Wiring Shop with steel studs


Old 04-04-05, 09:33 PM
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Wiring Shop with steel studs

Hello, I'm trying to figure out how to run wiring through steel studs in my detached shop at home. There are no pre-fabbed cut outs on these 2x6 steel wall studs. Is there a 'punch' tool that can do this or am I stuck drilling through each one. Also, once holes are made, must I use armour cable,or can I use grommets in the studs and use regular wire. My shop already has a 200 amp service, a welding plugin and one 110v plug, no insulation, or drywall yet. Or...would it just be better to run the wire through plastic conduit on the surface of the walls once they are finished? Any suggestions are appreciated.
Old 04-05-05, 05:49 AM
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I used a Greenlee chassis punch which produced holes the perfect size for the grommets they sell for steel studs. A bit tedious, though, since you still need to drill pretty big holes to use the punch.

There is a "stepped" drill bit they sell for drilling large holes in sheet metal which could also be used (Home Depot here sells them in the electrical tools section, along with the Greenlee punch).

I only had a few holes to make (I used the steel studs with the holes built in) so the tediousness was not that big a deal. I believe there is a big scissors-like punch (which is quite expensive) made for "production" work - you may want to see if you can rent one of these...
Old 04-05-05, 10:32 AM
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Those stepped drill bits are nice. Get one of the ones that steps up quickly (ie, each step is significantly bigger vs lots of tiny steps). I've used them for metal (not specifically metal studs). They are probably faster than the punch on thin metal. If your studs are heavier guage the punch may be better.

Be sure also to bond your metal studs to ground...

On the stepped bits...once you determine which step you want to use, mark it or the next step with a magic marker so you can tell when you get to the correct diameter.
Old 04-05-05, 02:55 PM
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What about running the wire vertically down the stud spaces you want to be in and running wire horizontally above the walls? Obviously, this will depend a lot on the other construction methods in this building.

Last edited by ibpooks; 04-05-05 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Grammar
Old 04-05-05, 04:45 PM
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ib, that would be a good idea, but I have 16' walls, so going up and down the walls would waste a ton of wire. Mark.

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