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Working with SS

DeadEye

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The rear license plate bracket vibrated itself to Heck, and parted ways with the rest of the bike last ride out.
i have made some bits for the Honda and a grinder seems to work best for general shaping , but drilling holes is A SOaB.

I was looking at a pnumatic hole puch ( C junk ) that claimed up to 16 Gauge… or a mechanical punch …
any suggestions ( drilling slower / oil lubrication )
 
Last edited:

tobinh

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depends on the stainless, but generally if you're having trouble it's because the material is work hardening. so you need to avoid dwelling in the material with the tool - use a sharp tool, slow speed (rpm), constant feed, and lubricant.
 

davethewelder

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Okay here’s a couple ways, first brand new or at lest sharp drill bits, slow speed, moderate to heavy pressure and some oil like trans fluid, also try concrete drill bits, make sharp slow and heavy pressure. The concrete drill will drill the hardest of metal.
 

DeadEye

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Thanks Dave ,
I picked up a box of the titanium coated bits on sale at the local hardware store, so lots of *New* ?Sharp ?
bits, I might buy some actual cutting oil like we used to use in shop class - a couple of YT videos seemed to do better with that than motor oil

Durring the previous endevours, I noticed that small holes drilled quickly worked well, but any bigger ( 3/16 - 1/4 ) holes would be hell if they heated up.
 
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GerryAZ

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I will remember (and use) the information in this thread the next time I have a project using stainless.
 

scottmastrocinque

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Hands down, the very best drill bit for stainless steel, is Cobalt drill bits.

You don’t need to drop $$$ on an entire set. You can buy a super high quality cobolt bit in just the size you need, online for around $20, and at medium slow speed with simple cutting oil, it will slice through SS like a hot knife through butter.
 

DeadEye

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Which reminds me of when i was building a tire-trailer out of old bed frame - (Dayum that stuff is tough )

After dulling several bits In that stuff I went out a bought a 3/8 cobalt bit and promptly Snapped it off - I brought it back and told the girl it must have been “Defective” and got a refund.

i used a step drill for the rest of the holes with reasonable results.
I’ll go out and pick up new bolts and a cobalt drill tonight ;)
Amazon - next day ( they worked GREAT )
1CD0F999 7498 4680 848E 5547B22C42AD
thanks for the input / recommendations
 
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davethewelder

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Bed frames are very hard, hard to drill and hard to weld! I’ve repaired a couple, some times it will brake at the edge of the weld and appears to be cast iron. I refuse to repair do welding on bed frame.
 

DeadEye

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So after putting it off, I look up drill speed recommendations on the Internet.
go to set em up !
Doh - right in the lid of Granpa’s drill press :oops:

thank you for the method and drill recommendation Scott and Tobinh
M42 8% cobalt drill + 3-1 oil - easy peasy…( 6 mm drill )
 

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scottmastrocinque

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So after putting it off, I look up drill speed recommendations on the Internet.
go to set em up !
Doh - right in the lid of Granpa’s drill press :oops:

thank you method and drill recommendation Scott and Tobinh
M42 8% cobalt drill + 3-1 oil - easy peasy…( 6 mm drill )

You are most welcome!

I still remember the very first true Cobalt drill set I ever bought and how easily they sliced through every material I put them on.

Outstanding cutting properties.
 

scottmastrocinque

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Which reminds me of when i was building a tire-trailer out of old bed frame - (Dayum that stuff is tough )

After dulling several bits In that stuff I went out a bought a 3/8 cobalt bit and promptly Snapped it off - I brought it back and told the girl it must have been “Defective” and got a refund.

i used a step drill for the rest of the holes with reasonable results.
I’ll go out and pick up new bolts and a cobalt drill tonight ;)
Amazon - next day ( they worked GREAT )
View attachment 26771
thanks for the input / recommendations

I don't think those are cobalt bits. Cobalt bits are chrome metal colored and I've never seen a black set ever. I could be mistaken but all my cobalt bits look like this.

81x57ODa0xL
 

DeadEye

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I have some others ones that are gold-ish ( not cobalt )
Maybe ours a dark / blue because it’s colder up here ;)
( and when ordering stuff online - just because they are advertised as “Whatever” how do I know it’s not still C @#$& ? )
the one I broke on the bed frame was blue tinged as well ???
 

tobinh

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cobalt steel tools can look like anything, the 'cobalt' bit is just an element added to the steel. the appearance comes from whatever coating the manufacturer dreamed up. the coating is important for production, but not really otherwise, imo.

I have black ones, gold and chromey. my favourite are my 'greenfield' drills, they're kind of a dark grey. pretty much any decent drill will be made of some kind of 'HSS' or 'high speed steel' which will have some cobalt. always? I don't know about always but usually. M42 is the most common one I see, with 8.25% cobalt. I have a lot of chunks of M42 laying about, I grind them into all kinds of things.
 

scottmastrocinque

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I have many types of drill bits. HSS, Titanium coated, cobalt, carbide, etc.

Yes they different colors but every cobalt drill I have, looks like that Irwin set, and I must have 4 sets of cobalt bits in all various sizes and lengths.
 

Theomarakas

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Sep 29, 2022
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Queens NY
The rear license plate bracket vibrated itself to Heck, and parted ways with the rest of the bike last ride out.
i have made some bits for the Honda and a grinder seems to work best for general shaping , but drilling holes is A SOaB.

I was looking at a pnumatic hole puch ( C junk ) that claimed up to 16 Gauge… or a mechanical punch …
any suggestions ( drilling slower / oil lubrication )
Stainless is .....a pain to drill but certainly not worse than Titanium.
When it comes to drilling there are a few things to remember. The slower you drill the better. Apply firm pressure but don't spin the drill fast. This creates heat and kills the drill bit. Go slow, maybe you can use a bit of cutting oil. Start with a smaller drill first and then move to a larger drill to make the hole bigger. Use quality drill bits such as Dewalt Cobalt, especially the split point. Follow this advise and you'll be able to drill through anything and your drill bits will last for a very long time. Cheers.
 
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