Today's work, drill out the Hardie and Pritchel holes. So far, that hardox 500 is some really hard stuff especially the closer you get to the edge where welding occurred. I drilled some 3/16 pilot holes in the top plate going all the way through without a bunch of trouble using a short titanium coated hss bit. It was slow but once through the hardox, it was smooth sailing as the body is 1018 steel. Stepping up in size is where it has become more difficult. The 1/2" 3 flute end mill I have said no way Jose! A carbide bit running slow in the air die grinder won't touch the hardox either and started to take the top off of the burr teeth. I have been using a bunch of oil for lubrication while drilling and blowing out chips during the process. I haven't looked yet but I'm thinking hardox work hardens and the welding around the perimeter likely caused further hardening. Just my observations. I could be completely wrong? I know hardox mentioned that heat treating or heating up their product can alter its hardness and toughness so it's best to use it in its manufactured state. Hardox also said that welding and machining does not change the characteristics when heat is controlled. I do have some diamond bits and that might be my only option being a Sunday working on this. If I can get the hole enlarged past the hardox, the rest should be reasonable easy to enlarge being mild steel. Any machining thoughts?
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