I'd like to drill several very small (~0.015") but relatively long (~1") holes into a bar of stainless steel, as shown in the diagram below.

I did a quick check on McMaster and all the drilling lengths are much shorter (<<0.5") than I need. I'm not sure if it's feasible after all. How can I source this part, or machine it myself?


1 Answer 1


It should be technically feasible using EDM (electrical discharge machining). There are purpose-built EDM "hole popper" drilling machines made for this type of work - the actual drilling time would be about 5 seconds or less per hole.

Your OP says drilling "into" a bar to a depth of 1in, so it's not clear the holes are completely through 1in thick metal, or 1in deep blind holes in a thicker part. Laser drilling would be possible for through holes, but there might be problems getting an accurately controlled depth for blind holes.

Neither of these options is a "do-it-yourself" machining operation, of course.

  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, this hole is far too slender for a twist drill, but EDM can do it. $\endgroup$
    – Ethan48
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ There is a machine shop on campus I can bring this to. I'll have to see if they have an EDM. $\endgroup$
    – Evan
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 1:11

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