainless Steel Try This jcav Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 29 10-04-2010 08:14 PM
How difficult would this be to do? (Install ball valve) IPAAAA Kettles, Mash Tuns & Hot Liquor Tanks 35 06-02-2010 04:30 PM
drilling through the wall? jpabian Kegerators & Keezers 10 09-05-2009 07:30 PM


Forum Jump