Installing 2 River County 3" Therms

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by thebig1, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    So I picked up two River County 3" thermometers with a 4" stem.  I went to install them and found out that the holes which are already there for the current thermometers are too small.  The River County therms call for a 13/16" hole.

    What kind of drill and bit do I need to drill through my New Braunsfel smoker lid to open up these holes?

    Oh btw, I've looked at Lowe's for such a drill bit and there's nothing for any drill that I currently have.

    Chad
     
  2. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    A step drill bit would do the job-but they're not cheap. About $40 at home depot.
     
  3. sota d

    sota d Smoking Fanatic

    If you have a harbor freight near you, they have them for $20.
     
  4. hillbilly jim

    hillbilly jim Meat Mopper

    A 7/8" hole saw will do nicely also.

    Those River Country therms are very nice. They're user calibratable which is a must with me.
     
  5. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    I like that feature too Hillbilly.  So fellas, I can use my 18v cordless drill with a 7/8" bit to drill this hole?
     
  6. hillbilly jim

    hillbilly jim Meat Mopper

    With a fully charged battery, you should be able to. When the pilot bit breaks through, be prepared for the hole saw to catch and hang, twisting the drill. Don't push too hard, just go steady.
     
  7. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Howe big are the existing holes? If they are bigger than the pilot bit on the hole saw, the hole saw will walk on you. Your best bet is a 7/8" HSS or Titamium HSS bit, or a step bit. My step bit set came from Harbor Freight and it was less than $30 for two bits.
     
    hillbilly jim likes this.
  9. hillbilly jim

    hillbilly jim Meat Mopper

    Dirt brought up a good point I didn't think of. Good thinkin' there, Dirt!

    Points for that!
     
  10. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    Yes, I believe that the holes there now are probably somewhere around 1/2" to 7/16" as I'm not measuring them at the moment.  Maybe a step bit is the way to go on this.
     
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A single HSS bit 7/8" in size should run you around $8.00. Lube it up with some light oil and drill away. The exiting holes will work as a pilot. I drill steel and wood all day long with my 18 volt Makita drills no problem.
     
  12. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    Where do I buy this at, Lowe's?  I found a 2 piece set of step bits at Harbor Freight for $20.
     
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You should be able to get one at Lowes, Home Depot, Ace, possibly even Harbor freight, if you are looking locally. Online you can get one from Amazon. Step bit would work too. They are nice for drilling oddball sized holes.
     
  14. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Sailor, as well as everyone else, I'm going after work to get something before I go home to clean and put the smoker away for the week.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  15. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Case is right on. If you use a standard hole saw with a threaded arbor, get a second hole saw the same size as your existing hole and thread it inside the 7/8" that you need. The smaller hole saw will act as a pilot and keep your 7/8" from walking. I have done this many times.

    Sometimes the uni-bit will chatter and cause a "ruffled" hole. They work better on a drill pres, but I don't want to hold your smoker up to the press.
     
  16. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

  17. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks Tropics, I was looking at that one too but it's too small.  I need 13/16" and/or 7/8".  I found one on there though.
     
  18. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    Well it worked amazingly. I truly appreciate the input. Picked up a two piece step bit set at Harbor Freight and hooked it up. Also picked up a new digital caliper for reloading while I was there but we don't need to mention that to the wife. In my defense it was on sale.

    River Country terms are installed. They were reading 100 degrees so I think that I'm going to have to calibrate them again. I thought that I'd already done that.
     
  19. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    With my smoker being black, like most of them are, my therms will read 100- 110* anytime on a hot day.
     
  20. thebig1

    thebig1 Smoking Fanatic

    I thought that too but the sun wasn't out and it was probably around 80. Now maybe it heated up from the drill or was hot and stuffy inside. I'll just be sure to check it the next time I uncover it.
     

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