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Holes for instruments

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dirt t, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    Stop overthinking things and cut the holes,it is not a hard job.
  2. Cymro
    Joined: Jul 1, 2008
    Posts: 747



    Guys this is originally a plumber's tool used to cut holes in water tanks, copper and lead, a sharp good quality tool (mine is very old) will also cut holes in old fashioned water tanks made of galvanised steel sheet, take time, and use a woodworkers brace and a ply backer no problems

    My prefered method of powering the tank cutter.
  3. Thank's I think I'll use a hole saw and file to fit. I'll use a 3 1/4 " and a 2".
    Blue one I have a 1" fiberglass lip aprox 1/8" thick to mount dash in the car.
  4. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,538

    blue 49
    from Iowa

    You can also leave the wood slug in the holesaw to stabilize the pilot. I use particle board because it's easier to dig out when you're done.

  5. BIG-JIM
    Joined: Jun 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,378

    from CT

    Lots of useful info here guys thanks. Just not sure about the circle cutter idea. Hole saws for me all the way. I use lenox. They have never let me down.
  6. beater32
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 349


    I've just done mine. Used a 2" hole saw,finished with a flap wheel for the 2 1/16 gauges. For the 3 3/8 i used the closest holesaw i had,trimmed with snips till it was close. Then i grabbed a worn 5" grinding wheel and using a dressing wheel for a bench grinder to take it down to just under 3 3/8. Gives a nice flat edge to clean out the hole (carefully!) Think this is all getting over thought !
  7. truck
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 116

    from Brisbane

    I just took mine to work and used the water jet, perfect circle, perfect size.
  8. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 11,272

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    I understand. Mine is a steel body so it's a little more substantial there to begin with as well.
  9. I have something similar that I made and use in my mill, I like the wing nut idea on this one.
  10. stubbsrodandcustom
    Joined: Dec 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,707

    from Spring tx

    I use this circle cutter/ tank cutter/ fly cutter whatever you want to call it... just like pictured above... beats the hell out of hole saws etc... and adjustable so you dont have to go buy 2 or 3 different hole saws for 1 job...
  11. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    Member Emeritus

    All you guys are certainly doing it the hard way :D

    The easiest way is with a Q-Max cutter. leaves a perfect hole with no burrs or deformation.

  12. Curt B
    Joined: Oct 15, 2009
    Posts: 325

    Curt B

    Q-max cutter is a new term to me. I've always known those as knockout punches and although they work well you need more than a couple holes to justify the cost.
  13. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    Member Emeritus

    Not sure how much they cost in the US but in england a 2 1/16" Q-Max is $18, drill a pilot assemble the cutter rotate with a key and you have a perfect hole, what could be easier ?
  14. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    I've not found a 2-1/16" hole saw. Where did you acquire yours?
  15. Yup that is what I do unless I have access to a vertical mill and a boring head.

    Sometimes you have to take a rat tail file and clean them up a little bit.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  16. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    I use a hold saw to get close then die grinder to get finished size.
  17. Thank's for the replys
  18. Jim Stabe
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 179

    Jim Stabe

    I have 2 5/8" (2 5/8" hole) and 5" (4 5/8" hole) Autometer gauges. I layed it out using cardboard cutouts of the faces taped to the panel until I had everything where I wanted it then centerpunched the centerpoints through the cardboard through the compass point hole and marked the O.D. with a Sharpie. I had a 2 1/2" hole saw that I cut out all the locations including the large ones. I filed the small ones to fit and used a saber saw to cut out the large ones then finished with a file. Perfect fit for all the gauges and it took less than an hour.

    dash 021.jpg

    Dash 004.jpg

    Dash 010.jpg
  19. Fenders
    Joined: Sep 8, 2007
    Posts: 3,921


    I've known those devices as a Greenlee hole punch since the 1950s.
    I used them on aluminum panels back then but I think a hole saw would be better for a steel instrument panel.
  20. Bert Kollar
    Joined: Jan 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,112

    Bert Kollar

    I just made two aluminum panels with the same holes. Used a very slow speed on my drill press and the hole saws cut like butter. There are no 2 1/16" saws so you must use 2" and enlarge, I used a die grinder
  21. iammarvin
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,196

    from Tulare, Ca

    I beg to differ.....Milwaukee 2 1/16" holesaw , fits Lenex arbor.

    Attached Files:

  22. Crystal Blue
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 609

    Crystal Blue
    Member 2 1/16" Bi-Metal $7.22
  23. Crystal Blue
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 609

    Crystal Blue


  24. langy
    Joined: Apr 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,735

    Member Emeritus

    They will put holes in 1/16" steel easily.
  25. i made holes in my model a gauge panel to fit the socal instruments...i use the same way....
  26. landseaandair
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,473

    from phoenix

    Same method I use, picked it up from doing tile. Also does a good job keeping oil on the blade when cutting thicker materials.


  27. propwash
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 3,858

    from Las Vegas

    I do thank you.
  28. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,818

    Marty Strode

    This is the "Greenlee" punch I use, it has a 3.125" punch set installed here. The hydraulic pump, makes punching holes pretty easy.

    Attached Files:

  29. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,602

    from England

    I marked mine out with a fine marker, then used one of these:


    Then sanded the last fraction of an inch with one of these in an air drill:



    I guess it would work in aluminium or steel, the same as it does in 'glass.
  30. wingman9
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 804

    from left coast

    How about using something like Blair hole cutters? They are a broach and they cut a really accurate, round hole.
    Available up to 3"dia.

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