Cutting Hole through 3/16'' 306 Stainless
Close
Login to Your Account
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    British Columbia
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Exclamation Cutting Hole through 3/16'' 306 Stainless

    Good Day

    I am in the process of building an instrument air test bench. I'm looking to find a hole saw or punch set that is capable of creating a 2 1/2" hole in a 3/16" thick (and what I beleive is) 306 Stainless bench.

    I have tried a greenlee ultra cutter, that is allegedly for cutting steel, but the teeth have already worn out.

    Any tips for getting through this stuff?

    Thanks

    Kevin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Kansas
    Posts
    22
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    50
    Likes (Received)
    9

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,401
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    179
    Likes (Received)
    946

    Default

    I don't think any Greenlee panel punch is going to do the job. They are made for pulling holes in relatively thin mild steel. It sounds like you may be lacking in the tool department so if it were me I would drill a series of holes and connect the dots. File it smooth when you are done or use a carbide bur to clean it up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    California
    Posts
    316
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    196
    Likes (Received)
    213

    Default

    Most likely 304 S/S. 306, AFIK, is not a thing. The cutter was probably up to the job but the speed was way too fast. Calculating (CSx4)/D, (40x4)/2.5= 64 rpm. I'm assuming you were using a hand held power drill? Even a Bridgeport won't go that slow. Punching that hole would take more tonnage than you can muster with a wrench/knockout punch (I've forgotten the calcs on tonnage). Even the hydraulic power-pack punches are limited to about 10 ga. in mild steel, less in stainless. A mag drill with rota-broach might be an option except 300 series stainless is not magnetic.

    I'm thinking you might have to plasma an oversize hole and make a lighter gauge bezel ring to fit, then bolt or weld it to the table.

    If this stuff was easy, anyone could do it.
    Last edited by MrWhoopee; 02-13-2020 at 04:46 PM.

  5. Likes atomarc liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Oregon
    Posts
    3,035
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    603
    Likes (Received)
    2125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KGM View Post
    ...I have tried a greenlee ultra cutter, that is allegedly for cutting steel, but the teeth have already worn out.

    Any tips for getting through this stuff?
    Looking at that Greenlee hole saw, it doesn't really look up to the task. They describe it as made for cutting conduit.

    You've already burned up one hole saw, there's a good chance you've work hardened the material. (It's probably 304 or 316, no such animal as 306.)

    Get a couple Lenox bimetal hole saws, flip the piece over and work from the other side. Go SLOW, lean on it, and use lots of cutting oil. It will dull, so when it stops cutting, switch to a sharp one.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    41
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KGM View Post
    Good Day

    I am in the process of building an instrument air test bench. I'm looking to find a hole saw or punch set that is capable of creating a 2 1/2" hole in a 3/16" thick (and what I beleive is) 306 Stainless bench.

    I have tried a greenlee ultra cutter, that is allegedly for cutting steel, but the teeth have already worn out.

    Any tips for getting through this stuff?

    Thanks

    Kevin

    Id be looking into getting it cut out from a plasma or water jet or laser. When you get to that size, hole saws just aren't economical.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    340
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    753
    Likes (Received)
    223

    Default

    Watch this video on drilling SS

    YouTube

    And then a Greenlee should do it

    Got to clamp your work down solid!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Se Ma USA
    Posts
    1,635
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    126
    Likes (Received)
    906

    Default

    I would laser cut. But I have a laser.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eureka, CA
    Posts
    3,808
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    779
    Likes (Received)
    1352

    Default

    Kevin,

    Welcome to the forum. That material work hardens pretty easily and using a hole saw too fast will be the kiss of death. Annular cutters that large are very expensive and you would need the proper drill or machine to utilize one. I don't think a Greelee punch would make it through 3/16" stainless.

    I would try another, new hole saw using the same pilot hole, but from the other side of the material if possible. Run it slow, keep it cooled and see what happens. You may have to switch to a new hole saw part way through the chore but the trick is to go slow, keep the saw cutting, don't let it skid without making chips or the material will harden and kill the saw again. Slow and good pressure on the drill to keep it cutting.

    Stuart

  11. Likes morestainless liked this post
  12. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Tucson AZ
    Posts
    6,421
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    9752
    Likes (Received)
    3023

    Default

    Still waiting for details of "306" stainless.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    28,788
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8935

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KGM View Post
    Good Day

    I am in the process of building an instrument air test bench. I'm looking to find a hole saw or punch set that is capable of creating a 2 1/2" hole in a 3/16" thick (and what I beleive is) 306 Stainless bench.

    I have tried a greenlee ultra cutter, that is allegedly for cutting steel, but the teeth have already worn out.

    Any tips for getting through this stuff?

    Thanks

    Kevin
    Unlikely you even have acess to anything SLOW enough and with the "push" to make a hole-saw or annular-cutter do the do. Believe it or else, HAND rotating a cutter with a tommy-bar or ratchet and a draw-up bolt instead of a pilot could get through that sheet more rapidly than too-fast-burn-it-up POWER. See Old Skewl pipe threading, et al. Tedious, but it let even High CARBON Steel dies last for years.

    As a table or bench top can be a tad unweildy and waterjet and laser are not necessarily "portable"?



    Cheap and cheerful is a skilled hand with a plasma cutting rig that usually IS "portable"..

    Your failed hole-cutter attempt is the line to follow. Clean-up the sharp edges and burrs with air or electric die grinder.

    Insert nice-looking bezel ring.

    Go do something more difficult.
    Last edited by thermite; 02-13-2020 at 07:44 PM.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wisconsin
    Posts
    156
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    211
    Likes (Received)
    141

    Default

    Last month I needed to cut a 1.25" hole through some 1/8" mystery grade stainless sheet for a car project. I used a cheap Dewalt hole saw. Kept the rpms down, kept it cutting, and a few squirts of cutting oil. I also sandwiched it between two pieces of 3/4" oak to help guide the saw at the beginning of the cut.
    80497007_10218236849527499_7722553882009665536_o.jpg

  15. Likes atomarc liked this post
  16. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    28,788
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8935

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paulz View Post
    Last month I needed to cut a 1.25" hole through some 1/8" mystery grade stainless sheet for a car project. I used a cheap Dewalt hole saw. Kept the rpms down, kept it cutting, and a few squirts of cutting oil. I also sandwiched it between two pieces of 3/4" oak to help guide the saw at the beginning of the cut.
    80497007_10218236849527499_7722553882009665536_o.jpg
    3/4 pine - or plywood scrap - wudda done easily as well, 3/8" ply, even.

    Seasoned White Oak - commercial high-grade stair treads right useful all-around - can ruin a hole saw easily as fast as Stainless, if not faster.

    Oak just ain't all that happy with cutting fluid nor oils, yah expect to USE it for sumthin' cosmetically decent.

    Shop air can help. Cold weather, yah can even get free shop heat, yah ain't keerful? Mind the smoke, though...


  17. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Midland, Texas
    Posts
    1,521
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    512
    Likes (Received)
    783

    Default

    I hate fly cutters, but I think that might be a good option for you, IF you have a drill press. Go slow, don't force it. Cut part way through, then flip it over and cut from the other side. Do NOT attempt this if you are using a hand held drill!

  18. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    28,788
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7561
    Likes (Received)
    8935

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    I hate fly cutters, but I think that might be a good option for you, IF you have a drill press. Go slow, don't force it. Cut part way through, then flip it over and cut from the other side. Do NOT attempt this if you are using a hand held drill!
    More better you should KEEP ON "hating" fly-cutters than to attempt to use one on grabby SS without a seriously stiff and stout rig back of it!

    Better-off to nibble the b**tch with an oscillating saw, brazed carbide grit blade. BTDTGTTS.. rectangular cutout for an ignorant electrical outlet, to be precise as to a safer, if slower Pain In The Ass.

  19. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Eureka, CA
    Posts
    3,808
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    779
    Likes (Received)
    1352

    Default

    BILL,

    Your nutso syco-bable is going to drive the OP over the edge for Gods sake! It's obvious you haven't been there..or even remotely done that, or you wouldn't be saying the shit you're saying. Give this guy a break and let him succeed (or fail) on his own.

    Stuart

  20. Likes Gordon Heaton liked this post
  21. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, New Hampshire
    Posts
    8,214
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1935
    Likes (Received)
    5793

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    I hate fly cutters, but I think that might be a good option for you, IF you have a drill press. Go slow, don't force it. Cut part way through, then flip it over and cut from the other side. Do NOT attempt this if you are using a hand held drill!
    Given the OP's lack of experience and equipment, I'd think a single-edge flycutter would be a poor choice for cutting this hole. Even a good drill press doesn't have the spindle/column stiffness needed to maintain uniform edge-to-part relationship, and without a center spigot maintaining centration it wouldn't take much to have an offset-induced grab and break.

    From everything I've read so far, I'd go with drill a periphery of smaller holes and file/grind the hole round. Lowest entry bar, relatively safe (with good eye protection), and doable with basic tools and skill.

  22. Likes Mtndew liked this post
  23. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,434
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    268
    Likes (Received)
    519

    Default

    My vote is to chain drill it and clean it up with a die grinder and file.
    I cut a rectangle hole in a 11 gauge panel using this method worked good.

  24. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    1,759
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1048
    Likes (Received)
    809

    Default

    2 1/2” is just not that big a hole, shouldn’t be a problem with a Couple of 10$ BI metal hole saws like a Lenox. Yep, go slow, use lube! A decent cordless on low, and use maybe 1/2 of that low speed at the most. Starting from the backside is good advice.

    The cleanup after “chain” drilling would really be a pain.

    Fly cutter, no, don’t do it! In 3/16 S/S I wouldn’t do it on the BP mill even.
    I’d still use the holesaw. Gullets get jammed up with swarf so you need to peck a lot, but you can’t beat the price. (Yes, it’s not a tight tolerance tool, I know!)

    That is too big for the “smaller” more common magnetic drills, and as mentioned the annular cutter is like 100$ or more, (non-magnetic surface isn’t a problem tho, just clamp a steel plate to it).

  25. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,401
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    179
    Likes (Received)
    946

    Default

    Many years ago I worked in a machine shop filled with European machinists. It was actually a company based in Hamburg Germany. Most,if not all,the machinists used a mixture of 12/1 water/epsom salt for drilling stainless. This was over fifty years ago and I still use it today. For those dyed in the wool skeptics out there...try it and see for yourself.


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •