How many drill bits does it take to drill a hole in a stainless bolt?
Sadly, this isn’t a joke. And the answer, in this case at least, was 11. The bolt I was trying to drill a hole in was the one that previously held the termination point for our jib sheet. With a hole drilled in the bolt, my hope was that I could use an “Easy Out” extractor to remove it, allowing for a simple repair job.
Note: The name “Easy Out” is a bit misleading, this time anyway. I’m not sure if the bolt has been put in with some adhesive or it is just corroded due to it being a stainless bolt in an aluminum track. Regardless, the bolt is still stuck in there at the time of this writing. Here is what I did learn about drilling stainless though from my friends:
- Have lots of sharp drill bits on hand.
- Use cutting oil to keep the bit/hole lubricated.
- Drill at very slow speed with a lot of pressure. Of course, lots of pressure breaks the drill bits which brings us to number 1 above.
Drilling the required hole in this bolt took about an hour of constant pressure. Let’s hope it was not all for not. I have been spraying it with PB Blaster hoping to break the bolt’s hold on the track.
Drilling a hole in this bolt was very slow going.
On other repair fronts, our new evaporator plate is “supposed” to be delivered today. I am not holding my breath. If the company I ordered it from comes through for us, I promised them a great review, and they’ll deserve it. If they don’t come through as promised…
Additional Note: As I mentioned in a previous post, our friend Jim was having parts shipped here too. He ordered his within hours of us ordering the evaporator plate. His stuff arrived here yesterday, overnight from the USA. Wow!
In other news, our new friend Corey, visiting crew on s/v Top O’ the World, left Boqueron to return home last night. It was fun hanging out with him for the last week or so. Hopefully he makes it back again in the not-too-distant future. That leaves Jim, once again, single-handing his 50′ ketch. That’s way more work than either Rebecca or I would like to have. Hopefully Jim continues to travel with us for a while though because he is a lot of fun to hang out with.
Lastly, as I had a bit of time to kill while locked up on the boat during the last rainstorm, I put together the following photo collage of some of the sky pics we’ve captured in the last few weeks.
If you’d like the full-size copy, suitable for a computer desktop picture, you can download it here:
Right Click and Save as… ZTC Skyscape Desktop Pic