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What are you using to drill out air holes?

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by TundraMike, Oct 19, 2013.

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  1. TundraMike

    TundraMike Full Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Maricopa, AZ
    I have a steam turbine clone and the air holes are tiny. I bought some cobolt and titanium drill bits and have a cordless 18v drill. I have been drilling out the hole using a 1/16th bit and have had no luck. I have been through 3 fully charged batteries on my drill with no luck. Any suggestions on what to do?
  2. MrStik

    MrStik Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 6, 2013
    I dunno about the steam turbine, but my RBAs, IGOs and Nimbus, were drilled out with a standard drill bit. I would start out with one that is slightly larger than the hole already, drill that out and step up to the next size until you get the size you desire.
  3. cdf294

    cdf294 Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Agree with MrStik- start small and work your way up.

    If you start too big, one of 2 things will likely happen- 1) you dull the bit by burning it, OR, 2) you will snap the bit off in the hole.

    Edit: I used high speed steel bits to enlarge my airholes. Both cobalt and titanium should hold up better than HSS. I suspect that you have burnt up your bits.
  4. DKP#

    DKP# Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 27, 2012
    Missouri, USA
    More pressure maybe?
    Drilling should give off chips. If it's only giving off powdery bits, it needs more pressure. Keep it cool, stainless will heat and "work harden" if you don't apply enough pressure. Try to keep it cool, mist it with a spray bottle if you need to. I've never drilled one out but I've worked with stainless.
  5. State O' Flux

    State O' Flux Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Combine the posts of DKP, MrStik and cdf... and you have everything you need to know about drilling SS by hand. HSS with 8% cobalt bits (ti is a coating that wears off, 8% cobalt is thru and thru), high pressure, low speed, coolant and step drilling.

    Dust equals a dull bit, not enough pressure, trying to take too big a "bite", too much speed or dry drilling. If you ain't got chips, you've got a long day ahead of you.
  6. Ryedan

    Ryedan ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 31, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    I use a drill press for this. That makes it easy. With a hand drill, stability is going to be a key factor. I would clamp the RBA cap (top piece you are drilling the hole in) onto a worktable or a piece of plywood clamped to a table so I could push on it. Then hold the drill as steady as you can and push on it with your thigh or hip. The issue then is going to be when you break through the drill is going to grab and can easily break, so you need to back off the pressure at just the right time. Dipping the drill bit in vegetable oil will help keep it cool and lubricated.

    I use high speed steel drill bits. IMO, coatings do not matter for this application. If you are not finished drilling the hole in one or two minutes, you`re not putting enough pressure on it.
  7. Greg__B

    Greg__B Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2012
    Ottawa, ON Canada
    I think it was canape where I noticed actually has a device made for air hole punching/drilling.

    Sent from Mars using my Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator
  8. TundraMike

    TundraMike Full Member

    Oct 19, 2013
    Maricopa, AZ
    Is that for sell and if so can you post a link?
  9. Greg__B

    Greg__B Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 18, 2012
    Ottawa, ON Canada
  10. DrBeaker

    DrBeaker Registered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jul 24, 2013
    Lab City USA
    Make sure your bit is turnning clockwise as seen from above. Try pulsing the power 1second at a time if its not cutting its dulling the bit! Put pressure but not enough to break the bit. The hard bits should be pulsed to allow it to cool between cutting. Try it...
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