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Drilling stainless steel

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Old Philosopher:
Does anyone have some practical experience drilling stainless steel?
I'm trying to put a pin in the handle of a knife project, and getting a hole in the blade tang is defying me.
I can't recall ever having to drill stainless before, and it's giving me fits.
Any tips, or tricks would be appreciated.

Wilderbeast:

--- Quote from: Old Philosopher on November 27, 2012, 09:51:05 AM ---Does anyone have some practical experience drilling stainless steel?
I'm trying to put a pin in the handle of a knife project, and getting a hole in the blade tang is defying me.
I can't recall ever having to drill stainless before, and it's giving me fits.
Any tips, or tricks would be appreciated.

--- End quote ---

Carbide bits, oil and a drill press and go slow.  Thats the only way I've ever been able to drill through stainless steel.

Old Philosopher:
I've heard that using a punch with the tip ground into a diamond shape (pyramid) will make a dimple the bit can grab, but I don't have a nail set I want to sacrifice just yet.
I have a set of these that have drilled everything I've encountered so far. They'll fly through an old file like it was balsa wood. Unfortunately I don't have the size I need. I picked the size pin I wanted to match a HSS bit I had. Now I have 1/2 the handle drilled in the larger size. If I can get a hole through the steel with the Rodman bit, I guess I can still pin it, and fill the gaps on one side with something (epoxy, Gorilla glue?). I'm going for functionality, not a professional look in the end.


Buckskin:
By a couple high dollar bits from the big box retailer.  You might burn a couple of them up.  I have found it easier to drill pilot holes and work my way up to the final size. 

For a punch you can sacrifice a 16d nail.  With a good whack it will give you a couple grooves to bite on.

Good luck.

Wilderbeast:
You might want to look at a titanium nitride coated bit as well.  You can get the single bits at Lowes or Home Depot for under $6

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