DIY Question - small project.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Arnold, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have a patio table with an umbrella hole in the middle. It is exactly 1" smaller in diameter than my patio heater support pole. The table is aluminum. I'd like to widen the whole. One friend recommends using a jigsaw. I'm not a big fan of this idea because I'm a klutz. I was thinking it would be better for me to use a rotary rasp followed by rotary grinding. The above mentioned friend believes this will not work because the drill will be too slow.

    Advice?
     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Hole saw. Buy one in the size you need. As for the drill, speed is not what you need for cutting through metal (even something soft like aluminum).

    I'd not use the jigsaw either. A rasp is going to be tedious and still hard to get round.
     
  3. Gary

    Gary En-Route

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    Seems to me a hole saw would give the best result. If one time use, maybe don't need an expensive one.

    https://www.mcmaster.com/Hole-Saws/for-use-on~aluminum/for-use-with~drill/tooth-material~carbide/
     
  4. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    Exactly. Hole saw is the answer. You could do it with a jigsaw and metal cutting blade, but a hole saw is the best solution. Clamp a piece of plywood over what you're trying to cut, mark the center of your cutout, and go to town. The piece of plywood will serve as a guide for your hole saw, since there's nowhere for the pilot bit to engage in the table.
     
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  5. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hole saw seems to be the popular answer.
     
  6. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Has anyone mentioned a hole saw yet? That's what I would do, cheapest, best solution IMO. A Greenley punch could work too, but would set you back a few bucks.
     
  7. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Or get off the grid and do it like your grandpappy would have

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2021
  8. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup, files are wonder tools, if you have the patience.
     
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  9. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Neither of my grandad's would have hesitated to hire someone else to do it. My dad on the other hand would have done it himself. But not when he was my current age.
     
  10. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    Hole saw is the proper tool for the job. Tin snips may work depending on the thickness of the material but the hole wouldn't likely come out as eccentric. I'd find a grommet to fit the heater pole and make the cutout to fit the grommet od.
     
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  11. Daleandee

    Daleandee Line Up and Wait

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    Exactly. You will need a guide for the hole saw to follow. Likely 3/4' plywood to give a good lip to keep the hole saw blade in proper alignment.

    A rotary rasp or a Dremel tool would work but that only makes life harder than it needs to be.
     
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  12. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Since it sounds like a one-time use, you might find a half saw for less money. It’ll take a little longer than a whole saw, but...:D
     
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  13. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Eff it..sawzall.
     
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  14. biplanebob

    biplanebob Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Plywood clamped under the existing hole, hole center marked on the plywood. Drill thru plywood with 1/4" drill bit.
    The 1/4" hole will act as a guide for the hole saw pilot bit and in turn, the hole saw.
    Bob
     
  15. timrb

    timrb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I bet "eff it" are the most common words uttered before the Sawzall comes out.

    Tim
     
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  16. Daleandee

    Daleandee Line Up and Wait

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    If you want to make a really ugly hole while making life both harder with much more danger just use a fly cutter in a hand drill ... :stirpot:

    OK, don't do that as it would cost more in medical expenses than a new table all together! :yikes:
     
  17. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Hole saw, actually 2 of them. This video might help you be less klutzy / center the hole.

     
  18. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Use a hole saw, and use a piece of thin plywood for practice to make sure the hole it cuts is the right size. As has been mentioned, cutting speed isn't that important. They make cutting fluid for use on aluminum, use it.

    Cutting a truly circular hole would be difficult with a jig saw. Once the post goes into the hole, it'd be VERY obvious where the saw went outside the lines.

    Using a rasp would be amazingly tedious. You could undercut with the jig saw then rasp it to final size, but that STILL will take a long time and will likely look a bit ugly.

    Go to your local big-box hardware store and see if you can find some rubber gaskets the same size as the pole. This will help hide the cut area. I've got a toilet "spud gasket" on my airplane, covering the hole where the gas tank filler neck sticks up.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  19. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    There are thermoplastic snap in grommet inserts of various sizes available, they are used for cable passages in desk tops. If your pole is close to the ID of the grommet, it'll make a nice clean finish for the sharp edges left by the hole saw.
     
  20. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    All great advice. Very helpful, thank you.
     
  21. vkhosid

    vkhosid Cleared for Takeoff

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    No one has suggested heating up the part in question and melting away the "extra" metal? Alternatively, you could take a giant pair of channel locks and squeeze the larger diameter pole to fit the smaller hole.

    If neither of the aforementioned methods strikes your fancy, then I would agree with the hole saw. And, as someone just pointed out a few posts above, get two bits: one that is sized for the hole you need, and the other sized for the hole you have. Use both bits simultaneously so that the smaller bit will be the "guide" for the larger bit, as shown in the video.
     
  22. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne Final Approach

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    That, or the cutting torch.
     
  23. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    Since it is aluminum and unlikely to shatter (I think) would it be okay to put the whole saw where I want it and just smash it with a sledge hammer? Sort of a poor man's hydraulic press.
     
  24. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Only if your spouse will hold the bit to ensure it doesn’t move.
     
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  25. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I assured lady friend that with all the kind advice I've gotten that I could do this. She is skeptical. Knows me too well:mad2: I'd be in very hot water if I ruined the table she gave me as a house warming gift. :stirpot:
     
  26. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How big is the hole you need to make? Smashing the hole saw with a hammer probably won't work, just break or bend the hole saw.
     
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  27. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good excuse to get a plasma cutter. ;)

    (Seriously, though, a hole saw would be my tool of choice )
     
  28. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

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    I see what you did there.
     
  29. Daleandee

    Daleandee Line Up and Wait

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    Great minds think alike as my experimental uses a "seat to bowl gasket" around the oil filter where it fits through the baffling. Works well ...