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Drilling Holes Through Rudder Pintle


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I plan to drill a small (about 1/8") hole through the top of my rudder pintles. This so I can use a circular spring clip to retain rudders on pintles (and not floating behind me).

I think the pintles are marine grade stainless.

Can anyone offer any advice on how best to do this.

I plan to (1) remove pintles from boat, (2) Pintles in vice, (3) centre punch, (4) hand drill small pilot hole, (5) hand drill with 1/8" drill (drilling slow speed).

Unfortunately I dont have a drill press.

Any assistance/advice welcomed.



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The only thing I would add is before you centre punch use a file to make a small flat towards the top of the rod then centre punch. The flat will make it easier to keep the drill centred. Use a brand new drill bit for the pilot hole with a lubricant with low speed, high feed i.e. push hard on the drill. Don't let the drill bit spin at high rpm/light load or you will work harden the stainless quickly. If available change drill bits for each pintle, don't resharpen drill bits under 1/8" diameter on stainless it is a waste on effort, you will work harden the pintle.

It's likely a small drill bit will fracture as it makes the exit hole on the far side of the pintle, have a back up drill bit.


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Good idea about filing a flat before centre punching.

The best cutting fluid i have found for stainless steel is iodine, if you have some betadine or similar in the medicine cabinet a few drops as you are drilling will do wonders.

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