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Technical PISSED OFF Cutting Gauge Holes

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Clik, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,841


    I bought a new Craftsman hole saw to cut gauge holes in a nice stainless steel dash panel I made. The first hole went fine but by then the blade had already dulled out, the pilot hole started to hog out and the hole saw started tracking off center and screwed it all up. Aaaarrrggghhhh! :(
    loudbang likes this.
  2. inthweedz
    Joined: Mar 29, 2011
    Posts: 387


    Did you have the stainless sandwitched between two sheets of ply / core board??
    That would / should have stopped the pilot drill wandering..
    Plus don't force the cutter, put on pressure, then release, more pressure, then release etc etc, that should save the cutting teeth..
    Dirty Dug, chop job, Hnstray and 6 others like this.
  3. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,199

    from kansas

    Here is a old trick/ tip, drill the center hole 1/4", replace the drill bit in the hole saw with a 1/4" steel dowel rod.

    Now the dowel rod acts as a guide only, don't have to worry about the drill bit drifting around and enlarging the center hole.
  4. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,126


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  5. oldiron 440
    Joined: Dec 12, 2018
    Posts: 1,507

    oldiron 440

    Plasma cutter with a circle cotter.
    Bandit Billy likes this.
  6. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,344

    from illinois

    Slow the bit,/ hole saw down ,just turn the pilot bit around once the hole is drilled and use water to keep the hole saw cool ...
  7. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,690

    from Oregon

    Great tips and 3 ways to skin a cat .:)
  8. thirtytwo
    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
    Posts: 2,628


    Gotta go low rpm on stainless once it gets hot it hardens then fucks up your cutter
    Boneyard51, Tim, INVISIBLEKID and 9 others like this.
  9. Mark Wahlster
    Joined: May 21, 2016
    Posts: 39

    Mark Wahlster

    Granted not cutting stainless. but what I did to add two holes to the dash of my Willys Jeep was to first drill a pilot hole 1/4 exactly center where I wanted the holes. Then I took 2) 1" thick blocks of Micrata Hardwood would work) 3" X 4" and drilled 1/4" holes 1 1/2" from one end I took one of these and drilled it out to 2" with the hole saw on my drill press. I then made a 1" thick Micarta round on my lathe that just fit into the hole cut with the hole saw I used a 1/4" hole for the mandrel. I then using a 3" long piece of 1/4 Rod stacked the Block with the single 1/4" hole behind the Dash the 2" round to the outside of the dash put the block with the Hole saw cut 2" hole around the round piece and then using Vise grips I clamped the two blocks together with the dash sandwiched between. I removed the 2" round and put the 1/4" dowel in my hole saw rubbed a little lubriplate on it and with a little Cutting oil on the hole saw cut a perfect hole maybe a 1/32" undersized for the gauge took a 2" drum sander on my drill and made a perfect 2 1/16" hole for my new gauges.

    Hows it look? they are the two Gauges on the right

  10. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 1,097


    You most likely know this, but didn't give any specifics about the hole saw that you bought. Hole saw blades are not created equal. You need a good bi-metal hole saw. I have had good luck with Ridgid, Dewalt, and Milwaukee. And as mentioned, don't use too much RPM. Many drill presses are too fast on their slowest setting. I wound up putting a jack shaft on mine to slow it down and rigged up an inexpensive RPM readout. The other tips above are all good.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  11. Hey Brian,
    Those knockout punch sets are cool,,,work great too .
    But,,,every time I see the term Swag I get tickled.
    Some old guys I know that retired out of the nearby (Nashville ) aircraft plant used to tell stories of things that go on day to day .
    They said that the aircraft engineers used the SWAG term to describe something they were not completely sure of the outcome ,,,,,Scientific Wild Ass Guess .
    I still laugh when I see Swag,,,

    Boneyard51, j-jock, Hnstray and 2 others like this.
  12. Probably bought that Crafstman at Lowe's? I get pissed everytime I go to Lowe's. Crafsman years ago use to be a quality brand as we all know, then Sears did the switch to made in China quality with retaining the higher prices in a huge failed experiment. I'm not sure why Lowe's figures they can do better than Sears did selling made in China tools at higher pricesAnother fail we'll all get to watch imho. Harbor Freight is the only one that does it right. Cheap tools at cheap prices. With that said, not everything Craftsman in made in China. I absolutely love my Craftsman riding lawnmower........made in the USA. Rant over.
    I'm curious if the op was using the hole saw in a drill press or a hand held drill, and as mentioned, with stainless, a coolant or cutting oil is a must.
    Boneyard51 and dirty old man like this.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,076


    I made the dash panel out of aluminum, sawing holes in it was easy....
  14. rustydusty
    Joined: Apr 19, 2010
    Posts: 1,546


    I gotta ask, why do you need 17 switches on the dash of a Willys Jeep??
    49ratfink, BJR and Blue One like this.
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,041


    Here's a bit of a hack trick. Holesaw getting dull is common, and if you look close it's the leading edge that takes the worst of it. Run it backwards for a few moments. Not hard, but some pressure. Let it cool, then go back at it and you'll be amazed. The reverse direction sharpens that edge. It's not a permanent fix but you'll get the job done. Also, thin stuff, rather than anticipate the breakthrough and tweek up the sheet stock (whatever it is) stop and reverse, again. That last few thousanths of sheet will still get cut by the holesaw in reverse and the teeth won't grab and twist it. I like wax as a cutting lube. Mrs Highlander saves me her candle "bones" just for that.
    Boneyard51, bobss396, Hnstray and 8 others like this.
  16. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,164

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    Toss it out. Buy Lenox carbide hole saws for your panel. They’re expensive, shop around for prices, but they go through stainless like butter.

    I got one of mine from Amazon, the other from Zoro.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  17. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 6,587

    from Nicasio Ca

    Sounds like you found your speedometer hole location.
  18. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,164

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL


    Here are the hole cutters:

    They cut slightly under size for the gauges I used (VDO), I had to open them up a hair with a die grinder. Used some inexpensive abrasives from Menards for that part.

    I started out trying to cut with a bi-metal saw. An hour or so later, all I had was a dull saw, and a 1/32” deep start on cutting through 1/8” stainless plate. I’d still be working on it with a bi-metal.

    With the carbide cutter, even on my under powered, over fast inexpensive bench top drill press, it was a few minutes of pull handle, and done.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Boneyard51 and neilswheels like this.
  19. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,515

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Mistake #1. Craftsman is junk. You should have got a good hole saw, Milwaukee are decent quality.

    Mistake #2 not doing this. Never run a hole saw using the pilot bit still in place.

    If you were using a hand drill that would be your next mistake.

    Given that you were drilling and hole cutting stainless you should have had the panel securely fastened down and run the hole saw at a slow speed on the drill press using some lubrication.
    Boneyard51 and 1956 F100 like this.
  20. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,033

    ramblin dan

    I used the panel sandwiched between a scrap piece of plexi glass and wood underneath and had a boring tool I made in way back in high school shop class. Put a tool steel cutter from a lathe in it I bought at industrial tool supply store. Worked great.
  21. Find an electrician with a greenlee punch.

    Sent from my SM-A102U using Tapatalk
    49ratfink, brjnelson and Boneyard51 like this.
  22. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 1,592

    from norcal

    Boneyard51 likes this.
  23. Speed and feed is everything with a holesaw. Better too slow RPM's than fast, fast will kill it in no time fast.
    ekimneirbo and Boneyard51 like this.
  24. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,978

    Dave Mc

    I use WAX around the cutlines to lubricate and preserve the Teeth on my cutter, holesaw or sawblade , works for me
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  25. chimp71
    Joined: May 29, 2014
    Posts: 3


    When hole sawing or punching stainless steel I found that the saws and punches last longer using a product called AnchorLube. It is a bit difficult to find, try an industrial supply house or check online.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  26. gatz
    Joined: Jun 2, 2011
    Posts: 1,458


    ^^^ Amazon has Anchor Lube... kinda pricey tho'
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  27. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,841


    Yeah, the Crapsman hole saw didn't run true right out of the package. I've used hole saws where the pilot bit is only fluted part way and then serves as true pilot.
    The punch sets are nice but way too pricey for one time use, especially when you have to buy a ram on top of the punch set.
    This area is limited to Lowes and Harbor Fright so anything of quality has to be ordered on-line.
    Now to find another piece of stainless or switch materials.
    Texas57 and Boneyard51 like this.
  28. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,344

    from illinois

    I can usually get scrap stainless from the sheet metal shop , most I've ever paid is $5 .....hydraulic punch setup and dies ...+$150.
  29. Lowe's use to carry the mentioned Lennox, maybe still do.
  30. lcfman
    Joined: Sep 1, 2009
    Posts: 219

    from tn

    Those hole saws that the big box stores and hardware stores are no good for anything but wood. Milwaukee sells a good carbide hole saw . The ones with cutter inserts are the best. The ones that have the teeth as part of the body are just about worthless except for wood.

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