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  • Drilling HSS/TOOL STEEL?

    I need to drill a 1/4" hole in a piece of 1/8" tool steel. Specifically a planer blade. I used a carbide burr and a Dremel to make a 1/8" hole however it needs to be bigger. Is a masonry bit the popular option?
    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by challenger View Post
    I need to drill a 1/4" hole in a piece of 1/8" tool steel. Specifically a planer blade. I used a carbide burr and a Dremel to make a 1/8" hole however it needs to be bigger. Is a masonry bit the popular option?
    Thanks
    I've done it in 1/16 blue spring steel with a masonry bit. Ain't pretty, a little triangular, but it worked. With the pilot you have, nice and slow should be fine.
    Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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    • #3
      There is a considerable difference between HSS and "tool steel".
      If the blade is "tool steel" you may have success using carbide depending on the knifes finished condition and material.
      If it is HSS you will find this tough going at best.

      Good Luck

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bented View Post
        There is a considerable difference between HSS and "tool steel".
        If the blade is "tool steel" you may have success using carbide depending on the knifes finished condition and material.
        If it is HSS you will find this tough going at best.

        Good Luck
        I'm sure I won't be able to tell the difference but I will just have to assume that a planer blade is tool steel.
        Thanks

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        • #5
          A planer blade is often both. Carbon steel body with hss edge. And if you try drilling one of each type of metal, you will be able to tell the difference!
          Southwest Utah

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          • #6
            You got the hole started , try to anneal it, just the sides of hole, then try drilling..

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            • #7
              Sharpen a masonry bit like a regular twist drill. Back the blade with Aluminum at minimum, preferably steel. A new backing spot for every hole. Force should be light enough as required to take a chip. Works ok for me on all-hard HSS power-hacksaw blades, but I won't try to deny I've destroyed a few in the process. I've also used unsharpened ones at higher speeds and just annealed the metal and bludgeoned my way through. I prefer to sharpen them first. Obviously silicon carbide or diamond wheels are preferable, but Aluminum oxide will work if you don't have to remove much carbide.

              Good luck.
              21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
              1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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              • #8
                I just go up the food chain, if the prey is HSS then preditor is carbide, seems to work
                mark

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                • #9
                  rather sharpen a masonry drill like a spade drill, if there is enough meat, that is. very often there is not.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by gellfex View Post

                    I've done it in 1/16 blue spring steel with a masonry bit. Ain't pretty, a little triangular, but it worked. With the pilot you have, nice and slow should be fine.
                    Pilot hole probably makes the whole project just more difficult.
                    Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                    • #11
                      I have a few 1/2" thick 1.5x6" HSS cutting tools. The actual compositon of these bits is unknown as they are unmarked; they came from a between-centers boring bar on some huge lathe. They grind and cut exactly like HSS - but the low-strength stuff like M1 or M2, not anything with cobalt.

                      I drilled two 1/8" holes in one of them. Used a pure carbide stub drill bit and it worked fine. Had to go very slow, with a lot of dark (sulphurized) cutting oil. Used a dremel stone instead of a punch to get the hole started.

                      So any carbide bit wide enough should work. Given the amount of resistance with the 1/8" hole, you're probably going to want to step drill in small incremements, like 1/64 or 1/32.
                      Last edited by thin-woodsman; 02-17-2021, 09:39 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MattiJ View Post

                        Pilot hole probably makes the whole project just more difficult.
                        yes, and there is a difference between spring steel and hss. you can do spring steel with a hss drill if you go slow.

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                        • #13
                          I have used solid carbide drills through case hardened steel and a broken HSS tap with good results. I also have a set of multiconstruction Bosch carbide tipped drills which have worked on steel which defied ordinary drills. One of these days, I will sharpen up some old straight shank masonary drills that are laying around unused for a long time since SDS made them obsolete.

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                          • #14
                            For this job, a solid carbide spade drill will walk right through it. Run it dry, and 250 to 400 rpm.
                            Kansas City area

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 754 View Post
                              You got the hole started , try to anneal it, just the sides of hole, then try drilling..
                              I've never tried it, but Guy Lautard, in one of his books, describes spot annealing by chucking up a nail in a drill press and spinning the nail head against the target spot and letting friction soften the spot. I'd imagine you'd want to do it as quickly as possible to minimize heat conduction to unwanted areas.
                              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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