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Thread: Suggestions for drilling stainless steel. Machines and drill bits

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    Default Suggestions for drilling stainless steel. Machines and drill bits

    I have not used any metal working machine before, so please bear with me.

    I was looking for suggestions for what type of machine (drill press, manual mill, vertical mill, etc...)
    to use for drilling vented (hole down the middle) stainless steel screws of various sizes.

    I understand that drilling stainless steel is difficult, and would like suggestions on the drill bit type, and what would be the best type of machine to use, preferably affordable. I was looking at maybe a vertical mill that has programmable x, y, and z. This would have the benefit of creating a fixture to put the screws in and being able to run it off a program rather than using a manual mill, which would have to be done, well, manually.

    Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    Default Stainless steel

    Hi to start with what grade of stainless are you trying to drill, and what size hole or holes are you hopeing to drill, As for the type of drill you should be useing the best are dormer a777 or any type of hsco "8-12% colbolt" should be enough, As for the machine i woulld go for something that has a hiednian control as they have a fantastic drilling cycle and many others that are really simple, the only other advise i can give at this moment is for you to stay well away from haas mills and lathes the programming is rubbish and very hard to use,
    Philip



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    My first reaction was you should use a lathe for this. But then I stopped and want to ask, how many screws do you want to drill a hole in?



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    Default The site needs more information.

    The most important questions are how many and what material. There is very wide array of stainless steels out there. Depth may be an issues also.




    Quote Originally Posted by therobotfuture View Post
    I have not used any metal working machine before, so please bear with me.

    I was looking for suggestions for what type of machine (drill press, manual mill, vertical mill, etc...)
    to use for drilling vented (hole down the middle) stainless steel screws of various sizes.

    I understand that drilling stainless steel is difficult, and would like suggestions on the drill bit type, and what would be the best type of machine to use, preferably affordable. I was looking at maybe a vertical mill that has programmable x, y, and z. This would have the benefit of creating a fixture to put the screws in and being able to run it off a program rather than using a manual mill, which would have to be done, well, manually.

    Any suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!




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    I have seen a CNC Taig used very sucessfully for drilling holes in stainless screws. The tooling was not particularly special, but this was a 4th axis set-up as the holes were for securing wires - three holes between each pair of flats on the hexagon head.



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    I appreciate the help so far from everyone, thanks!

    To elaborate further, the screw would be a 18-8 SS, 10-32 x 7/16" pan head Phillips. The hole diameter would be 3/64 or around 0.047". I would expect to be doing thousands of them.
    All other screws would be 18-8 stainless as well, but could be any size. Metric/standard socket cap, flat head etc...

    I guess I would be also be wondering:

    1. How long to expect the drill bit to last.
    2. How much/ what kind of coolant is needed for this.
    3. How long to expect drilling for each hole



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    Default

    I would post this in the "General Material Machining Solutions" section. I think you will get better responses in that area.


    Also IDK about EDM machines but I am surprized no one has meantioned a EDM machine.


    Are you trying to drill the lenth of the bolt,, or just through the side of the head for adding a saftywire? It almost seems it would cheaper to buy the bolts with the hole already in them, or maybe your trying to find a way to just do it cheaper than buying them?


    Also I have a feeling there may be more to this than meets the eye. Could drilling this hole effect the strenth of the bolt, could they need additional treatment after such a machining op?


    Jess

    GOD Bless, and prayers for all.


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    In order to drill these bolts efficently you would need a 20,000 rpm machine to get the surface footage and chip load to make your drill work for you. Without the correct speed and feed you will prematurely wear out, or more likely break a whole lot of drills. Finding an EDM shop that has a plunge machine would be your best bet. If this is lucrative enough for you, it may pay for you to buy an EDM machine.

    EDM is a rapidly growing industry. The technology is not new, but it is emerging as the victor as the most effecent and cost effective method of manufacturing small, difficult parts and accurate holes and bores, beating out the more expensive waterjet technology.

    Last edited by FIVEAXISBILL; 03-14-2012 at 04:11 AM. Reason: mispelled word


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    Default Look at CNC drilling machines or custom automation.

    When you start talking about thousands of parts you are in a different league than retrofitting a few hundred bolts. A few hundred you could do easily on a manual lathe, a few thousand would be OK on a CNC machine, get into the hundreds of thousands and you might want to look into automation.

    When it comes right down to it your volume will dictate which way you go here. Frankly this is a job that can most likely be farmed out cheaper than pursueing a DIY solution. I'd look for a company that can make custom screws for you.

    The other alternative is to buy off the shelf screws. I've seen such screws listed before in industrial supply catalogs and companies specializing in vacuum components.

    Last edited by wizard; 03-14-2012 at 10:33 PM.


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    cobalt drill bits will do the job , the material is close to a 304 , you should easily be able to google the proper speeds and feeds



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