Drilling holes in steel

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Old 09-15-03, 06:46 PM
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Drilling holes in steel

I am up against a task I am not sure how to go about it. I need to drill 7/8" and 1-1/4" holes in 3/8" thick steel. I am not sure what is the best tool for it, or even if it can be done. Any suggestions are welcome.

I have a drill press available but don't know of any bit to use.
 
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Old 09-15-03, 07:04 PM
jeff moralez
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A 7/8 drill bit will do for the smaller hole however you might try torch or plasma for the larger. If niether are available you might consider a metal cutting hole saw of apropriate size.
 
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Old 09-15-03, 08:44 PM
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Use slowest speeds you can and get some tap magic or rapid tap fluid. How many holes are you going to cut?
 
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Old 09-15-03, 08:47 PM
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yursparky:

A hole saw would work but they aren't really designed for that thick of material.
If you do try a hole saw a slow speed would be best and use light pressure and a cutting fluid of some kind.

If your drill is a larger one the chuck may be fastened to the shaft with a taper lock fitting.
If it's a standard taper lock a machine shop supply can provide you with a bit to fit your press.

Just remove the chuck, get the correct bit and insert it in the shaft in place of the chuck.
 
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Old 09-16-03, 07:37 PM
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Thumbs up

Thanks to all for your replies.

As it turned out the holes I needed didn't have to be exact sizes mentioned, so I just cut them out with a torch.

But thanks again.
 
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Old 09-20-03, 06:38 PM
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I need to make a 4 1/4" cut into a steel sheet (Side of a computer). Ive dont this before with my 118mm hole saw but now its like the bit is dull... Ive only made two holes with this. Before I made the mistake of using a hand drill. Now Im using a drill press. I was going at the lowest speed possible and got almost no where. Is my drill not giving enough torque? What kind of cutting fluid should I use? Thanks

James
 
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Old 09-20-03, 11:15 PM
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Electricians have need for large holes, they use a device called a "knockout punch".

Greenlee
 
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Old 09-21-03, 06:43 AM
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James:

Is the hole saw you are using perhaps one that is for wood? Also you have to use a very light pressure with a hole saw. If you try to make the hole too fast the bit will surely burn.

I find that if what you are cutting is at a very slight angle the bit has an easier time.
If what you are making a hole in is placed on a board and an object the thickness of a pencil is placed under one end of the board, the saw will have an easier time of biting into the metal.
Just make sure the drilled object is held securely.

You can go out an get a water based cutting fluid or use just about any kind of oil. Make sure you control the feed to minimize smoking.
 
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Old 09-21-03, 08:53 AM
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Thanks Greg. I was actually thinking about setting it at an angle. Im pretty sure my old hole saw is destroyed. Going to get a new one at Home Depot today. They do not have any kinda of cutting fluid listed on their site though. Do I have to go some where special to get it? Also, how do I apply the fluid??
 
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Old 09-21-03, 10:10 AM
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James:

I would use regular motor as a cutting medium. Just make sure you don't heat it up to smoke too much. The slight smoking will tell you that your bit is just at the point of being too hot.
There is a slight fire hazzard so make sure your working area is clean an no flammables are nearby.
Mind you, I have done this many times, with heavy smoke when the going got tough, and have never ignited oil this way.

Just use caution and make sure your work is secure, you wear gloves and keep your hands out of the way.
 
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Old 09-21-03, 10:47 AM
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CUT HOLES

James

Dont think that Pc case is very heavy.We have all kind of things to cut that hole that you can use.

If you drill or slice cut the metal and you can use offset aviation snips. They cut up to 18 gauge
Then there is a hand nibbler cutting tool it will cut up to 18 gauge.
Then there is the sheet metal hole cutter.Will cut up to 20 gauge
a hole 2" to 12" on the small one .This runs off your standard drill. ED
 
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Old 09-21-03, 01:59 PM
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I gave up on the hole saw =( My Father's drill press just couldnt give enough torque at low speeds, kept locking up. I just used the hole saw as a marker and then dremeled the hole. The initial cuts the hole saw made were actually a very good guide. The holes came out very round, just have to file them now. Thanks for everyones help though.
 
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