Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: North Florida
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Re: Howto drill center of a rail.
Don't forget to center punch the holes before drilling (to keep the bit from wandering) and to use sharp drill bits, lots of coolant, and a slow and steady speed that always keeps the bit cutting fresh metal. If the bit makes a pass without taking a cut it will work harden the stainless and dull the bit.
Alex's advice is worth reading several times (the better to remember it when the time comes to drill.)
I'd strongly recommend forking out the extra money for a good drill bit (cobalt as a minimum; harder would be better.)
In addition to the slow speed, you need to really bear down on the bit. You want to see those long ribbons of cut metal coming up the flutes of the bit. If all you're getting are little chips, then you aren't applying enough pressure.
If the hole you are drilling is bigger than 1/4", consider doing it in a couple of passes. Use a small bit first, followed by a larger bit to enlarge the hole.
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'85 BYB Vagabond 39