View Full Version : Is there a secret for drilling?

05-31-2014, 07:54 AM
I've got an unpainted barrel and have it all marked, but I'm having a devil of a time drilling the holes. I'm using a Dewalt 0-2500RPM electric drill. I'm using cutting oil. I've used a center punch on all the holes. But when it comes to drilling, I'm having next to no luck. After a day, I've got all the 1/4" holes on the lid drilled, but the bit is toast. I still have all the 3/4" holes on the lid and the holes on the drum. Is there a secret for drilling that I don't know?

05-31-2014, 08:12 AM
Try starting pilot holes with a smaller bit, then go bigger with a step drill bit.

05-31-2014, 08:14 AM
What kind of drill are you using? I'm worried that either I'm spinning it too fast or not fast enough.

05-31-2014, 06:46 PM
I used dish soap instead of cutting oil. It is just a very different feeling drilling into a piece of metal. If you feel the drill is shot and all you have done is the 1/4 holes you can drill a pilot hole and then switch to the step bit. That can't be ruined past the 1/4 mark if you haven't drilled past 1/4 yet. You do need to apply some pressure to pop through each step.

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05-31-2014, 08:26 PM
I finally got all the 1/4" holes drilled. Once I figured out a rhythm, they weren't too bad. It's the 3/4" holes that are giving me a problem. I haven't been able to get a single one all the way drilled. The bit and the drum get uncomfortably hot after I move one step at most.

06-01-2014, 09:42 AM
I sounds to me like you're drilling at way too high RPM. Here is a speed chart for drilling different materials. When using a step bit for the 3/4" holes I wouldn't go any faster that 100 RPM. http://www.fnal.gov/pub/takefive/pdfs/Drill_Press_Speed_Chart.pdf

06-01-2014, 12:42 PM
I'm trying to go slow as I can. But the drill seems to seize up if I go to slow, and it's very hard to both press down and use the trigger to set the speed. I probably need a drill that can have the speed set.

I have got the thermometer hole drilled out to 3/4". And I was able to get all of the exhausts drilled out to 1/2" and four of the intakes to 1/2". I may not drill the other holes all the way to 3/4" if it becomes too hard. I don't think it's worth investing in a new drill.

06-01-2014, 02:16 PM
You may have already damaged the drill bit by burning it. The steel in a standard barrel just isn't that hard. Check your drill bits. If the cutting edge is rounded and not sharp you could be all day on the same hole. Twist bits can be sharpened on a grinder if you have one. Step bits can also be sharpened, but taking it to a sharpening place wouldn't justify the cost. They are handy and worth the cost if you have other uses for it. They're much easier on larger holes with thin metal than a twist bit as they can grab and hurt your hands and wrists if they jam when they break through.

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