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Old 06-05-2018, 06:32 PM   #1
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Sheet Metal Hole Drill Bit?????

What is the best and easiest 2 1/2 inch Sheet Metal Hole Drill Bit. I have to drill a vent pipe through the bus floor and ceiling and the regular hole saw bits take me 2 hours to drill one hole. I need your help with what drill bit will do this faster.

Thank you
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:07 PM   #2
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You need a hole saw. They fit in a drill and can cut through metal, although it will be a bit noisy.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:10 PM   #3
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I have used https://www.homedepot.com/p/Diablo-2...500C/206797332

Along with a Harbor Freight 1/2" corded drill with good success.

On heavier material I used a cutting lubricant as well.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:29 PM   #4
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2-1/2" holesaw
What regular holesaw bits have you been using?
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post

Along with a Harbor Freight 1/2" corded drill with good success.
Chicago Electric?

I bought one of those and a 2" Lenox hole saw bit to cut a hole in the floor......first time it caught an edge, it broke out the threads for the handle stud. Moved the handle to the other side. The second time it caught, it snapped the handle off in my hand. The third time it caught, it broke the internal shaft.

Took it back to HF, got another. This time I was drilling a 3/8" hole. First time it caught, it snapped the handle off. So I Loctited a 4" bolt to use as a handle, and it's been fine since then.

The only reason I bought it was to take some of the stress off my 20-yr-old Black & Decker, which just keeps marching right along.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
I have used https://www.homedepot.com/p/Diablo-2...500C/206797332

Along with a Harbor Freight 1/2" corded drill with good success.

On heavier material I used a cutting lubricant as well.
Agreed! I picked up a 2.5" and a 4" Diablo hole saw with their proprietary quick connect system as well a few months ago. I can vouch that these bits work great on cutting through the bus' floor and roof very easily. About 1-3 minutes per cut taking my time and trying to take about as close to 800 rpms as I could guesstimate.

Very clean buts with not barbs or sharp edges.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:13 PM   #7
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You need a hole saw. They fit in a drill and can cut through metal, although it will be a bit noisy.
I agree squid I've got a set of Milwaukee's but keep your drill speed down or buy a dozen extra pilot bits. Also feed slow and grip it well.
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Old 08-03-2018, 05:16 PM   #8
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I agree squid I've got a set of Milwaukee's but keep your drill speed down or buy a dozen extra pilot bits. Also feed slow and grip it well.
Also get a set of carbide burrs use to clean rough edges if your piping through sheet metal buy some rubber hose and a tune of 3M adhesive plot the hose lengthwise and line the hole with it to silence the pipe and protect the pipe.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:02 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=golfersmurf57 buy a dozen extra pilot bits. Also feed slow and grip it well.[/QUOTE]
My trick is do not drill the pilot hole with the holesaw. Use a 1/8 bit followed by a 1/4 inch bit then lube and the hole saw. Use the same trick for uni bits too.
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:31 PM   #10
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2 hours?!

Okay, That strikes me as unusual. I would assume ten minutes... I am curious are you using some thing that looks like this?
Alfa Tools 1-3/8" Cobalt Bi-Metal Hole Saw - IMS Bolt

william
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:19 PM   #11
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Okay, That strikes me as unusual. I would assume ten minutes... I am curious are you using some thing that looks like this?
Alfa Tools 1-3/8" Cobalt Bi-Metal Hole Saw - IMS Bolt

william
That looks like a way overpriced cheap holesaw
The saw is clamped to the pilot bit and it will spin at the first hang up. Milwaukee Diablos, Lennox, Blu Mol
are all quality brands and interchanable arbors. Low RPM and lubricant and the grip of Superman is what it takes to be successful with hole saws.
And I can guarantee, this is not my first holesaw rodeo
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:34 PM   #12
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Milwaukee Diablos, Lennox, Blu Mol
are all quality brands and interchanable arbors.

I've had great luck with Diablos. 12 bucks well spent, it works like a charm.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:14 PM   #13
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I've had great luck with Diablos. 12 bucks well spent, it works like a charm.
I have a well used set of Kleins down at the shop, thats why all the old holesaws have migrated home
Carbide for the win but they sure ain't cheap
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
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My trick is do not drill the pilot hole with the holesaw. Use a 1/8 bit followed by a 1/4 inch bit then lube and the hole saw. Use the same trick for uni bits too.
Even doing that, the 1/4" pilot hole can become enlarged by the pilot bit wearing it if the hole saw wants to move sideways, then you end up with an oversize hole. No bueno. I now drill the 1/4" pilot, then take out the pilot bit and instead use a length of plain 1/4" rod loose inside the arbor, but well oiled in there. The rod doesn't rotate in the work, only in the arbor. Perfect holes every time, even on convex and concave surfaces or even at an angle.

John
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:59 PM   #15
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I do the same

switch the pilot bit to a smooth 1/4" shaft to keep the center hole from getting any larger.

william
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:25 AM   #16
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Thanks for the tip! I never would have thought that.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:24 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=Iceni John;284525]Even doing that, the 1/4" pilot hole can become enlarged by the pilot bit wearing it if the hole saw wants to move sideways, then you end up with an oversize hole. No bueno. I now drill the 1/4" pilot, then take out the pilot bit and instead use a length of plain 1/4" rod loose inside the arbor, but well oiled in there. The rod doesn't rotate in the work, only in the arbor. Perfect holes every time, even on convex and concave surfaces or even at an angle.

John[/QUOTe

Hi John, what holds your spinning in the arbor pilot from falling out?
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:39 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by magnakansas View Post
switch the pilot bit to a smooth 1/4" shaft to keep the center hole from getting any larger.

william
I love this stuff user freindly and no horrible odors. They also make it for aluminum and thread cutting.
Personal favorite and maybe I should by some stock
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:39 PM   #19
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Always use cutting oil on bits and holesaws for long life of the tools.

If you drill slow the oil doesn't get thrown all over the place or do the cuttings. They can be hot so sleeves help and eyewear for safety.

And tempting as it might be when the smoke curls upward, try not to inhale, bad stuff as compared to other smoke.


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Old 08-10-2018, 02:18 AM   #20
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OK, I did not want to to let this out inthe interest of National Security, but, one time in the 1980's when Reagan was going for the 6oo ship navy I personally drilled a 1 1/4 inch hole through the hull of the United States New Jersey BB62 at the 03 level way forward in less than 13 minutes using a Milwakee 14 amp hole hawg and a blu mol hole saw and copious amounts of Tap matic lubricant for a condensate drain for the cooling coil for a SNAP II computer mainframe.
Do not know what the heck this has to do with a bus but hey...
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