Cutting holes in my egg! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2003, 10:52 PM   #1
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Cutting holes in my egg!

Hello All,:wave

:helpme I bought a '98 Scamp 16 footer with no windows in it. I have ordered and received 3 windows for it and now I need to cut out the holes for my new windows. I think my best bet :conf is going to be a roto-zip type rotary saw set just deep enough to get through the fiberglass shell. The "all purpose" bit says it cuts fiberglass. I was told I could do it with a jig saw but that would penetrate way beyong the fiberglass. My trailer has the insulation and carpeting glued on the inside. Do you think I can cut the holes without pulling the carpet and insulation loose from the back of the fiberglass? Has anyone out there cut a hole in their trailer and if so what advice can you give me. Thanks, Dan
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:08 PM   #2
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cutting holes

Hi Dan:

Welcome to the forum. I have not cut any holes in my Scamp and I am surprised no one has answered up yet on the subject. There have been several major rebuilds on the forum and I am sure someone has added a window or so to their egg.

The danger is snagging the carpet while cutting through the fiberglass ( the fiberglass itself should be easy to cut through).
I would call Scamp and ask their advice.
:shg
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:32 PM   #3
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Pete D and his rats cut a hole in his Scamp ... believe he detailed the "cut" with pictures here on fiberglassrv.com.

He cut a hole, to install a fantastic vent fan, as I recall. Try doing a search for "Pete, rats, fan"

Hopefully he'll log on here and point the way.

Others have detailed cutting various holes to install stereo speakers, etc. in cabinets.

I think several reported that tiny bits of fiberglass saw-dust coated the trailer ... so I'd remove all cushions, dishes, etc before proceeding.
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Old 05-09-2003, 01:36 PM   #4
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I found Pete's report .... he used a sawz-all

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/read.php...535&page=1#3647

Note to all ... please try to use the "search" button up on the right corner to search for various topics.

Our webmaster, Michael, deserves much credit for having, in my opinion, one of the fastest, most flexible search engines of any website on the internet.

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Old 05-09-2003, 01:38 PM   #5
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But Dan, remember the old "measure twice, cut once" rule, ok?

As to carpet ... having tried to drill various holes through carpet, and having the carpet snag on the drill bit ... if I were you, I'd probably cut and clear the carpet from the intended window area ... and cut the hole from the inside.
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Old 05-09-2003, 02:29 PM   #6
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cutting a hole

Dan:

I haven't cut into the Casita, but:

In the photo is some plywood with carpet glued to it with contact cement. I forget what the original project was, but I wanted to use this for a battery base as the thickness was just right (didn't really want the carpet, but it was already there).

Anyway I cut the shape with a jigsaw from the plywood side. The carpet didn't snag. I don't remember the type of blade, probably a fine tooth?!
<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ebc015e311b5Casita battery base.jpg/>

Note: the fiberglass dust is bad stuff.
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Old 05-09-2003, 02:55 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice!

Hi Charles,

Thanks for the advice, I was thinking of using a rotary tool to cut the holes because I could set the depth so that it only cut the fiberglass and not the insulation and carpeting on the inside. I just talked to a guy at Scamp and he said they use a diamond bladed fiberglass cutter ($8,000) and then a jig saw when they get to the rounded corners. He said they have not tried a Roto-Zip but that it might work. He said they have used a jig saw with the carpet already in and it works just fine so I guess I will try that. I will start with the smallest window as I can always get a little bigger window if I meet disaster. Once I have a piece cut out I will try my Rotary Saw to see how it works. I am hoping to get the windows in this weekend if it ever quits raining here in the Atlanta area:sunny . I will post some before and after pics once I get them in. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Dan
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:26 PM   #8
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cutting glass

I haven't yet had to cut through any glass backed with insulation (ensolite in my case - much easier) - but I would humbly offer the following: I'd rough cut the carpet well inside my intended hole first. Then I'd peel back the carpet away from the edges. This will let the saw grind through the glass without any chance of binding up on carpet. Once the hole in the glass is cut, the edges of carpet can be laid back down and cut manually to the edge (or back from the edge a bit if that's what is desired).

mkw
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Old 05-09-2003, 06:28 PM   #9
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roto zip

I used one once !! it was one my brother bought when he was doing remods on kitchen . I found it much harder to cut a streight line with then a saws all or jig saw on corners it worked ok . but my
new favorie cutting tool is an angle grinder great control and can shave edges.
Boy's and thier toys
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Old 05-09-2003, 09:25 PM   #10
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Just Remember

Whatever you use to cut, sand, etc on fiberglass be sure to wear a mask. It gets really dusty . I hit the side of my door jamb with a belt sander so's the new gasket would fit better. I figured it was a quick pass so who needs a mask? Well I choked and coughed for about an hour after that.
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Old 05-10-2003, 10:59 AM   #11
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Fiberglass dust safety

Pete's right! I work for an organization of safety and health specialists and they talk a lot about fiberglass and safety. While they are usually talking about working with insulation, the dust may be even more dangerous. Dust can penetrate deeper into your lungs than the longer fibers. This is why asbestos is usually ok as long as it is not disturbed, but if you distrub it in any way you have to do all kinds of protection.

Inorganic dust like fiberglass can stay in your lungs forever. Some say that fiberglass will be "the new asbestos" because it can cause similar lung problems.

So, do yourself a favor and wear a good respirator whle cutting and while cleaning up. And make sure the kids and dog aren't playing near the dust either!

Let us know what you finally choose and how it goes!
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Old 05-12-2003, 12:46 PM   #12
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I disagree with Scamp about using a jigsaw. I've been working on my Scamp, and have cut in a couple places for vents and stuff. The jigsaw just shreds the carpet, even with a fine blade. The carpet edge ends up so fuzzed that the window trim wouldn't cover it. My cuts have been in closets and cabinets, so I'm ok, but I'd not try it on a window. I like the idea of the Rotozip - just keep your hands well anchored, so you don't zip way off into the camper by accident. Or, as suggested, cut the carpet away first and work from inside with a jigsaw.
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