Drill bit getting red hot when on the project price I am drilling ....?

as above ,when I am drilling my other project piece (beer barrel),I have gone through six drill bits due to either snapping into pieces or bending ......what am I doing wrong and how can I prevent it happening


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randofo10 months ago

I believe most modern kegs are stainless steel. First, it sounds like you need a harder drill bit than the one you are using. Try using a Cobalt bit with HSS marking (high speed steel) or one with a carbide tip.

You need to also be using cutting oil (presumably a lot of oil - if you are going through that many bits) to increase lubrication and cool down the surface of what you are drilling.

What size bit are you using / trying to use to start? If you are starting with a large diameter bit, you may need to actually first drill a much smaller pilot hole and gradually increase the size of the hole.

Next you will want to 'peck drill' at a reasonably high speed, which means apply downward pressure, and then back off a little, and then apply pressure again, and back off a little, etc. Simply jamming the drill bit against the surface and forcing it down is just going to dull the cutting blades and force it to snap and bend. It will also cause the surface of the metal and the bit to heat up, which will affect the integrity of both.

dougs116 randofo4 months ago

Stainless steel must be drilled at a much lower speed than standard ferrous steel. Buy a good quality bit turn it about 50% of the rpm you would normally drill with and you will be successful. Problem is that most current mfg drills cannot be controlled very easily and once you heat it up you remove the temper from your bit and your out of luck.

squared594 months ago

The problem you might be having is work hardening of the stainless steel. Some types of stainless can be very difficult to drill. The drill bit needs to be cutting/removing material at all times. If the bit stops cutting and spins on the material the stainless will almost immediately harden and it will be nearly impossible to to drill after that. Using coolant, peck drilling, and cobalt drill bit will reduce the chance of work hardening.

I do not know the answer to your question but from what I have heard you should not use a beer keg as it is property of the brewery. correct me if I am wrong.

Depends on where you get the keg. Some breweries will sell old kegs to scrap yards and you can also buy new kegs for personal brewing or hobby work.