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Old 13-12-2010, 08:25   #1
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'Drilling' the Large Holes in Binnacle Guards

How do you make the large (almost 1") holes in SS binnacle guards ?

Do I have to have it done professionally or can it be a DIY task ?

Thanks,



-Sven
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:57   #2
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I used a hole saw for metal and a table top drill press.

Add some patience and it went just fine.
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:09   #3
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Surely can be perforemed on you own. Stainless being a very tough material to bore through, I would reccommend tungston carbide bits rhat are new and sharp. If you can get access to a drill press there are special pipe jigs to clamp your rail to the drill press base. You want to start with a small bit and drill a pilot holes, then the idea is to use successfully larger and larger bits and step your way up to the hole size you require. Do not force the bits when they are cutting, a couple of drops of cutting oil every once and awhile to aid the process. Make sure to wrap the tube anywhere there is metal to metal contact in order to prevent sdcratching. Safety glasses are a must.
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Old 13-12-2010, 12:49   #4
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Old 13-12-2010, 13:01   #5
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Sven, I am guessing you trying to fit throttle cables to the binnacle?

If so before you start drilling is there a better way, because folk are really going to hang onto that rail when your sailing and its rough, so with a 1" hole in it there isn't going to be a lot of metal left.

So is there another option perhaps?

Btw, there are now super dooper throttle cables that are half the thickness and bend to a much smaller radius. The quicksilver ones are twice the price but really are super smooth and bend much more easily. Might be worth considering.

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Old 13-12-2010, 13:10   #6
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Are you drilling into the SS Tubing?

A picture would help.
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Old 13-12-2010, 13:13   #7
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Peter,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Sven, I am guessing you trying to fit throttle cables to the binnacle?
No, it's the Radar, AIS, GPS, Depth/speed/temp, and Wind cables to the chartplotter display. The old binnacle was 1" SS tubing and we're installing a new one that is 1.25" in diameter. More robust (considerably) and with more room for some of the larger connectors. The holes will be above natural grab height, I hope.

Thanks for all the earlier replies too. It will be interesting :-)



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Old 13-12-2010, 13:23   #8
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Sven, the reason I ask is faced with the same problem, I ran all the cables down the centre of the Binnacle because the main vertical steering shaft is hollow and wide enough for just about anything. Saved a lot of work trying to drill the stainless steel guard rail.

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Old 13-12-2010, 13:29   #9
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It's just me, but I wouldn't try to ram all those cables thru the 1.25" tubing. I would consider running a dedicated conduit. It would take some figuring out/sketching. But you may be happier in the long (wire)
run. Just my two centavos.
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Old 13-12-2010, 14:12   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
Peter,



No, it's the Radar, AIS, GPS, Depth/speed/temp, and Wind cables to the chartplotter display. The old binnacle was 1" SS tubing and we're installing a new one that is 1.25" in diameter. More robust (considerably) and with more room for some of the larger connectors. The holes will be above natural grab height, I hope.

Thanks for all the earlier replies too. It will be interesting :-)



-Sven
Addressing both concerns:

When I did my SS rails (1") I used a drill press for the sections which would meet the solid stanchion tube, allowing them to nest up to it and minimize the twist. Even size-to-size, using a metal hole saw, it went easily, if carefully, with low speed and oil lubrication. I second using graduated sized bits to start the first hole and enlarge it to the size of the leader drill on the hole
saw, however, as it will be orders of magnitude easier to start a very (like 1/16 or less) small drill bit in a dimple created by an awl. The larger bit will want to wander around before it bites.

As to how much you're going to try to stuff in a 1.25" hole, have you held those wires with a wire tie to see how much room you'll have? With an AIS and radar cable (both pretty big) plus the smaller ones, it might be a very tight fit.

My solution was to run one each of the large cables on the two legs of the binnacle guard (presume you'll be mounting a pod?) and then the smaller ones next to them. A spray or wipe-down with corrosion block or similar will help them slide easier and also provide some protection. I fished them one at a time, which also made things easier. I pulled a new fish line with each succeeding new cable so I didn't have to try to just force it. A pull on the fish line with a push on the bottom made them all come up easily...

If you have the means to do so, don't forget to use a grommet on the raw edge of the SS when you're done, to prevent cuts. You could either feed the lines through it as you went, or split it, putting the split at the top or bottom or side, whichever one would not have normal pressure on it from the wires (in mine, it's the top due to the angle the wires leave the pedestal).

HTH

L8R

Skip
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Old 13-12-2010, 15:18   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
As to how much you're going to try to stuff in a 1.25" hole, have you held those wires with a wire tie to see how much room you'll have? With an AIS and radar cable (both pretty big) plus the smaller ones, it might be a very tight fit.
Most of the cables will be the relatively thin simnet cables but the plug on the radar was the last straw as far as the 1" tubing was concerned. I really didn't want to cut and splice it after the manual said "don't".

I think we'll be doing ok with the two larger cables first, one in each leg, and the smaller to follow. The sharp edges were going to be a major dremel task.

Thanks,


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Old 13-12-2010, 16:11   #12
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Quote:
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. The sharp edges were going to be a major dremel task.

Thanks,


-Sven

Mine took just a couple minutes, and I did 4 (2 upper and 2 lower). Remember you aren't going for looks so much as getting any edge gone.
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Old 13-12-2010, 18:03   #13
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Just installed a new Garmin Chart plotter on Charbonneau. Garmin uses a Cat 5 crossover cable to connect Depth sounding devices to the Chartplotter. But, Garmin's cat 5 cable has a HUGE plug on the end...no way it was going through the 30 and 90 degree pipe bends on my new pedestal guard! Solution...went to the local Staples Office Supply and bought a regular crossover cable...it worked!

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Old 13-12-2010, 19:07   #14
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I've found Unibits to be very effective for large holes in thin material.
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Old 13-12-2010, 19:24   #15
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I've found Unibits to be very effective for large holes in thin material.
Would be great except they would come out the other side of the tube.

Went with the hole-saw and the first one is done. The hole for the arbor was actually the tough part, the holesaw itself probably took less than 2 minutes !

I was being really conservative on the rpms to keep from overheating and used cutting oil (what a mess) throughout. One more to go and then the 4 threaded mounting hole screws after that.

'preciate all the suggetions !


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