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Drill a clean 1/2" hole in a stainless steel sink

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  • Drill a clean 1/2" hole in a stainless steel sink

    We just bought one of those reverse osmosis drinking water filters that mounts under the sink and has a small separate faucet that mounts on the counter or back of the sink.

    To mount it where I want to, I need to drill a 1/2" hole in the stainless steel sink, which I am assuming is 304 or 316. Do any of you who have worked with s.s. have any recommendations for getting a clean hole? The sink is installed, so I'll have to use a hand drill. I've got a 1/2" Greenlee punch, but I doubt it could deal with s.s.
    ----------
    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

  • #2
    Single flute step drill should work for you. Unibit is one brand. Don't try with an old one though, it needs to be nice and sharp and run it slow for stainless.

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    • #3
      when i used to fit kitcens I used a bimetal holesaw....

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      • #4
        Originally posted by strokersix
        Single flute step drill should work for you. Unibit is one brand. Don't try with an old one though, it needs to be nice and sharp and run it slow for stainless.
        thats what i would use also
        https://www.flickr.com/photos/csprecision

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        • #5
          Use the punch

          http://www.greenlee.com/cat_docs/Holemaking.pdf
          "...do you not think you have enough machines?"

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          • #6
            I would use a 1/2" Greenlee chassis punch.
            Bolt underneath to leave the rounded edge on top.

            Edit: Where is the server and how did that British guy get his post in first?
            Last edited by MotorradMike; 12-08-2010, 06:11 PM.
            Mike

            My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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            • #7
              These things kick butt for cutting holes in sheet metal. Not overly high priced either.

              http://www.hougen.com/cutters/sheetmetal/Rotacut.html

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              • #8
                I vote for bimetal holesaw. That's what I've used, and it's a cheaper alternative to punches and Rotacuts.

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                • #9
                  Another vote for the punch. A little oil will ease things.

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                  • #10
                    Another vote for the punch. Did many a NEMA 4X electrical cabinet in Paper mills, (Stainless) the work great, everything else always looked a little chewed up. Good Luck

                    Ray

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                    • #11
                      I needed a carbide grinder burr for mine, it laughed a HSS drill bits. A carbide masonary bit should work also.

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                      • #12
                        As a plumber by profession I use a punch.Hardest part of this job is to drill the hole for the bolt of the punch. I find that if I center pop the sink real deep the drill goes through alot easier. To centre pop I put a wood block under the sink. I normally put the handle of my hammer under it and find I can pop the metal almost right through. This also prevents distortion of the sink as it is very thin
                        When I drill I use alot of force and slow speed. These sinks have a tendency to work harden.I start with a smaller drill and finish off with a larger drill.Literally takes a minute to cut with punch and is good for many sinks. I tried a hole saw and you can through it away afterwards unless you want to sharpen it

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                        • #13
                          The Greenlee punch. I make barbecues from Stainless Beer kegs and have found the best way to get the 1" holes for the gas lines into the kegs is with a Greenlee punch. I'll guarantee those kegs are tougher than any sink.
                          Mel
                          _____________________________________________

                          I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
                          Oregon Coast

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                          • #14
                            You're talking about the ordinary Greenlee punch made for mild steel? Greenlee makes a punch for s.s. but it's expen$ive and requires hydraulic drive...not what I have.
                            ----------
                            Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                            Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                            Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                            There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                            Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                            Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                            • #15
                              I have installed several of these units and have used both a good regular drill bit and bi metal hole saws and didn't have issues with either procedure.

                              While I always strive for as clean a hole as possible, it is not a prerequisite for a professional appearing installation. Unless one is using an old railway spike to "drill" the hole, the chrome base plate and washer that go between the sink and the faucet will hide about a 1 1/2" diameter area, so you'd have to really screw that hole up big time before it would be visible.
                              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                              Location: British Columbia

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