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Old 03-12-2018, 06:30 PM
Charles in SC Charles in SC is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 550

Check out Travers tool on the web. Look at piloted hole cutters. I used one with a 1 1/4 inch cutter to make some of my gage holes for my dash. They have some that are much cleaner than the big box store hole saws. I would post a picture if it was not so hard to do on this site.
Aircraft structure built.
Going at a snail's pace, life gets in the way.
Wiring done.
Engine hung.
Working on cowling.
RV 7
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:35 PM
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kentlik kentlik is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 332

Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
My, how times have changed....
Back in the day.... when people actually had to build an RV (vs just put some parts together), This was the standard tool for cutting all of the lightening holes in wing and empennage ribs and many other parts.
Yea, that's right. All parts were solid with no openings (or pre-punched rivet holes).
I used to call these things the widowmaker...hahaha hated using those things
...but did on many occasions
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:38 AM
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bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 590

Amazing community.

A local RV-9 builder tested and cut a sample with a hole saw and dropped it off on my doorstep last night.

You just can't buy this kind of support.

Thank You! (you know who you are)
#140376 RV-14A QB IO-390 Thunderbolt
Reserved: N196
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:53 AM
Jpm757 Jpm757 is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sherman, CT
Posts: 115

Learned my lesson with a fly cutter years ago, they are just plain dangerous. Harbor freight sells several size punch kits that work well on aluminum and also SS firewalls. Cheap, 20-30 bucks.
RV6 completed 1991 sold.
RV7 #72018 N767T first flight 11/21/2017
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:30 PM
Larco Larco is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 983

HIGHLY RECOMMEND A FOOT SWITCH WHEN USING THE DRILL PRESS! Approx. $35.00 and may save your hand if or WHEN something grabs. Your foot becomes the third hand that can turn off the drill press if needed.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:43 PM
Bavafa Bavafa is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,202

Originally Posted by bkervaski View Post

I need to drill a 1 1/2 inch hole in an aluminum sheet. The largest step drills I can find go up to 1 3/8.

I found an annular bit but they won't fit in my drill press which has a 3/4 shank limit.

I thought "hole cutter" but looking at those teeth I wasn't sure how that would turn out.

depending on the thickness of the material, a hole punch at Harbor freight should work nicely and rather inexpensive. I have cut many holes with it in the past and worked out great.
RV7A - IO360M1B - SOLD
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:11 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 971

I guess this is all academic now since bkervaski already got his hole cut, but clearly the hole punches (we used to call them chassis punches) are the way to go. A lot of EAA chapters own a set. You can buy large ones for the instrument panel, too.
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