Drilling Stainless Steel

From:  Jim Lux [SMTP:jimlux-at-earthlink-dot-net]
Sent:  Friday, May 29, 1998 8:41 AM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: Drilling Stainless Steel

> ----------
> From:  terryf-at-verinet-dot-com [SMTP:terryf-at-verinet-dot-com]
> Sent:  Thursday, May 28, 1998 4:50 PM
> To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject:  Drilling Stainless Steel
> Hi All,
>         Like many people, I like to use two large 12 inch salad bowls as
> top terminal.  For my new one, with built in current sensors, I had to
> 5 holes through the bowls.  WOW! was it hard.  The stainless steel in
> things must be very high in chromium content or something.  I trashed a
> number of nice drill bits.  The titanium nitride bits work for a moment
> just slide on the surface.  If anybody has any better ways to drill nice
> holes through this stuff, I would love to know about it.

leaving aside exotica like EDM, lasers, and diamond bits, you might try
heating the spot up with torch and letting it slowly cool. A real problem
with a drill that doesn't cut right through is that it starts to work
harden the metal, which then makes the drill cut slower, etc.

I assume you put some lubricant on the metal before drilling (oil, saliva,

The other approach is a carbide grinder bit in a dremel or equivalent. For
hard metals, it is usually easier to grind than drill.