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Old 25-08-2014, 07:13   #1
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Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

On our boat down in the Caribbean we have sun shade material mounted on the SS tubing inside our dodger. We have used snaps that have an adhesive backing for the male piece which attaches to the tubing. Problem is this male side of the snap keeps coming off the tubing, I suspect that putting these on a tube is just not what they were meant to do. I am looking for opinions on whether it is safe to drill holes and use the male snap piece with the screw back. Would this weaken the integrity of the 1" SS tubing (drilling 7/64 or 1/8 hole)and perhaps one day crack or break where a hole is drilled. Thanks Jim
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Old 25-08-2014, 07:26   #2
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

Would a short piece of web strap all the way around the tube with a gypsy snap work?
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Old 25-08-2014, 07:28   #3
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

I don't think you will weaken the tubing, but have you considered sewing the snaps on velcro tape (the type with hooks on one side and loops on the other) and strapping them around the tubing? Like this: http://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-Fast...DEQPJ15X66SGPG

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Old 25-08-2014, 07:36   #4
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

Drilling will be fine, provided it is a small hole relative to the tube, but you will need a cobalt tipped drill bit or similar to effectively drill the SS.
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Old 25-08-2014, 07:41   #5
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

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Originally Posted by lovinlifebda View Post
On our boat down in the Caribbean we have sun shade material mounted on the SS tubing inside our dodger. We have used snaps that have an adhesive backing for the male piece which attaches to the tubing. Problem is this male side of the snap keeps coming off the tubing, I suspect that putting these on a tube is just not what they were meant to do. I am looking for opinions on whether it is safe to drill holes and use the male snap piece with the screw back. Would this weaken the integrity of the 1" SS tubing (drilling 7/64 or 1/8 hole)and perhaps one day crack or break where a hole is drilled. Thanks Jim

Not at all. But it murders drill bits

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Old 25-08-2014, 07:48   #6
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

Thanks for those quick replies, CF is a great resource. I am leaning towards the drilling now, rock solid solution. The dodger is fairly new and is very, very tight against the tubing. We put a few small pieces of velcro around the tube to hold some lights and it was a struggle to get them on and they show as bumps in the canvas, we are concerned that they will become wear points on the canvas.

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Old 25-08-2014, 08:04   #7
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

Don't want to 'teach granny to suck eggs' had a few on my various craft but
if you go down the drilling route, it is fare better to thread the holes and us stainless countersunk bolts with a seizing compound, if you us self tapping screws they tend to fail dependant on there hardness.pop rivets work but need to be drilled out if altered which can be a pain, make sure they are marine grade.
Cobalt drill bits are the tools , use slow speed with high pressure and cutting compound, if stainless gets hot if gets harder so the soluble oil is the best bet put it in a plant mister continually sprayed on the drill site.
Good luck
Ps : buy a couple of drill bits as they break them easily


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Old 25-08-2014, 08:38   #8
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

Why not buy some of the various fittings designed to attach to bimini tube and use those as an anchor points ? there are lots to pick from.


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Old 25-08-2014, 15:38   #9
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

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Originally Posted by Hoofsmit View Post
Don't want to 'teach granny to suck eggs' had a few on my various craft but
if you go down the drilling route, it is fare better to thread the holes and us stainless countersunk bolts with a seizing compound, if you us self tapping screws they tend to fail dependant on there hardness.pop rivets work but need to be drilled out if altered which can be a pain, make sure they are marine grade.
Cobalt drill bits are the tools , use slow speed with high pressure and cutting compound, if stainless gets hot if gets harder so the soluble oil is the best bet put it in a plant mister continually sprayed on the drill site.
Good luck
Ps : buy a couple of drill bits as they break them easily


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Some good advice here, I did a test hole in a spare piece of tubing. Drilling went well but then as you stated the self tapping scew did not work, the threads just got pretty much destroyed.

I just tried another idea, have epoxied a snap onto the tube.....will see how that turns out tomorrow.
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Old 25-08-2014, 16:34   #10
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

Drill, de-burr the hole and pop rivet
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Old 30-08-2014, 07:45   #11
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Re: Should I drill holes in my SS tubing

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Drill, de-burr the hole and pop rivet
Thanks for that idea, just finished the job using 1/8 inch pop rivets. Solid attachment and looks great. Jim
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