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Will Drill Rod make a good boring bar?

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  • Will Drill Rod make a good boring bar?

    I need a couple small diameter boring bars (under 1/2") I could go through the hassle of grinding them down from a tap, but I'd rather rough it out on the lathe, then just grind the tip...then harden the drill rod and use it.

    I've never really used drill rod for more than nice stock though.

    I've got a handful of O2 on hand I think.

  • #2
    At least as good as rebar. all steels have the same modulus of elasticity for all practical purposes. Therefore concern yourself with machinability .


    • #3
      I'm mostly concerned about it holding an edge.


      • #4
        I've used drill rod for boring bars, and it holds an edge pretty well. But it doesn't have the red hardness of HSS, so I don't push the speeds as much.
        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


        • #5
          Afaik drill rod is called drill rod because its a good hardable steel to make cutting tools out of (could be wrong). Boring bar should work decently, just as stated by lazlo, take it a little easyer on the SFM as its not as good as HSS.

          You can also of course buy preformed HSS boring bars, and carbide tiped ones.
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


          • #6
            Cost = 0, time and effort not much

            Use what ever you have in the shop for the boring bar and silver-solder a small bit of HSS (as the actual cutter) to the end of it.

            Or drill a hole in the end of the boring bar and silver solder the shank of a small HSS buggered end-mill into it.

            Cost should be zero and small time and effort with a big quick result.


            • #7
              Originally posted by snowman
              I need a couple small diameter boring bars (under 1/2")
              Got some old, dull end mills ? Sure you do. Use one flute as a boring bar, grind back the other flutes, or something like that.


              • #8
                Or you could just make the boring tool from it and use it. It will take a sharper edge than HSS, from what I understand, and it is called drill rod for a reason- tools that could drill are made from it- Chances are it will work fine within the proper range of SFM.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                • #9
                  I've got lots of broken taps and endmills, but in this case, I need a specific length, and nothing I have seems to work for it.

                  If I can't get it to work, I'll solder a piece of HSS to it...for some reason I hadn't thought of that. I don't do much cutting where standard tools don't work.

                  I had considered buying a boring bar, until I looked at the cost of them! Now I know why I buy most of my tools at auction!


                  • #10
                    You can buy a set of 4 steel boring bars that take HSS inserts for $20, or a big one like 3/4 or 1" for about $20~40, they hold the bit in place with a set screw

                    Or you can buy a 9pc set of 1/2" *brazed* carbide tiped boring bars for like $30 at verious places. They are supriseingly good!

                    I use both, the carbides for general roughing/turning, and the steel HSS bit holding bars for holding custom ground HSS bits for things like ID grooves and ID threading, etc

                    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


                    • #11
                      How deep do you have to go with the hole? If it's really deep you might try lineboring it that way you get support on both ends. I made a 1/2 boring bar that I use but it won't handle much more then 2-3 x's diameter before it starts to chatter pretty hard even on light cuts.
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                      • #12
                        Sure, you can make a boring bar out of drill rod. The only thing is, you need to keep the cutting edge cool so it won't lose its temper. Otherwise, it should work fine.
                        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by snowman
                          I've never really used drill rod for more than nice stock though.

                          I've got a handful of O2 on hand I think.
                          I make odd ball cutting tools frequently from drill rod. lots of content here on it...get the shape you want while annealed, heat it red hot, hold for a few minutes, quench in oil. shine part of it up and temper to yellow (a step i sometimes forgo and use them dead head will no ill affect). The critical part is unlike hss, it will loose its hardness at a very low temp...its almost more a concern with grinding the tool (woodworkers have those slow wet wheels to keep things like plane blades safe), but you have machine with it slowly as well. if machining, including grinding, temps get high enough to take the tool to tempering colours...well, your tempering it


                          • #14
                            Most older machine shops had a small gas forge somewhere. Cutting tools were forged as needed from whatever high carbon steel was available. I have quite a few bits made from old files, number/letter stamps and whatever came to hand. Nothing went to waste.

                            Drill rod makes perfectly acceptable tooling, and can be forged or bent by heating to produce tools for odd cuts that cannot be made with HSS or carbide tooling without spending hours at the grinder.
                            Jim H.


                            • #15
                              what type of drill rod are you referring to w-1, 0-1 or a-1 or 2 ? thanks. kevin