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  1. #1
    frelin is offline Plastic
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    May 2007
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    Ok, I need some input on this. I need to add 4 holes 1/16" diameter in 304 Stainless Steel. I will be drilling about 1/2" deep and breaking out into a radius. Anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
    Randy R is offline Aluminum
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    Feb 2006
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    Indiana
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    Start on the flat side. Spot drill. Use sharp drill. Use cutting fluid. Not a big deal otherwise.
    Randy

  3. #3
    steelej's Avatar
    steelej is offline Aluminum
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    Jun 2007
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    Perth,Western Australia
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    Using white vinegar on stainless, especially 316 makes drilling a cinch. I don't know why or even who told me but I have used vinegar and it really does work well.
    Jim

  4. #4
    Bobbyblackcloud is offline Aluminum
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    Jul 2007
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    ontario
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    peck drill and make sure you clear the chips try an acid brush in one hand and the handle in the other maybe a little dish of cutting fluid to dip and apply coolant.

  5. #5
    ohgood is offline Aluminum
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    Feb 2007
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    Birmingham, AL
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    drilled about 40 316 and 40 304 bolts the other day, with 1/8" bits.

    had to resharpen the bit every 12-15 holes. all we had was sulfur oil, so it was used.

    no biggie, just paying attention to the bit and keeping it sharp worked well.

    1/16" bit would mean I'd go find some bacon grease or something heavy and fatty.
    i'm prolly wrong again with what to use , but my bible is at work...

  6. #6
    jpete is offline Aluminum
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    Jun 2007
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    Warwick, RI
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    There's nothing too special about 304. I machine 316L all day. Not much different. I usually drill 60 sfm. On a 1/16 drill, I'd probably peck drill it with a .0005" to .0007" feed. We've had every coolant under the sun where I work. Currently using a Castrol vegetable oil based coolant.

  7. #7
    Troup is offline Titanium
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    Jun 2007
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    Don't ever let the drill dwell or rub (makes 304 workharden instantly), make sure it's always either feeding forwards at the rate that produces a proper chip, or retracting.

    I bet you already knew that...

    But there are some subtleties that don't get mentioned so often:

    The critical moment is the first contact, needs to be positive, not tentative.

    Also centerpunching is best avoided. (Spot drill, as Randy suggests)

    If you do ever need to centerpunch materials prone to workhardening, it's a good idea to grind four facets (like a pyramid) on the tip of the punch, so the action is a combination of cleaving and displacement, and the first contact of the drill is with the least displaced (hence softest) material.

  8. #8
    jackalope is offline Titanium
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    Oct 2004
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    St. Peters, MO
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    Troup,

    Very good pointers!! I will remember this for future reference.--Thanks!, Grant

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