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Old 07-20-2018, 07:10 PM   #1
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Hole saw or step drill

For those of you that have mountain turn signal markers on the side of your coaches did you use a hole saw on the Storage doors or a hole saw? I have finish the wiring and mark the areas for the lights, placed masking tape on the areas to be drilled, just a little worried about drilling.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:20 PM   #2
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My extra lights are all on the fiberglass panels around the rear tires and the front and rear cap. I used a step drill. If I was going thru the aluminum cargo doors I would definitely use a step drill for the clean cut and control of cutting a bit larger each step. Hole saws are a bit medieval the way they chatter around IMHO.
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:18 PM   #3
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Tom, I used a 3/4 inch step drill from Harbor Freight...worked perfect.
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:22 PM   #4
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I wouldnít suggest a hole saw on a cosmetically important piece of sheet metal, unless you can use a backer of some kind. If you MUST use a hole saw, start the pilot, then run the drill in reverse to penetrate the sheet. This isnít the best method.

Stepping individual bit sizes will provide the least distortion of the panel, and control of the bit. This may be slow, but itís nearly foolproof.

Similar to above, a stepped bit (triangular in shape) are very effective, but sometimes difficult to prevent exceeding the desired size.

Regardless of method, use masking tape to minimize paint chipping.

Good luck,

-Matt
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:32 PM   #5
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Yes on a backer if possible no on running in reverse because of the heat and it wonít cut well and can discolor the surrounding metal. I agree that step bits can be hard to control the depth sometimes. A good quality bi metal (usually white) hole saw with the correct number of teeth will do a better job. I have drilled punched and work with sheet metal for over 35yrs. and that is my opinion.
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:56 AM   #6
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If you haven't drilled yet...Ö my advice would still be to use the step drill but since you are on the door make sure there is adequate depth to the door for the step drill you are using so that you don't drill through the inner panel in the process of getting to the larger diameter of the step drill required.


Funny the things you think of at 2:00 AM......
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:42 AM   #7
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And pick a mounting location far enough away from the hinge side so that the door in front of the light location will clear the light when both doors are fully open.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jestal View Post
If you haven't drilled yet...Ö my advice would still be to use the step drill but since you are on the door make sure there is adequate depth to the door for the step drill you are using so that you don't drill through the inner panel in the process of getting to the larger diameter of the step drill required.


Funny the things you think of at 2:00 AM......
LOL, I have experience with this one! Once I used a step drill to drill a hole in the bottom of a window air conditioner (I know wasn't suppose to), and the tip of the step drill bit went into the condenser releasing the Freon! Lesson's learned via the school of hard knock! Always pay attention to what is on the other side!!
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:51 PM   #9
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That's always why I hesitate to offer advice on doing something that is not exactly like I did it......I always think of the possible consequences later.....
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