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Original poster: "Mark Broker" <broker-at-uwplatt.edu
> Good quality holes saws will cut aluminum (but not steel) if you
> with cutting oil and go slowly- don't let the oil smoke- if it
> getting the cutting teeth hot and will soon detemper the steel.
> RPM's and do not push hard, let the weight of the drill do the
Actually, I know from personal experience that even average quality hole
saws will work fine on standard mild steel. I have personally used an
"average quality" 1" hole saw to cut curves on the end of 1"OD AISA 4130
steel (about 30HRC), which is *MUCH* harder than any plate you'll ever have
to cut a hole in. Although it took a while (used a very slow spindle
speed), and I was only able to make a few cuts with one saw, it did work.
Had REAL cutting fluid been used instead of normal oil (it was all I had),
it would have worked even better.
A mediocre hole saw is only a few bucks (US$), so use it to cut the 5 or so
large holes you need in the steel, then toss it in the garbage. :-)
Actually water is the best lubricant for drilling and cutting holes in steel
or aluminum. It lubricates as good as oil, it cools 100 times better,
(You'll never burn up tools using water), and it does not leave an oily
mess. If you're worried about rust, just clean up the shavings and hit the
tools and work with a shot of WD-40 (Water Displacement). (Take it from a 20
year Navy machinist who is a friend of mine).
(new to the list)