How do you drill through stainless steel at home?

What's the trick to drilling a hole through 1/2" thick stainless steel?
From my guardrail experience, I had bought titanium coated drill bits.
So I thought it would be easy to drill a hole in a stainless steel can opener (for hanging on a loop outside by the BBQ cooler).
Nope!
I can't make a dent!

What's the trick to drilling through stainless steel?
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"Danny D." wrote:

news:rec.crafts.metalworking would be a better place to ask. (Added)
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wrote:

d)
You should have sharp drills with more relief that normal. But you can do it with regular drills. Stainless steel work hardens so you need to be cutting and not rubbing. You probably do not have enough horse power to use a half inch drill with no pilot hole. So start by drilling a hole about an eighth of an inch in dia. Be fairly agressive and use some oil. Any oil is better than none, but oil made for cutting stainless is of course best. You probably will not drill all the way thru without stopping. So when you stop retract the drill quickly. Again stainless work hardens . You want to be cutting or not cutting. No halfway .
After you have drilled all the way thru with the 1/8 inch drill, move up to something bigger. Maybe a 1/4 inch drill. Followed by maybe 3/8 drill and finally with your 1/2 inch drill. Again be aggressive. Stainless work hardens.
This advice assumes you are using a drill press. RPM needs to be about 60 sfm. So slower RPM with the bigger drills. If you are using a hard drill, good luck.
Dan
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l?

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ded)

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Agree with your comments about the drill bit relief angles, however he probably only needs an 1/8" hole (1/2" dia SS rod on handle of opener).
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I must be getting senile. i misunderstood.
Dan
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wrote:

d)
That's a hell of a can opener if it's 1/2" thick! Might be lassoing it with a lanyard would be a better way to go.
Stan
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On Fri, 08 Mar 2013 07:27:30 -0800, Stanley Schaefer wrote:

Yeah, it's a doozie (for a can opener)!

I bought it at Bed Bath & Beyond for $4, hoping to lanyard it outside. It's too smooth to just tie a cord around the handle.
And, it's not magnetic & therefore very hard to drill with my vanadium-coated (brass color) steel drill bits:

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Oooh, I could have fun making a 'novelty' hanger for that!
Anneal the handle, drill lengthwise, swage or epoxy in a cable loop with a "Remove Before Flight" tag. http://www.legendaryusa.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=RBFT&utm_source=google&utm_medium=CSE&utm_term=RBFT&utm_campaign=BROI&click%391%20&gdftrk=gdfV25409_a_7c1799_a_7c6830_a_7cRBFT
Variations on the Hangman's Noose make good decorative tool handle grips with loops.
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On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 16:49:00 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Id hit it with a TIG welder and put a stainless washer on the butt end. That way you can use any size washer with a big hole in it.
Gunner
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oing

If there's no TIG handy, there's always JB Weld. I use brazing filler rod for making rings for such things, the local Ace has welded brass and steel rings in a variety of sizes in the misc. hardware aisle. Or, if you gotta have heat involved, silver braze will work. Kind of overkill for a fancy church key.
Post said "can opener" and I'm thinking some variety of Swing-Away, not a church key. Does anything drinkable still come in steel cans that need puncturing? Tomato juice and V8 are all I can think of and those would be the big cans, not individual serving sizes.
Stan
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wrote:

d)
I'd grind a very small flat spot with a Dremel tool (to prevent the drill bit from skating) and anneal the end with a propane torch. You can remove any discoloration with polishing.
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wrote:

-I'd grind a very small flat spot with a Dremel tool (to prevent the -drill bit from skating) and anneal the end with a propane torch. You -can remove any discoloration with polishing.
Can openers are hard enough to keep their edge while puncturing steel cans, such as tomato juice comes in.. http://www.metalsuppliersonline.com/propertypages/302.asp "Cold working will dramatically increase the hardness of this material,"
I've seen tensile strength listed as high as 200,000 PSI for Type 302 used for pallet strapping.
You could hang the can opener by a Prusik loop of fancy boot lacing etc around the middle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prusik
This knot survives handling better than a square knot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fisherman 's_knot
If you use braided Nylon cord you can melt and fuse the ends of the loop and roll the warm joint flush so it nearly disappears. jsw
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propertypages/302.asp

.org/wiki/Fisherman's_knot

I'll see your nylon and raise you a pliable vinyl end cap.
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On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 07:50:25 -0800 (PST), "Denis G."

It's unlikely that annealing with a torch will do much. The overwhelming problem drilling stainless, of the common 300-series, is what Dan said: work-hardening.
With grades 304 and up, the work-hardening effect is fierce. It requires some experience and a steady hand to drill it with a manual-feed drill press. It will work-harden in a fraction of a second and it then becomes problematic whether you can re-start the drill through the work-hardened layer. That's what burns the edges of HSS drills used on stainless more than anything else. It breaks them, too, in sizes of 1/4" or less.
--
Ed Huntress

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el?

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an

dded)

I understand your concerns with the work hardening. It can be a difficult problem, but not always impossible. As long as he doesn't break the drill bit in the hole (causing more complications), I believe that he can remove work hardening with heat. He has some advantage in that he's drilling near the end of the rod where it can be easily heated without warping the piece. It could be difficult, but not necessarily impossible. (If the drill bit broke in the hole, I'd weld on a D-ring and cover up my mistake <g>, but then the OP might not have a TIG welder.)
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On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 10:41:16 -0800 (PST), "Denis G."

He can. And then it re-appears in a second, if he doesn't feed with sufficient pressure ('way more than he may be used to with common grades of steel).
It may be that his only problem is with the initial state of the stainless, in which case annealing can solve the problem, if the stainless was left in the as-rolled state to begin with. More likely, though, he's starting too slow, with insufficient feed pressure, and work-hardening it himself. That's so common for people who aren't used to machining stainless that I thought it was most likely.

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He did assume that titanium coating implied quality.
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On Fri, 8 Mar 2013 15:37:13 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

That's become a common misunderstanding.
Good marketing. Bad engineering.
--
Ed Huntress

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Delvin Benet wrote:

It takes a certain level of ignorance to believe that it is possible to become "able" without ever actually "doing".
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George Plimpton wrote:

Apparently you immediately concluded I was making a reference to you. Why did you think that?
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