Drilling Stainless Steel

I want to drill a 1.25" hole in a sheet of (probably) 12ga stainless steel. I'm not sure of the grade but it's the type commonly used for commercial (restaurant) range hoods and tables.
How do I go about this? Hole saw? Carbide tipped? 3/8 electric drill? Do I need to use a drill press? Slow speed? High speed? Water cooled? Oil?
TIA
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Use a hydraulic punch.
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SpamFree wrote:

You need a "Greenlee punch". They are frightfully expensive, but you might can rent one, or hire an electrician to punch it.
Bob
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Alloy is probly 304 or 316 series.
I would probly use a drill press with a hole saw--a good one--no junk, use High Speed Steel ( HSS ), and run at a fairly slow spindle speed (~100 / 200 rpms) using sulphur oil.
Running too many rpms in stainless will burn up a hole saw pronto, with resultant work hardening of the nickel in the stainless alloy.
An easier way might be to just take it to an electrical contractors shop and have them do this using a knockout punch.
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SVL



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This is Turtle.
Go by any Auto body shop repair shop and have them cut the hole for you with their Plasa cuttier. They use it to cut finders off to just replace parts of them or cut out slots to make the fenders fit. Just mark out the hole with a line to cut on and he will pop it out of there in about 30 seconds. It will not heat up the metal at all to leave hot metal stains or discolorations at all. $10.00 and a thank you will usely Get-R-Done.
And no you don't need one for a good one will run you about $300.00 or more.
TURTLE
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On Sun, 15 Aug 2004 02:53:38 GMT, SpamFree

I don't know much about stainless steel. I've used chassis punches on 1/8" aluminum and thin steel. Here's one on Ebay, but do the research to find out if it's adequate for your material.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&categorys116&item833448477&rd=1
If it's OK the only other things you'll need are a (big) adjustable wrench and a way to immobilize your work.
Greg Guarino
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SpamFree writes:

Does it have to be pretty or just ugly?
One hole, ugly, you can hack out with Dremel abrasive wheel and stones.
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You say you want to drill "a hole".
For this I would use a hole saw, turning slowly and cooled with oil.
If you want to drill a bunch of holes it might be worth investing in a carbide tipped hole saw.
Stainless is bad about retaining heat and most drill presses turn too fast for this size of hole.
Lewis.
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