What to use to cut fiberglass - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-13-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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I am replacing the onboard water fill cover.The one I got as a replacement has exactly the same flange on the outside but the part that goes into the trailer is about one half inch bigger that the one I am replacing.Could anyone tell me what kind of saw should be used to cut the fiberglass.I am afraid I will really mess this up so hope some of you can help. Pat.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
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I am replacing the onboard water fill cover.The one I got as a replacement has exactly the same flange on the outside but the part that goes into the trailer is about one half inch bigger that the one I am replacing.Could anyone tell me what kind of saw should be used to cut the fiberglass.I am afraid I will really mess this up so hope some of you can help. Pat.
If you are wanting to use a powered saw I would suggest a hand-held jigsaw with a fine toothed (metal cutting) blade. This blade will cut smoothly and will be less likely to hang. If you're using a hand held saw, once again, it would have to be something with a fine toothed blade; probably one that is not very long to make cutting into an enclosed space easier.

Good Luck, hope this helps....

Steve
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #3
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Like steve says...... something with a very fine tooth to avoid chipping on the gel coat. A Dremel type tool would also work very well and if you see the fiberglass is splintering just put a piece of masking tape over the cut line and proceed with the job.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #4
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Pat,
People get paranoid over this, its a great question and it will have many answers...over the years I have learned that the metal blades are for large stuff, the abrasive blades for small stuff...the real answer is you must use protection for skin, eyes, and respiration no exceptions... and only the best. I plug holes and patch from the rear with F.R.P "fiberglass reinforced panel" then plug and fill it, I will then cut a new hole as if it were virgin panel...no worries... my 4" grinder with a metal blade on it is all I need. My equipment is attached to a vacuum with a H.E.P.A. filter in it. Once the safety stuff is in order the rest is simple. The mystery secret question is how to keep from itching.


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I am replacing the onboard water fill cover.The one I got as a replacement has exactly the same flange on the outside but the part that goes into the trailer is about one half inch bigger that the one I am replacing.Could anyone tell me what kind of saw should be used to cut the fiberglass.I am afraid I will really mess this up so hope some of you can help. Pat.
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Old 06-13-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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Put tape on the fiberglass so you will not scratch the surface with the saw, draw your cut lines on the tape, drill a pilot hole to start from and use a jig saw with a very fine metal cutting blade. Wear a mask so u do not breath in the dust.

Know what is on the blind side B4 U drill and cut.
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Old 06-13-2009, 04:00 PM   #6
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Thanks to all that replied.I thought a jigsaw would be the answer but wanted to make sure.I only had a wood blade for mine so I went to crappy tire and the kid there suggested an all purpose blade.Is this OK or should I go back and get a blade for metal?I also think I may try the dremel tool as I only have to inlarge the opening less than half an inch to get the new cover on.Thanks again,I'll let ya all know how this comes out unless I screw it up then my hubby will KILL me.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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Are you trying to make a round hole 1/2" larger in diameter? Or is it an irregular hole? If it's a round one, there are two ways I've used. Both use a hole saw.

One way is to put a tapered wooden plug into the hole and then use a hole saw (they need something to "bite" in the middle, hence the plug. You can get softwood plugs at boating stores, or perhaps elsewhere. It looks like a cone, as in a snow cone or a megaphone. You can drill a small pilot hole in the plug to center your hole saw bit.

The second way is to use two hole saws, one inside the other. The smaller one should just fit into the existing hole, and the larger one should be the size that you want the finished hole to be. The smaller one acts as a guide.

As others have mentioned, blue tape over the area you are going to cut helps to prevent chips, and also you can mark on it.

These would only apply if you have a round hole you want to enlarge to a bigger round hole.

Raya
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:58 PM   #8
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While some folks recommend a jig saw, which I too have used in the past, I would like to recommend a Roto-Zip tool with a spiral bit (sort of looks like a drill bit, but it is actually a cutting bit.) They really work well, virtually eliminates the edge chipping that occurs with a jig saw blade, (even the fine toothed ones will cause chips if you don't hold them really tight to the work surface.) Just my two cents worth. Good luck with your project.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:39 PM   #9
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I have a laminate trimmer that I use. It's basically a small handheld router. I am able to use lots of different router bits with it. The base is some type of plastic stuff and will not scratch the fiberglass.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:36 PM   #10
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For material 1/8" or les in thickness, I use a nibbling tool. You can cut fibreglass and aluminum with it and cut it with very high precision.
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:58 PM   #11
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I got the job done.Used the dremel and jigsaw.This was a small job and I was nervous about cutting the hole to big.I just cut a little bit at a time.Thank you all for your help.Pat.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:07 PM   #12
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too late now, sorry, just saw this. You can buy a mini skill saw type attachment for your dremel tool. Plunge cut and go.

it's about a 2 inch diameter blade, and looks exactly like a skill saw. very easy to handle
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