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John DePaula

Old-Style Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink

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I have an old-style Enameled Steel Kitchen Sink. I want to replace the faucet with a new one but the holes are a different spacing than what was used in the 50s, the sink's vintage.

Hole sizes need to be about 1.0". The thickness of the steel is about 1/8". I think the faceplate will cover any minor damage to the enamel.

Can this be drilled? Can a plumber do this?


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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John, old sinks like you're speaking of can be drilled but it's very difficult. Ideally they should be drilled from the back side first. If that's not possible you need to take a small hand grinder and grind down to the cast iron were you intended drill. A small Dremel is very good for this. The porcelain coating is very hard at almost impossible to drill through, grinding it away allows you to just drill the cast iron. When you do the grinding mask off the area you don't want to grind with duct tape so that you don't damage those areas.

You might be able to get a plumber to do it but they're going to want you to sign something relieving them of all liability for damage.


I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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John, old sinks like you're speaking of can be drilled but it's very difficult.  Ideally they should be drilled from the back side first.  If that's not possible you need to take a small hand grinder and grind down to the cast iron were you intended drill.  A small Dremel is very good for this.  The porcelain coating is very hard at almost impossible to drill through, grinding it away allows you to just drill the cast iron.  When you do the grinding mask off the area you don't want to grind with duct tape so that you don't damage those areas.

You might be able to get a plumber to do it but they're going to want you to sign something relieving them of all liability for damage.

Thanks. By all accounts, it sounds like it's difficult/impossible to do the job without a professional.

I thought I might try a 2-pronged approach: get a drill bit designed for enamel and drill just until I reach the metal; then, get a cobalt drill head to drill out the metal part. Unfortunately, these two items will cost more than the faucet itself.

But right now, I just don't have the time...


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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This doesn't apply to your problem, because you're needing 1-inch holes and the bits will be quite expensive. However, I once added a 1/2 inch [iIRC] hole to an old enamel-coated steel sink for a water filter line, by first using a ceramic tile/glass bit and then switching to one that was for the steel. It's not a difficult task, simply a tedious one due to your having to lean over the edge of the sink to ensure your drill bit is perpendicular and doesn't go skittering off target, and having to go slow. It took a bit of time, but all it really takes is patience. The masking tape tip worked for me, as well.

It took me a year to screw up my courage to take the drill to the sink - I was afraid of cracking the ceramic....

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