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Old 16-02-2019, 18:18   #1
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Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

I have to drill through about 1" of fiberglass to run a wire from the chain counter sensor to the other side of the support wall. I believe the fiberglass has a foam core, I was planning on getting a PVC pipe and using it to line the drilled hole.

Is that the right way to do this?

I just don't want the foam exposed and figured that I could create a tight fit and use silicone to seal up the seams where the fiberglass would meet the PVC pipe.
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Old 16-02-2019, 18:26   #2
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

A good way to protect the core is to drill an oversized hole. Tape one side and fill the hole with thickened epoxy. When it hardens you drill the needed size hole through its center.
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Old 16-02-2019, 18:45   #3
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

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Old 16-02-2019, 19:13   #4
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

The pvC pipe should work ok, but don't use silicone to seal it. Rather, glue the pipe in with thickened epoxy, being sure to get complete contact between pipe, epoxy and the various parts of the bulkhead.

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Old 16-02-2019, 19:57   #5
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

^ What Jim said. I have used PCV pipe often to line holes in core or bulkheads. I'd also suggest roughing up the outside of the tube with course sandpaper prior to gluing to increase the mechanical bond strength.
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Old 16-02-2019, 22:12   #6
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

One inch is pretty thick fibreglass, If unsure of the composition I would drill a test hole with a smaller drill size to confirm the make up of what your drilling through. While you indicate that you require to drill though a certain depth you don't indicate what diameter hole you are considering.
I would recommend an oversize hole just in case you have to run another cable at a later date. One hole is better than two
I would also follow the advise of drilling an oversize hole to what is required, fill with epoxy then drill so that the core is fully sealed. IE if you only need a 6mm hole I would still drill a minimum of a 12 mm hole to fill then redrill so that you have a good epoxy barrier around your foam/balsa.


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Old 17-02-2019, 08:46   #7
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
A good way to protect the core is to drill an oversized hole. Tape one side and fill the hole with thickened epoxy. When it hardens you drill the needed size hole through its center.
Additionally, if you take a 90 degree bent nail, put it in a drill and use it to remove the immediate area of foam core beyond the diameter of the hole, then replace it with thickened epoxy you’ll have added strength and protection.

Have fun!
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Old 17-02-2019, 08:50   #8
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsuredApple View Post
I have to drill through about 1" of fiberglass to run a wire from the chain counter sensor to the other side of the support wall. I believe the fiberglass has a foam core, I was planning on getting a PVC pipe and using it to line the drilled hole.

Is that the right way to do this?

I just don't want the foam exposed and figured that I could create a tight fit and use silicone to seal up the seams where the fiberglass would meet the PVC pipe.
If it's a small diameter wire, not battery cable size, how about drilling your hole, then using a fiberglass dowel rod, available at hobbie shops even hardware stores, or fiberglass tube,sized to the hole, epoxy that into the 1" hole then drill the opening to the wire size, seal the ends with a bit of resin.
Should be as good as new.
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Old 17-02-2019, 08:54   #9
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

I think it it best practice to drill an oversized hole and fill with thickened epoxy. If it has to much mass it can get to hot due to an exothermic reaction which will cause it to foam. A slower hardener and cooler temperatures will prevent this. A new paddle bit or hole saw to cut the new hole then run a 1/4 round router bit around the edges to chamfer them and you’re good to go
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Old 17-02-2019, 10:42   #10
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

Use a Dremel 199 bit to rout out the core if you go with epoxy. Way easier to use and less damage to the deck with a small fastener hole.

Don't use silicone as a sealant unless you want leaks and a future headache. Paint will not stick to it and has a tendency to leach into surrounding gelcoat, has a bad habit of breaking the seal and leaking, and a bitch to clean up both before and after it sets up.


Does this need to be water proof?? If so, one of the Blue Sea or other cable seals would be the best way to do it and save you drilling such a large hole. https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...iABEgKh0fD_BwE
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Old 17-02-2019, 12:11   #11
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatyarddog View Post
If it's a small diameter wire, not battery cable size, how about drilling your hole, then using a fiberglass dowel rod, available at hobbie shops even hardware stores, or fiberglass tube,sized to the hole, epoxy that into the 1" hole then drill the opening to the wire size, seal the ends with a bit of resin.
Should be as good as new.
Cheers,
SV Cloud Duster
More work, more money, more time... and the end product is no better than the PVC pipe epoxied in place.

I think many of you guys are really overthinking this simple project! It is just a wire pass-through in an internal bulkhead, not an underwater through hull.

Jim
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Old 17-02-2019, 12:24   #12
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

Lee's suggestion works really well. I didn't even drill an oversized hole, just the final size. This works best on holes 1" or greater diameter like a thru hull.

I then just chucked a small hex key in the drill with the short end sticking out about 1/2" at right angles to the drill. This chipped out the foam between the laminate to 1/2" deep in less than a minute. I could have done deeper but 1/2" of filled epoxy isn't going anywhere.

I then used sand paper on the end of my finger to clean up the inside of the laminate followed by acetone to be sure the epoxy filler stuck well. Almost any epoxy filler would work but I used G-flex to make sure that the bond wouldn't break free from laminate if anything flexed. I just trowled the gflex in with my gloved finger packing it back the full 1/2". Before it hardened, I smoothed it well in the hole so no sanding was needed later.

If you want to do the oversize hole route drill your oversize hole from the inside but stop when you get to the foam. Then use the pilot hole on the outside to drill a final size hole all the way through. Chip out the remaining inside foam with a screwdriver and fill with epoxy. When hard, drill the final size hole from the outside. With through hull fittings this keeps the outer laminate intact instead of creating a seam on the outside of the hull between filler and laminate that could leak.
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Old 17-02-2019, 13:33   #13
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
More work, more money, more time... and the end product is no better than the PVC pipe epoxied in place.

I think many of you guys are really overthinking this simple project! It is just a wire pass-through in an internal bulkhead, not an underwater through hull.

Jim

And a lot of these guys are forgetting that using pvc pipe to pass through holes is also commonly used by boat manufacturer's. I've got nearly 40 year old PVC pipe running through my coamings as drains that are still well bonded in place and in good nick.



There's no need for compressive strength in this application. And pvc is smooth - exactly what you want for pulling wires. Probably why they make electrical conduit out of the stuff!
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Old 17-02-2019, 14:05   #14
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Re: Lining a hole through 1" fiberglass...

A PVC fitting ( Nut-Nipple-Nut?) or a plastic through hull fitting should work fine. Use sealant on it to keep water out of the core.
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