View Full Version : stainless steel holes?

06-08-2004, 07:59 AM
Hi all;
A friend of mine (yeah I got a couple) is rebuilding a dump truck and has a piece of stainless thin plate, and has tried to drill holes in it with a hole saw with dire results, for tail lights... Soooo, I told him I have a lot of buddies that would have the answer for him, cause they is smart. GO FOR IT!!!
jim http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

06-08-2004, 08:08 AM
Thin stainless,we have some at work,hard as all get out,but thin they make that stuff in spring tempered too,maybe check it with a file first.

The holesaw would work if you can turn it slow enough,I'm assuming your trying to make the gasket mounted light holes?Then their about 3-1/2" if I remeber right,you would need 40 rpm and lots of coolant to pull it off.

I'm leaning towards a plasma cutter,it just needs to be a round hole thats close to size,not flying to space size.I drill an 1/8" hole for my center point and then find a washer to fit around the cup on the plasma cutter,tack a 1/8" piece of weld rod to it and bend a 90 in it out at the radius I want and cut away.Instant circle burner.

Alternative would be a Greenlee knock out punch like used for making holes in electrical cabinets.Or a jigsaw,2,000 blades,patience and some coolant http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

06-08-2004, 08:53 AM
How about a punch and die. Check with a electrician they have lots of Greenlee punches and those punches work great.

06-08-2004, 09:57 AM
I made a dealie to go with my plasma torch, it consisted of two washers and string.

You drill a hole, insert a bolt for pivot with washer and string on it. Put another washer on torch and tie string to it at proper radius.

Torch away holding string tight. Perfect round hole.

BUT, then if you don't have a torch, a holesaw will work, just remember that spinning too fast will work harden stainless, go SLOW and add lot of coolant.

When drilling the pilot hole or hole for knockout punch use a lot of pressure on 3/8" drill bit and just bump the trigger. You will be surprised to see as the drill just pulses and barely turns it throws a shaving curl. Stainless is not usually that hard, but if you work harden it, look out.
You can use 1 drill bit per hole or follow the above directions.

I usually let the younger guys ruin a bit or two before showing them the trick. That way it sticks instead of sliding out thier brain hole.

I work with stainless electrical cabinets all the time, no problems.