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How do you drill through stainless steel at home?


Danny D.

Jan 1, 1970
Wood handle.

I like that idea best!

I can easily find a piece to fit, and it would
look nice too!

I'd have to varnish it (it's going to hang outdoors,
but then, I can at least DRILL the hole in the wood!).

That's the best idea of all!

Delvin Benet

Jan 1, 1970
Why did you cross-post this to can.politics??? This is the second time
- the first one was the Chevy Volt!

Because Karen Gordon asked me to do it.

Ed Huntress

Jan 1, 1970
He did assume that titanium coating implied quality.

That's become a common misunderstanding.

Good marketing. Bad engineering.


Jan 1, 1970
Uncle Steve Inscribed thus:
Recently I had to drill through a short length of tool steel.
Needless to say, titanium-nitride coated bits didn't even start the
hole. I found some advice on a web-site which suggested using a torch
to remove the temper in the area of the workpiece to be drilled, which
was not an option in my case since the item I was working with was
about 1" x 1/2" x 1/16". Plus I don't have a forge yet. Another
suggestion was to use a wooden dowel and some grit, which is going to
take a while.

I ended up hanging a jar of coins from the drill-press handle in
conjunction with the dowel method. Periodically you have to replenish
the grit under the dowel, but it went through in a few hours.
Stainless steel is softer than tool steel, so a carbide tile bit might
work instead.


Uncle Steve

I've used a similar technique for drilling holes in glass bottles to
make table lamps. A copper tube with a groove filed across the end
dipped in grinding paste. Slow, but you get a smooth burr free hole.
Smoothing the inside is a little harder. :)


Jan 1, 1970
Ed Huntress Inscribed thus:
Here's a thought to keep in mind for the future. It's the way that
gunsmiths annealed spots on (case hardened) '03 Springfield receivers,
for drilling to mount a scope.

Cut the head off of a 12d nail, or use other appropriately sized
pieces of mild steel bar. Chuck the nail or bar in your drill press
and mount the work firmly in your vise.

Get the spindle turning at a medium speed, bring the nail down onto
the work, and press down firmly. You want to make a spot glow at least
dark cherry red from friction.

Take the nail out of the drill chuck and chuck your drill bit. Drill
as deep as you need, or as deep as you can. If necessary, remove the
bit, re-chuck the nail, and do the whole thing again. The annealing
doesn't run very deep.

I've used this method to drill flat springs, and it worked great for
me. It also leaves a minimum amount of distortion and a minimal
heat-affected zone.

Ed Huntress

Interesting technique, I'll have to remember that one !

Transition Zone

Jan 1, 1970
It won't help. Suggest you review posts from George  Plimpton / Delvin
Benet, etc so you can see that you're not dealing with someone who has
any metalworking skills or any real practical metalworking knowledge.

Several people in labor, mfg, design, etc ... have no theoretical or
practical knowledge in metalworking, but still take, send or broker
related work out. My problem with people in this group is the
sickening bigotry and the convincing sock puppetry.


Jan 1, 1970
This is a piece of Pee.....

I was drilling stainless steel today. 20 holes exactly in 3mm think 304
Stainless steel.

You need cobalt drills. Screwfix do a set for 35 quid upwards

You *MUST* use a slow speed

You *MUST* use a cutting fluid

If you don't drill slow and use cutting fluid, the drill bit glows red
hot at the tip and the stianless steel literally hardens under the drill

Plus, start with a small drill and work progressively upwards to the
size you want.

The Daring Dufas

Jan 1, 1970
I have some Cable Hangers..which are a finger trap secured to a 1/2"
conduit threaded connector. For hanging drops from the center hole of
a blank 4x box cover. Might be easily converted to this use. They
finger trap is made from steel cable (not stainless unfortunately)


You may be thinking of Kellem Grips. I've used them for years to pull
wire through conduit or installed them as cord grips. The things work
like Chinese Finger Puzzles. ^_^


William Sommerwerck

Jan 1, 1970
My father's factory (Tosca Lingerie) did not make corsets.

It wasn't managed by a man named Scarpia, was it?

The Daring Dufas

Jan 1, 1970
Those I have several sizes of. The overhead cable thingies are of the
same type, with a threaded bit of pipe nipple attached .

Want a photo?


I was selling the stuff 40 years ago when I worked for an electrical
supply company. I used one a while back to fix a problem for a pizza
place where the kept ripping the outlet out of the wall for their prep
table every time they moved it to clean the floor. I removed the outlet
and installed an hospital grade cord body with a pigtail of 12/3 SO cord
anchored to the wall with a Kellem Grip which would allow the plug to
simply pull straight out of the cord body without damage. I also use the
grips to hang power cords from the ceiling in the middle of shop floors.


Stanley Schaefer

Jan 1, 1970
Id hit it with a TIG welder and put a stainless washer on the butt
end. That way you can use any size washer with a big hole in it.

If there's no TIG handy, there's always JB Weld. I use brazing filler
rod for making rings for such things, the local Ace has welded brass
and steel rings in a variety of sizes in the misc. hardware aisle. Or,
if you gotta have heat involved, silver braze will work. Kind of
overkill for a fancy church key.

Post said "can opener" and I'm thinking some variety of Swing-Away,
not a church key. Does anything drinkable still come in steel cans
that need puncturing? Tomato juice and V8 are all I can think of and
those would be the big cans, not individual serving sizes.


The Daring Dufas

Jan 1, 1970
Good man, then you have seen them before. Thanks for letting me know
what they are called. I always called them Finger Puzzle cable grips
and the guys at the will call desk knew what I was talking about.


You can use them as a come along for prisoners too by slipping them over
their fingers or thumbs. ^_^



Jan 1, 1970
This is an important point!

< begin embarrassing truth >

First, I tried shoe goop + leather strips. Disaster.
Luckily, the shoe goop cleaned off the stainless perfectly.

Then I tried rubber strips (made by cutting a 26"
length of bicycle tube strips about 1/2" wide.
Wouldn't stay on even though I used glue (it unwound
while the glue was setting.

Then, in frustration, I simply used electrical tape
and hanging wire! Butt ugly!

But, as Jeff said, form follows function ...
And, as Oren is fond of saying, "looks fine from far away!".

Here's a picture of the abomination!
(Drilling would have been prettier!).

Notice the Ballantine Church Key from the 60s' next to it.
At least they had holes in the ends way back then.

I'll probably unwrap the electrical tape when I find
something better - but - for now - it should work
(but it's fuuuugly).

Personally, i like both leather and SS. If you get a machinist to mill in
three 1/4 inch wide hex portions and wrap with wide spaced wet leather
strips it not only would work but be beautiful and last a decade or more.
Then just remove the old leather, clean thoroughly and do the leather