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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 04-01-2002, 12:53 AM
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Drilling Stainless Steel


I am based in the UK and new to knife making. I am interested particulalry in making foldiers and have started out by making a couple of kits from Texas knifemaking supplies. That went well and I am now trying to make my first folder based on their small lockback design.

The difficulty I have is drilling stainless steel. I have a reasonable drill press but the questions I would like to ask are:
1 what sort of drills should I be using, I have seen 8% Cobalt, Titanium nitride coated and also solid tungsten carbide which are nominally for the printed circuit board industry. In the UK there is very little difference in price between a TC drill and an 8% Cobalt ?
2 What speed should I be using my drill at? The handbook recommend about 1100rpm for stainless and it will go down to 500? Particulalry when drilling small holes of 2mm or so
3 How much pressure should I apply when drilling ?

hope you can help

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Old 04-01-2002, 05:58 AM
george tichbourne
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I ignore the book and drill all small holes at lowest speed possible with lots of heavy oil. I use pipe threading oil from the plumbers supply. I prefer cobalt bits because they are tougher and less prone to breakage.
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Old 04-01-2002, 08:32 PM
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Everything George said.

Make sure the work piece is solidly clamped in place.

Use just enough pressure to produce chips, do not bend or flex the drill bit.

Reduce the pressure and "pulse" down again (like every 2 seconds) to reduce heat build up. Stainless can work harden easily.


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Old 04-06-2002, 09:20 AM
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Thaks for that, I will give it a go.

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