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Old 08-07-2012, 05:04 PM   #16
Bill Kearney
 
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


Had you mentioned it was on a spigot I'm guessing most folks would've said to just replace it. I certainly wouldn't have brought up the drill press notion as it would quite clearly not work for that particular task.

Have dealt with outside spigots on old houses I can tell you it's usually best to always plan to replace it. If you get any resistance, quit while you're ahead. Because once you get it loose you often discover there are no standard parts for spigots. About the only thing you can do is replace a washer (with one that'll crap out MUCH faster) or try to repack the stem (which usually leads to the packing nut breaking).

But to the job at hand, you used too large a bit. Best to use a small one and then use an extractor bit to try and work the old fastener out. An extractor usually looks like a small drill bit but with backwards threads. The idea is as you turn it counter-clockwise it digs itself in tighter, further increase the surface area on which it pushes the old fastener.

Many spigots are connected by threads. This is often by using a short segment of threaded pipe back to a tee inside the house. You have to hold the tee on the inside and then turn the spigot outside. This makes it a two man job. If you can't get to the inside, well, you're going to have to get to the inside. Drywall and plaster are not that hard to repair. And botching a plumbing job that eventually damages inside walls will teach you this, but you can learn from everyone else's mistakes instead!
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #17
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


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Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
Mine is a screw on type, easy to pop off and replace if it ever fails.
Heh, which are supposed to be easy to pop off if they're installed properly in the first place. I've rarely had that luck.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:08 PM   #18
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


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Heh, which are supposed to be easy to pop off if they're installed properly in the first place. I've rarely had that luck.
Yes, but it was ME that installed it! Good for 50 years and more!

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Old 08-07-2012, 05:15 PM   #19
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


The key to drilling any metal is to use a bit that is very sharp, and is harder than the metal you are drilling into. Strength of the bit is almost completely irrelevant, unless you are unable to drill straight, in which case a bit that is hard but brittle can snap on you.

When a bit is referred to as a cobalt bit, that usually means the steel is coated with cobalt oxide or cobalt nitride, not that the drill is solid cobalt. Similarly, a bit that is referred to as a titanium bit is almost certainly coated with titanium nitride or a similar ceramic material, a solid titanium bit would be very expensive and would not offer any performance advantage over a coated bit. I have titanium nitride bits at home, they work well in metal, but like most bits require oil or water to keep them cool while drilling. Even titanium nitride bits, which are much harder than most steels, will dull quickly if overheated. If they are even slightly dull they don't drill worth a damn, and they are not worth sharpening, so you buy a new set of bits.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:59 AM   #20
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


That bolt probably only holds on the faucet handle.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:50 PM   #21
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


I put a union on mine. Do all the soldering on the bench now
To drill that I would agree with a smaller bit. I'm also not as convinced as you are that your bits are sharp. Cobalt will work well but be aware that they are very hard and also very brittle. You haven't lived till you try to get one of those out after it broke off. DAMHIKT.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #22
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


I have found titanium bits work well, but tend to flex alot when they are smaller. I also like cobalt bits as they have been the only thing I have been able to use to drill spring steel. My trick has always been to us a small punch to set a pilot, and while drilling, an excellent lube is transmission fluid or PB blaster works too, it helps to pull the metal away so the bit doesn't build it up on it plus prevents overheating. By the time you invest in decent cobalt bits, it would be cheaper to just replace the spigot. Easiest way is to shut off the water main, remove it from inside the house where it joins and take it to a hardware store to compare it.

There is no point in buying low name cobalt bits as they are still pricey, as I found that one cobalt bit can be as expensive as a set of titanium, but even titanium bits should drill through a screw.

Another big help is reverse thread drill bits, I use them with my screw extractors all the time.
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:08 PM   #23
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


You need a new drill it sounds like
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:07 PM   #24
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


amodoko, good thing you explained you really did want to learn about drilling into a bolt. This looked like a time when the question asked wasn't the question that should have been asked. Sure helps to explain why one wants to do something. I was in a thread the other day where OP wanted to remove lower spray arm in dishwasher. I had experience in doing that with similar model. Not difficult, but some easily breakable moderately expensive parts involved that are kinda difficult to describe without diagrams and/or a lot of verbage.My one finger typed response was more verbose than normal. Did I say easily breakable? Especially if one does not know exactly what one is doing (ahem) and did I say I had experience in removing the arm?Turned out what she really wanted to know was how to clean her dishwasher of possible mineral build up and possible glogging of spray holes. Broken $60 part vs $1 worth of vinegar and some tooth picks.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:16 PM   #25
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


I have a very similar challenge. I have rigged up something in my car intended to hold my phone. I have a mount for the phone that I want to attach to this thing I've rigged up.

There is a female thread inside a small nut. The phone mount has a male bolt that matches this thread, and needs to screw into it.

However,there is another bolt threaded into the back side of the nut, and I allowed it to come too far forward into the nut so it doesn't leave enough room to thread for the front bolt to grab. That rear bolt is mounted to a space on the dashboard with strong epoxy putty, so trying to avoid messing with it.

Instead, I'm trying to drill onto the rear bold from the front in order to shorten it enough for the front bolt to catch.

I tried a cobalt 1-8" bit, but it's hardly made a dent. I haven't yet tried to drill at half speed as someone suggested here. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. Some folks have mentioned carbide bits. Is this worth trying? Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #26
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


Why not just get a longer threaded standoff or spacer instead of that bolt? One with either threads all the way through. This being one such example: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Hex...B72?Pid=search

If they don't sell one short enough then just cut it to the desired length.

That or get a solid chunk of aluminum and cut whatever threads you need into it. A tap and die set isn't very expensive. Just remember to use cutting oil (a small bottle is likely a lifetime supply for most DIY folks). One tip, use a left-over medicine bottle that has an eyedropper as a means to apply the oil, much neater than just about any other way to apply it.

Or did you glue the nut onto the bolt? Epoxy isn't the best adhesive for this sort of thing, which is likely a good thing.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #27
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


The nut is sitting in a recessed inset that holds in place and keeps it from turning. It part a manufactured mechanism (ProClip) that a manufactured phone holder seat (ProClip) bolts into.

I haven't tried using cutting oil, so that's next.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:41 PM   #28
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


Unless you remove it from the car it would be unwise to use the oil in there. It'll stain. That and it's probably not going to work anyway.

Which mount is this? I've had various Pro-Fit and ProClip mounts over the years. None have required this sort of dance. There's almost always some other combination of mounting clips to avoid hassles like this.

Meanwhile, you didn't answer my question, is the nut in there already glued on? If not, remove it and just use a standoff to get your greater depth.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #29
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I need some help drilling into a metal bolt


Hi Amodoco, you don't say what type of metal the bolt is made of, where is it installed or is it loose held on a vise.
I really don't like to drill into metal with a battery operated drill motor unless it's a small project, you're putting that unit into a lot of stress. If you have an electric drill motor I think you would have better results.
a lot of things take place when drilling but none can be met by drilling by hand.
maybe I can help you if you are more specific. if you don't know the type of metal at least where does the bolt go on, how deep you're going. let me know and see if we can figure out something. take care stay safe,and "measure twice and cut once". Rico_44
sorry I hadn't seen the pic.

Last edited by Rico_44; 09-19-2013 at 10:16 PM.
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