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Drilling a set screw?

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by Gfrost, May 9, 2017.

  1. Gfrost

    Gfrost United States Active Member Active Member

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    Well guys,

    I have almost completed my first project on the lathe, An outboard lathe spider!
    I have done all the turning and have it threaded to screw onto the outboard end of the spindle.

    Last night I started to make the set screws until I ran into an issue-drilling into the end of them to put brass ends on them. I essentially killed a small center drill and two drill bits. So this morning I heated those set screws to cherry red and let them cool on there own and will try to drill again tonight.

    I have watched a couple of YT videos about drilling hardened steel and it seems that a couple of things work but not very well.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated
     
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  2. strantor

    strantor United States Active User Active Member

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    Maybe what you did will work, but I've never tried to anneal something so small. I wonder if it would still cool too fast.

    If you find they're still too hard, maybe try drill and thread a piece of stock, insert set screw, and anneal the whole thing. Would cool much slower.
     
    JR49, mikey, Toysinthehood and 2 others like this.
  3. jbolt

    jbolt United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I used stainless steel set screws on mine. Easier to drill.
     
  4. Gfrost

    Gfrost United States Active Member Active Member

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    Yeah, I got what was readily available here in town. I wanted 1" and actually ended up with 1.25".
    If I have a lot of trouble I may just order some with the brass ends already on.

    The fun is in the Journey, right?!!


    Gary
     
    brino likes this.
  5. Gfrost

    Gfrost United States Active Member Active Member

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    I was actually having a hard time finding one that I could order an inch long.
    MSC had some that I was going to order, than I found these in town!
     
  6. darkzero

    darkzero Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Don't know what size set screws you are using but a solid carbide drill bit should do the trick.

    I just used flat point set screws on mine but then again I haven't used it on anything where the surface finish was important like a gun barrel or something.
     
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  7. WesPete66

    WesPete66 United States Active User Active Member

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    Brass set screws are available too, but maybe not locally.. We use them for orifices in projects at work, drill em to size. Found out long ago that the shop guys didn't like trying to drill steel set screws!
    On another application where a set screw clamps down on a thread, a nylon pellet gets dropped under the set screw.
     
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  8. talvare

    talvare United States Ted A H-M Supporter-Premium

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    A center cutting carbide end mill will go through that set screw like butter.

    Ted
     
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  9. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The less expensive import screws may be easier to drill? McMasters sell the set screws with nylon tips. Not sure which sizes.
    Can't imagine that a carbide drill won't be able to cut through a set screw.
     
  10. Gfrost

    Gfrost United States Active Member Active Member

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    Well, what I did worked. That being said, I didn't like the way they came out so I am going to re-do them after I correct an issue with the Morris taper drill chuck.
    Went ahead and order some stainless set screws, got it my head to make these rather than just buy them!
     
  11. EmilioG

    EmilioG United States Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    What type and size of drill are using?
    Let us know how it goes.
     
  12. Gfrost

    Gfrost United States Active Member Active Member

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    Well, I have completed my first project. I did have to re-make it once since I screwed up the threads(difficult to test for fit when it's the lathe that it needs to fit)
    Well lets say the threads weren't complete when I removed the piece from the lathe and couldn't get the piece back in the lathe correctly to pick up the threads accurately enough, so I actually went and bought a larger diameter hunk of aluminum in 7075 rather than 6061 which ended up much nicer to work with. I probably should have made a male test thread slug but it worked out the second time and was able to get it to screw onto the spindle.
    I did open up the hole in the door so that I could attach the spider without having the door open and am able to open the door with the spindle attached to engage the back gear, not with work in the spider but I think I should be able get the door open enough to engage the back gear
    P1000098.JPG
     

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