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Tips On Drilling Through Stainless Steel

Omkar Phatak Nov 5, 2018
Drilling through stainless steel is a job that must be executed with precision and care. Read on to know more.
For installing a new sink or a rack, drilling through steel is a skill that will come in handy. This is different from drilling through wood or a wall. It needs a considerable amount of expertise, which you can only gain through experience. If you are the kind of person, who likes to undertake small home improvement projects, then you must master this skill.

Drilling Tips

The instructions provided here are simple and straightforward to follow. They are generic instructions for any job, including drilling through sinks or sheets. Here are the things you will require:
  • Power Drill With Variable Speeds
  • Clamp
  • Center Punch
  • Hammer
  • Oil
  • C-Clamp
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Earmuffs
  • Drill Bits
  • Thick Tape
  • Metal File
  • Rough Cloth

Consult your local hardware storekeeper, for the best steel drilling bits. Let us talk about the actual procedure now.

Clamp With Work Surface For Firm Hold

Firstly, clamp your drilling surface firmly with a C clamp or a spring action clamp. This is very important as otherwise, your surface will move and vibrate. This may lead to a botched up hole and be the undoing of the whole project. So, clamp the surface firmly in place, before you begin. Make sure that the area you are drilling into, is easily accessible.

Mark the Drilling Target and Mask it with Tape

Next thing to do is make measurements and decide where exactly you plan to drill a hole or holes. Make a marking, using a colored marker, at the place that you intend to drill a hole.
Mark your target in 'X' fashion and proceed with masking of the area around it, with thick tape, to prevent damage. Before you begin with the next part of the procedure, make sure that you are wearing your safety glasses, gloves, and earmuffs.

Make a Small Dent With Center Punch

When you place the drill bit on a flat surface and begin drilling, it has a tendency to wander or slide away from the target. To prevent that, hammer a dent or depression into the target position, using a center punch. This prevents the bit from wandering. Make sure that you punch, right into the target position, by using a hammer with the center punch.

Go the Two Bit Way, Beginning With a Smaller Bit

Next is the setting up of machine and fixing it in the drill bit. Its diameter should commensurate with size of the hole, you plan to make. Try to make smaller hole, with a small drill bit first and then follow it up with a larger one. Choose a bit, half the size of the hole diameter. Pour some oil into the depression, made by the center punch.
Begin drilling, by exactly placing the bit's tip into the targeted position and holding it at an exact ninety degree angle, with the surface. Hit the power trigger and slowly sculpt through the metal, to create the hole. Do not apply too much pressure or the bit might heat up and blacken.
Apply steady and moderate pressure, while slowly drilling the hole. If you notice heating of the surface, stop and pour some lubrication oil. Make sure that you do not touch the surface, as it's bound to heat up.
Then, follow it up with drilling, using a larger bit, in the same way. If all goes well, your hand is steady, and you have applied the right pressure, the job should be finished in no time.

Clean Up and File Rough Edges

Once the hole is made, clean up the oily mess, after the metal has cooled enough. Remove all the rough edges using a metal file. While doing so, you might again want to mask the area around. With the filing done, your objective is accomplished.
Reading about things and actually doing them are two different things. Words are no substitute for action. You can only get a grasp of the drilling technique when you actually begin doing it. That is because it takes time to master the handling of a power drill. Be careful and methodical, and all will be fine.