Drilling 304 Stainless

So, I haven't tried this yet (I'm getting close).
But -- there don't seem to be many 1/16" split-point drill bits in the world. Suggestions?
Reply to
Tim Wescott
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Graingers has them,
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(I see Thunderbird swapped the Followup & Reply buttons again)
MikeB
Reply to
BQ340
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Well ... I just found a bunch of them at MSC -- different brands, all in the screw machine length (flute length 5/8", overall length 1-5/8".
One MSC part number is 81371049 by Chicago-Latrobe (a good brand), 135 degree point (usual angle with split point drills. Plain chisel-point drills are typically 118 degrees).
$2.51 each, but sold in packages of 12, so you are getting up to $30.00 or so for one package.
Another good brand is Cleveland, and they have the same bit (MSC part number 63794044) at $3.19 each, but packages of 10 instead of 12.
There are ten different bits listed which match my criteria:
All Product Categories > Holemaking > Drilling & Drill Bits > Metalworking & Multipurpose Drill Bits > Screw Machine Length Drill Bits
And within that I selected "split point", '1/16" size', and "cobalt".
You *won't* find these in your local hardware store, but places like MSC have plenty of them.
If you also select "F ====================================================================== TiAlN (2) Titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) has a higher hardness than TiN and TiCN. It is extremely heat resistant and used for high-speed applications on stainless steels, nickel and titanium alloys. ======================================================================
But that limits you to two choices:
75906552 Cleveland $7.86 ea (but they will sell singles)
74130121 Hertel $3.45 ea (also in quantities of one)
You might want to get at least one of these to compare with the others and see how much difference it makes.
Good Luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Yep.. it's good to see that there are still some metalworking topics left here in RCM.
I didn't know what the disks were that you referred to Phil, had to look 'em up to see.. that topic is interesting enough for further investigation, thanks.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
I can't understand the problems you are having. I drill stainless (304, 316L) on a fairly regular basis and have been using regular old HS steel drill bits to do it for probably 50 years. The "secret"? First use a sharp drill bit. If you can't sharpen a 1/16" drill then buy a half dozen. Use the correct drilling speed. If you don't know what that is look it up - then use a little lower speed. Use a heavy feed rate, stainless work hardens easily use plenty of feed pressure.
I recently drilled and countersunk holes in a dozen 1 miter lengths of stainless piano hinge - holes spaced 2" apart on both sides. That is about 450 holes. I did "touch up" the drill when I was finished but I'm still using the same drill bit ( A Chinese made "Diamond Drill Bit" brand).
Reply to
John B.
Feed pressure/rate is definitely the major aspect, and I think a cutting lubricant is probably the second most important particularly for repeated drilling of multiple holes.. assuming of course, that the drill's cutting edges are sharp to begin with.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
Actually they do carry it, but possibly not in the size you need. They also have 1/16" carbide bits in several flavors, some specifically intended for stainless and other very hard steels.
Reply to
J. Clarke
I write "it" meaning "303 stainless in sheets thinner than 1/16 inch".
If you are reading "it" as meaning "any old 303 stainless no matter the dimensions" -- then yes, McMaster's carries it.
But they sure don't have _my_ "it".
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Ahh, "A Handful" at a time is not a one-off. How many of these do you sell in a year?
And are there other things you're doing manually now, like hogging out the hand-hole D with a series of finger-grip bumps on the outer edge? The laser can punch that hole at the same time, even make it serrated for a better grip wearing gloves - or so the Caterpillar Grommet padding doesn't slip if they want a fat vinyl edge to grab.
You have a minimum charge for the computer code setup to laser-cut these control-line handles out of sheet, you own that. Then there's another minimum charge for the run time on the laser and cutting table.
If you run off 50 or 100 handles at a shot and use 2 or 3 full sheets, that's probably enough to meet the minimum charges. Should drop the unit cost to where it's silly sitting there with a drill press making them by hand...
And it's All Done - you put in raw stock and get fully finished pieces out of the laser table, if they turn down the power on the laser they can etch the Product Name, Logo, company name and phone number, and the serial number of each handle (auto-sequenced as they are made) easy-peasy. Saves you a label or a screen printing step, and the markings are indelible.
They just need a touch of deburring at the start point and a quick passivation & wash, final inspection, then wrap 'em up. And when the stock gets low and orders are still trickling in, you do it again.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human readable)
This is kind of resurrecting an old thread -- but:
I asked this question back in August, got a lot of input, had a lot of responses to my requests for clarification and then laid the project on the back burner. At least until now.
I just took my shortest (i.e. most broken) 1/16" drill bit, sharpened it up, made a sorta-split point with a thin dremel cutoff wheel, choked it up in my drill press chuck so that only about 3/8" of an inch stuck out, moved fast and steady with the feed, and made some Very Nice Holes in my 304 stainless sheet.
There's a little "click" as the hole is being drilled, but none of the feeling that the drill rides on top and then breaks through. All in all, the three holes I made felt easier than drilling in sheet steel.
I am going to pay attention to which side I'm drilling on. I have a suspicion that the 'click' is from one side of the sheet being work hardened and the other not. I may be totally off base, but it'll cost me nothing to always drill from the (presumed) magic side, and if it avoids trouble, all to the good!
So I think I have the problem nailed, without having to resort to the suggestion of having it laser cut. I may still do that, but not while I'm making up things in onsie-twosies, and feeling smug about being a tight wad.
Thank you all for your input.
Reply to
Tim Wescott

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