Drilling into gelcoat/fibreglass

rafiki_

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I need to drill a run of 12 mm holes for lighting on my fly steps. Clearly this has the opportunity of getting messy, and splintering. What is the learned view of best way to minimise damage (apart from not doing it at all :)).
 

30boat

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Use one of these and if necessary run it backwards slowly to initiate the hole.
002CC2CA_zpsp4nvj8fq.jpg
 

David2452

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I need to drill a run of 12 mm holes for lighting on my fly steps. Clearly this has the opportunity of getting messy, and splintering. What is the learned view of best way to minimise damage (apart from not doing it at all :)).
I cut a lot of varying size holes in GRP, when a neat job is needed with no gelcoat damage my weapon of choice is a grit edged tile hole saw, I know they are available down to 1/2" as I have a couple. They do a really tidy job and are vey easy to use.
 

Marine Reflections

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I cut a lot of varying size holes in GRP, when a neat job is needed with no gelcoat damage my weapon of choice is a grit edged tile hole saw, I know they are available down to 1/2" as I have a couple. They do a really tidy job and are vey easy to use.


Second that and 30boat stating to reverse start.

To add a couple of tips if using normal drill bits (which you can) - put tape over the gel prior to drilling then mark the tape, this will stop any slipping.

Also if you can, countersink the hole slightly once drilled, it is said to help stop cracking.

Don't push hard or make the drill bite too fast, let it do its job without force, if it bites it will crack.

Wear some eye protection.
 

rafiki_

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19 Jan 2009
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Stratford on Avon
I cut a lot of varying size holes in GRP, when a neat job is needed with no gelcoat damage my weapon of choice is a grit edged tile hole saw, I know they are available down to 1/2" as I have a couple. They do a really tidy job and are vey easy to use.
Great. Can I get something like this at Screwfix?
 

Jamesuk

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I need to drill a run of 12 mm holes for lighting on my fly steps. Clearly this has the opportunity of getting messy, and splintering. What is the learned view of best way to minimise damage (apart from not doing it at all :)).


Tape the screw hole area, start small and build the hole to avoid any excitement.

It is easy really.
 
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