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Technical drilling carpet

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatheadgary, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    from boron,ca

    this may be a dumb question but, how do you make a hole in carpet. with the sound deadening and jute backed carpet, how due you drill seat bolt holes through it. i have tried to drill with a drill bit and that just rips it up. i have heated up a welding rod and stuck it through it with mixed results.( smoke/fire). i have used a exacto knife which isn't much better. this isn't my first rodeo but, i have never made a successful job of this.
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 16,838


    If you can mark then remove it, you can use those hole punch tube thingies on the workbench. Otherwise I'd just use a utility knife and cut a small square for the hole.
    3340, Hnstray, mgtstumpy and 3 others like this.
  3. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,398

    from Oregon

    Making a cross/x with a knife over the bolt hole then cut back to leave hole open or you could try a sharp gasket cutter slightly bigger then the hole.
    gnichols likes this.
  4. Smokeybear
    Joined: Apr 20, 2011
    Posts: 325


    I place the seats in position before adding carpet or jute and pre-drill the holes. When the jute and carpet go in, I take an old punch and heat the tip with a torch and put it through the hole from the bottom. It goes through the jute and carpet easily and melts the edge of the holes so they don't unravel and I know it's in the perfect position.

  5. jazz1
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,496


    Soldering iron. Burn through, way easy. I also used soldering iron to punch holes through vinyl I covered my headliner as well.
    56don, indianbullet, vtx1800 and 6 others like this.
  6. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,892

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Simple. An awl and a mallet.
    The awl size will depend on the hole size.
    gnichols likes this.
  7. KJSR
    Joined: Mar 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,405

    from Utah
    1. Utah HAMBers

    I use a phillips screwdriver, heat it with a propane flame and melt the hole I need.
  8. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,164

    from Minnesota

    Went through this in the 60’s when installing add-on air conditioning to drill a hole for the drain hose on the underdash evaporator.

    Use a two lip drill and you will quickly pull a long string of carpet from each direction.

    Solution was single lip counter sinking drill.
  9. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,431


    If you are able to mark the hole locations & remove the carpet, you can clamp two pieces of wood (upper one with a hole to locate the carpet hole) over & under the carpet & drill through with a small hole saw. The wood keeps the carpet from "raising-up" on the spindle.
  10. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 8,996

    jimmy six

    I installed hundreds of seat belts in cars when I worked for Sears in the 60's. We used a punch and hammer. When tightened it rolled over the metal with the large OD fender washer that came with the belts.
    Reinstalling seats after carpeting, I run a bolt up from the bottom so I always get the exact place to cut the hole. Don't over think; just do it so you don't make a mistake...
    Special Ed likes this.
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,831

    from oregon

    Put a small slit in the carpet at location just large enough to insert short piece of tubing, run drill bit through tubing, drill hole.
    studebaker46, LM14, warbird1 and 2 others like this.
  12. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,307

    from Minn. uSA

    Sharpen some tubing to cut a nice hole. Can hammer it thru the carpet, or chuck it into a drill - which should leave a nice hole. Resharpen as needed. But you'll have to make a drill-chuck-to-tubing-adapter 1st. Have seen some commercial ones, same idea for cutting rubber mats, like conveyor belting. Still have to melt the edges of the carpet so's it won't "run". A steel /brass grommet might work instead of melting the edges.
  13. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 7,640

    Bandit Billy

    I burn em. On carpeted door panels I use a pointed awl, heat with torch, poke through the carpet and align the small hole in the door for the screws, works perfect.
    Bugguts, fordflambe and jazz1 like this.
  14. scotts52
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 2,276


    I used to run the drill bit backwards until I got through the carpeting and backing. Once I hit metal I'd turn the bit in the right direction.
    belair and woodsnwater like this.
  15. This is the correct way, if you run a drill bit into the carpet it will snag a thread and ruin your carpet. HRP
    deathrowdave likes this.
  16. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,967

    from Tampa, FL

    I like the cut Xs and / or awl approaches. Not sure about a lot of heat, but if it melts the synthetic carpet and keeps it from fraying, I guess so. Be sure the fire is out before you lock up the garage and head for home. Some of that shit can smolder for days.
    deathrowdave and Stephen Barrett like this.
  17. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 461

    from Louisiana

    Screw the seat bolts in by hand. Leave the heads sticking up. Lay over the carpet where you want it. Then just cut a small X with a blade over the bolt head. Done.
  18. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,376


    Hole/leather punches work if you can put wood under the carpet
  19. 56premiere
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,445

    from oregon

    From a professional point of view? Screw holes / bolt holes I use an electric soldering gun. Makes a nice melted edge , never seen a flame in over 50 years at it
    Bugguts, vtx1800, tb33anda3rd and 2 others like this.
  20. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,759


  21. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,761


    When my wife wanted seat belts in our second 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery, the whole area was carpeted. Under the seats and behind, matched the carpet in the back of the sedan delivery. My neighbor had installed some carpet in his old car and used an old Weller soldering gun with that curved blade that looked like a little toy pistol.
    I told him that I needed to install the seat belt bolts and huge washer. He suggested that I use the Weller Soldering Gun tip to open the hole as wide as I need for the bolt. The big washer could go under the bolt head and small hole in the carpet, so it would not be seen. The carpet strands would be melted and not fray, like drilling. It was simple and neat. Besides, it was a very small hole.

    After the installation, it looked like it came that way from the factory, only a 25 years later. Now, my wife would and could safely drive the 40 Ford Sedan Delivery with some seat belts.

    Back in those carpet days, in the car and home, I did use the same Weller Gun and tip to clear out a small hole between the short carpet strand coils. I could then run some speaker and cat 5 wires under and along a wall to another side of the room/car. It look neat, clean, and wireless, except wireless had not come out for many years later. (I did not have to pull up the carpet from the tacking board strips along the wall or take off the car door plates to run the wires)
    upload_2019-10-14_16-0-0.png The blade did have a tendency to fold together from over use. But it was of the longest lasting tool in our tool box and cabinet over the following years. It wasn't used daily and only for random projects, but it did finally quit working. Our tool cabinet area is more organized and therefore we now have a small tip Weller soldering tool.
    upload_2019-10-14_16-5-22.png The old hands don't have to hold that old gun style unit for long periods of time.
  22. Boden
    Joined: Oct 10, 2018
    Posts: 747


    Easy! Heat up a ice pic and stike er through.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  23. Stephen Barrett
    Joined: Sep 24, 2019
    Posts: 778

    Stephen Barrett

    I was going to make the same comment. I've ruined carpet using a drill before. I like the small X with a razor method the best but that's just me. I can see the burn method working also but I don't think it's necessary especially when using a washer over the hole.
  24. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 15,336


    More on drilling through carpet,
    Cut the X like suggested above, put a piece of hard line with id large enough for the drill bit through the X and drill. The tubing will keep the bit from grabbing the carpet and making a mess of it.
    If you cut the tubing to the right length it can also act as a stop to keep the bit from puting a hole in what ever is on the other side, transmission, gas tank, or whatever
    David Gersic likes this.
  25. flatheadgary
    Joined: Jul 17, 2007
    Posts: 845

    from boron,ca

    wow!! i guess it wasn't a dumb question after all. i have tried most of the ways in the replies. my concern is the holes are already drilled and i was going to heat up something and go up from underneath. it doesn't yet, but it will have the sound deadening and the jute/carpet backing on the floor. i was worried it will catch fire and burn up. i think what i will do is, put the sound deadening down and cut it however and then put the carpet down and cut it with the x way. i do like the soldering iron style.
    thanks for all the replies guys.
  26. I have also always used a hot soldering iron. Seals the thread so they don't ravel. Easy peasy.
  27. samurai mike
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 494

    samurai mike

    drilling carpet! is that what you kids call it now days?
    TagMan likes this.
  28. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,853

    from Phoenix,AZ

    Wouldn't this be a better idea ?
  29. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,726

    Special Ed

    Soldering guns should be used for soldering, not melting tufted carpet.
    After spending forty plus years in the carpet installation trade, I can assure you there's several good methods to do this (and many have been mentioned here), and lots of terrible ways.
    I'd follow the previous suggestions on here by cutting a small "X" with a utility knife with a fresh blade, drill your hole, then finish trimming the carpet, and finally sealing the cut edges with carpet seam sealer (latex).

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