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Old 21 April 2006, 18:28   #1
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Cutting Fibreglass

Just got a new RIB and want to move my ICOM M421 VHF over to it. I'm going to pick up the flush mount kit and fit it to the console. I've never had to cut into fiberglass before, what is the best way to do it? Just drill a pilot hole and use a hole saw designed for wood??

Thanks folks,
Fraser
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Old 21 April 2006, 18:35   #2
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If you've got a steady hand an angle grinder works very well.

If your using a jig-saw you can get special blades for fibre-glass. However you'd probably get away with a regular wood one with fairly fine teeth for this job. Legend has it if you put masking take over the area to be cut it finishes better. Personally I have never tried this; angle grinder works a treat
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Old 21 April 2006, 18:53   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
Legend has it if you put masking take over the area to be cut it finishes better. Personally I have never tried this; angle grinder works a treat
Masking tape or better still Gaffa Tape. The idea is that is stops the edges of the Gel/Flow coat breaking away from the rest of the GRP. Tried it a couple of times and it really does work
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Old 21 April 2006, 19:58   #4
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For a clean cut use down cut blades in a jigsaw . The teeth cut on the down stroke not on the up stroke as per normal . You won't chip the gel coat at all . Tape is also good but won't stop chipping completely .

For small cuts a hacksaw blade in a handle or just with tape wrapped around one end is very good
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Old 21 April 2006, 20:46   #5
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If I was worried about chipping gel coat I might well cut undersize and file out the last mm or so. You can get file/fret saw attachments for jigsaws and would recommend against downward cutting blades as your more likley to cause more damage if it catches you out.
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Old 21 April 2006, 22:12   #6
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The thin cutting blades for angle grinders are incredibly good for cutting GRP as long as you only want straight line cuts-I cut everything on my console with one (no tape either apart from on the grinder's spark shield to stop scratching) and it made a beautiful job of it. No chipping, scuffing or anything.


It's difficult to control for small distances though-I found that small stuff was a lot easier with a 3/4 used blade as it was smaller.
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Old 21 April 2006, 22:20   #7
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Dont know if you get them over there ;but Rotozip are great for glassfibre. Looks like a mini router but has a cutting tool instead of a shaping tool.(looks like a spiral drill bit ) Nice because you can set the depth of cut to just penetrate so no risk of nicking anything underneath(unlike a jigsaw).No need to drill pilot hole as self starting(just angle the tool).Can "bite" if held too loosly, so firm hold and a piece of guide material taped down if you want a clean straight line. Great tool ,with blades that cut anything from drywall to ceramic tile. Much less chance of gel coat damage than a reciprocating tool
cheers Dal
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Old 22 April 2006, 10:45   #8
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Hi all,

We use diamond blades in a 4" angle grinder. I have also used a dremel with the same type of blade. Quite dusty, but a clean cut.
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Old 22 April 2006, 13:22   #9
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Quote:
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Hi all,

We use diamond blades in a 4" angle grinder. I have also used a dremel with the same type of blade. Quite dusty, but a clean cut.
Trust me this guy knows how to do it!!!! he's just done a fantastic job on my 8mt rib
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Old 22 April 2006, 14:51   #10
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If you look in B&Q 4 inch Diamond blades are only a few pound i would olso recmend them as well .If you use a jig saw make sure you use masking tape this will mainly protect the gellcoat from the metal bottom of the jig saw from marking the gelcoat two layers of tape is best.good luck .Cover every thing up it saves cleaning arfter
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