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Cutting very hard Stainless Steel sheets

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  • Cutting very hard Stainless Steel sheets

    I have quite a few stainless steel sheets about 1/8" thick about 18" x 24" in size. These sheets were used in plastic blow molding. These sheets are like spring steel, extremely hard to cut or drill. Drilling 1/8" holes with HSS bits, the bit needed sharpening every two holes. I tried a carbide tipped masonry bit but the tips breaks at the end of the hole. A solid carbide spade bit also broke. When cutting with an acetylene torch, the metal melts in a pool and drops through leaving a jagged edge. Grinding produces small particles flying all over the place. This metal is practically unworkable.

    I would like to cut this in 3" strips and bend in a circle and weld a plate on the top for covering water sprinkling valve boxes. Is there anyway for me to do this?

  • #2
    You might try a plasma cutter. They do wonderful things. Hope this helps.
    Don\'t ask me to do a dam thing, I\'m retired.


    • #3
      We have something similar its a ss alloy that has lots of carbon you can try marking out your holes and heating the spots to cherry red heat and let them cool down naturaly and then try to drill them usig a hss bit be sure to use some water to cool the bit as it will work harden ahead of the bit.Another trick is to put a glob of spit on the drill bit and use a slow speed with lots of pressure and when you see the spit boil off stop and spit on it again and so on.This will help you keep the bit from over heating.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        Plasma cutting is the best way to go for cutting into strips and making the holes. If the stainless is like spring steel it will be hard to bend into a circle and hold the shape without anneling it first. Sliprolls are the best way to form a circle from a strip of metal. What is the stainless alloy?

        For what you are going to use it for the cheapest thing might be to go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy the plastic housings and covers made for that purpose. They are not expensive and work fine.


        • #5
          What you have is most likely a high temperature refactory metal and not stainless at all. Probably Hastelloy-R, Inconel-X, R-235 or some other miserable cuss. I think WJH has the best and most cost effective plan.

          [This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 02-26-2003).]