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Stainless Steel UDS Owners - How did you drill Holes?
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Thread: Stainless Steel UDS Owners - How did you drill Holes?

  1. #1
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    Stainless Steel UDS Owners - How did you drill Holes?

    All:

    My Big Poppa Kit arrived yesterday and as soon as the SS Drum arrives I will attack the project of converting it into a BP UDS!!! I have talked to bnall and have conducted a Google Search about drilling SS. What I have learned is that drilling SS is a substantial task, something I had not thought of when I decided to go with a SS Drum. Mr bnall told me that he went through several drill bits and spoke a few choice words as he completed his Big Poppa, Colts UDS (which looks fantastic). I know that several of you went with SS Drums and would ask how you successfully drilled the holes? I believe, based on watching the BP Instruction Video, that there are 27 small holes and maybe 16 large holes to be drilled, plus I will have to add some holes for the Maverick Temperature Probes (ugh)! One additional question, where did you locate your probe holes?

    Thanks in advance!

    Ken

  2. #2
    Moderator jimsbarbecue's Avatar
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    New quality bits (cobalt). Once the bit starts to cut continue through the hole . Do not back off and reapply pressure. When I built ours it didn't take long to drill the holes and having a stainless drum is worth it. Probe holes are about two inches above grate level.

  3. #3
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    I bought a 1/4 in. cobalt bit and drilled all my holes. Then drilled 3/4 in. holes using uni-bit included in kit. Use a variable speed drill run at low speed and use cutting oil. SS drums are sweet!!!
    Last edited by deihardt8fan; 10-09-2013 at 07:45 AM.

  4. #4
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    Guys:

    Thanks for all of the advice you have provided with your responses to all of my questions. The drum arrived late today so weather permitting (we are having a North Easter) I will start the marking/drilling project tomorrow afternoon or Friday at the latest. I plan to take pictures and may need help getting them posted. Hopefully, I will be able to give future new owners the confidence you have provided to me.

    I am definitely looking forward to my first smoke and trying to decide what it might be. Leaning toward competition style St. Louis Ribs.

  5. #5
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    Drilling stainless is actually easier than a traditional steel drum if you know what you are doing. It is a softer metal, but if you over heat it you will make it harder to drill. I used a step drill from Harbor Freight. The trick is always drill a pilot hole, I used a 1/8" or 3/32" it was what I had. Use plenty of 3 in 1 oil to keep the bit cool and lubricated. Watch your speed, it's more about pressure than speed. If the drill bit goes to quick it will smoke and over heat because stainless does not absorb the heat like traditional steel. If you over heat the steal you will actually make it harder. If you have someone than can help you, a nice trick to drilling stainless is use ice water. Drill a small hole in the top of a water bottle and have them squirt it on the end of the bit to keep it cool, It's all about keeping it cool. Good luck and enjoy your drum.

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