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Tips for Handling Custom Cut Stainless Steel Sheets in Pennsylvania

Stainless steel sheets are difficult to work with, but a bit of elbow grease can make the effort worthwhile. Users must handle each step in the fabrication process with the proper techniques and tools, or they risk ruining the entire project. Below are some tips for working with a Custom Cut Stainless Steel Sheet in Pennsylvania.

Drilling

For stainless steel sheets, only sharp cobalt bits will do for drilling. Apply the drill bit to the metal firmly and slowly, using plenty of lubricant. Start with a pilot hole of one-eighth to one-fourth of an inch wide, and gradually increase the diameter with larger drill bits. Steel gets harder as it is heated, and users should curb their impulse to drill faster as it’s easy to turn a cobalt drill bit into a red-hot projectile.

Threading

Tapping or threading drilled holes is very difficult, and it can seem counterproductive if the user breaks a tap off in the hole. However, steps can be taken to improve the odds of success. Spiral taps work better than straight taps because they remove metal chips from the hole during use. It is important to use sufficient lubricant and gentle pressure, frequently removing the tap to clear metal fragments. Some taps are available in three-piece sets, with each tap being designed to slightly enlarge the cut until the threads are the correct size.

Cutting

There are numerous ways to cut stainless steel from Toma Metals Inc. For a Custom Cut Stainless Steel Sheet in Pennsylvania, the easiest way is to use a plasma cutter. This electrical unit sends a thin line of superheated ionized gas through the steel, cutting it easily. While a plasma cutter is unaffordable for the do-it-yourselfer, they may be rented from some welding supply stores.

Rolling

Bending and rolling stainless steel requires special tools that are cost-prohibitive for many amateurs. Stainless steel is very tough, and tools designed to handle mild steel can only accommodate stainless at two-thirds the thickness. However, those who need steel sheets sheared, bent or rolled may be able to take them to a sheet metal fabricator who can handle the task for a nominal fee.