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Old 04-18-2012, 02:22 PM
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Drilling into Fiberglass

I am upgrading my radio, and adding an iPOD port. The iPOD adapter that I bought requires a 3/4 inch hold for the jack to be installed. I plan to put it near the radio, but it will require me to drill a hole. What type of bit should I use, and what should I watch out for since I have no room for error.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:23 PM
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tape it, drill in reverse
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:27 PM
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I would use a hole saw for drilling and agree with the reverse at least until your through the gel coat.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:37 PM
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I believe your supposed to use masking tape as well
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by willyt View Post
I believe your supposed to use masking tape as well
I always do and and if I can get to the back I mask off both sides.

The other nice deal if you have a friend, have the hold a vacuum to the area while you are drilling and vacuum up the dust.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbryan70 View Post
tape it, drill in reverse
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilviaMan View Post
I would use a hole saw for drilling and agree with the reverse at least until your through the gel coat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by willyt View Post
I believe your supposed to use masking tape as well

There you go. And def use a hole saw. Tape it with masking tape, and use the hole saw in reverse. It will prevent chiping and cracking of the glass.
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She always misses me and when I turn her on it is hard to turn her off! She is MC and she completes me! She is the first ride that wants it as much as I do!
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbryan70 View Post
tape it, drill in reverse
+2 on this answer......
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:08 PM
FrankSchwab FrankSchwab is offline
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1. Tape over it
2. Mark your hole.
3. Using a small bit (1/8 or so), drill a pilot hole. Run the bit in reverse until you're through the gelcoat, then you can switch to forward.
4. Enlarge the pilot hole using a larger bit - based on the next step, a 1/4" bit would work. Start in reverse until you're through the gelcoat, then you can go forward. You could probably start with the 1/4" in reverse, but that's not how I did it.
5. Using a Step Drill, drill the hole. No need to go backwards with these; they make a very controlled hole through the gelcoat. When you get to the 3/4" step, run the drill backwards and use the edge of the next larger step to chamfer and smooth the edge of the gelcoat.

I've done several 3/4" holes on my boat installing pop-up cleats, and this is so smooth and easy that I've never considered using a hole saw, or trying to run a 3/4" twist drill in reverse. The first couple of steps make small holes, but also hold the bit solidly centered in the hole as the next larger step is biting in.
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:40 AM
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Great advise guys! Never thought this was going to be an issue. I am glad this thread cought my eye. I am going to drill two 5" holes in my glass for speaker install, and install some new rocker switches in front of my throtle. Thanks!!
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2012, 09:58 AM
ctjahn ctjahn is offline
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Step Drill

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankSchwab View Post
1. Tape over it
2. Mark your hole.
3. Using a small bit (1/8 or so), drill a pilot hole. Run the bit in reverse until you're through the gelcoat, then you can switch to forward.
4. Enlarge the pilot hole using a larger bit - based on the next step, a 1/4" bit would work. Start in reverse until you're through the gelcoat, then you can go forward. You could probably start with the 1/4" in reverse, but that's not how I did it.
5. Using a Step Drill, drill the hole. No need to go backwards with these; they make a very controlled hole through the gelcoat. When you get to the 3/4" step, run the drill backwards and use the edge of the next larger step to chamfer and smooth the edge of the gelcoat.

I've done several 3/4" holes on my boat installing pop-up cleats, and this is so smooth and easy that I've never considered using a hole saw, or trying to run a 3/4" twist drill in reverse. The first couple of steps make small holes, but also hold the bit solidly centered in the hole as the next larger step is biting in.
I agree with the step drill bit...
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