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gauge mod

Discussion in 'Projects' started by LivnLife4Fun, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. I'm in the process of modding a gauge cluster and need to add a warning light which requires drilling a hole in the tach face. Has anyone successfully drilled/cut a hole in a hard plastic speedometer/tachometer face? Or know of a business that can do this? Looking at the recommended drills for this task only convinces me even more that I'll mess it up. Crap hit the fan the last time I tried something like this years ago lol
     
  2. Can you post a pic or 2 of what you're working with?

    I've drilled plenty of holes in plastic to install indicators and lights. Depending on the hardness of the plastic I drill a small pilot hole and use a taper or step drill bit to achieve the diameter in need. You can also just step up bit size to the desired diameter if you don't have a step bit. I also use decent bits for the more precise work I want to do. I have a big set of junk bits for rough drilling.

    I also have a reaming tool designed to cut holes in Lexan R/C car bodies. It's hand operated and tapered to about 3/4". Can be found at just about any hobby shop that sells R/C cars. This is most effective on softer plastics tho.

    Like this: http://www.rcplanet.com/DuraTrax_Body_Reamer_p/dtxr1157.htm
     

  3. AlbatrossCafe likes this.
  4. To be honest, I would go at it with a good, sharp drill bit using slow gradual pressure especially as it cuts through the back side.
     
  5. Yep, that exactly. Its most likely acrylic, which will snap or crack very easily. High bit speed, very low pressure. Use a drill press. Gradually step up in size like Pavement Tested said. Support the backside of the hole with a piece of wood so there's absolutely zero flex
     
  6. I would think one of those bits that is more like a sander than a drill bit would be better - get a pilot hole with a tiny drill bit and step up in size with the sanding bits - instead of cutting, they grind/sand away, reducing the risk of cracking the plastic.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. I was leaning towards using a dremel but read that they can get very hot and are not adequate for this kind of job.
    This site recommended a spur/dowel bit which I'm pretty certain that if I used it, no matter how carefully, I will destroy the gauge: http://home.howstuffworks.com/type-of-drill-bit-plastic.htm
    I just found this site that has very good recommendations: http://www.bertram31.com/proj/tips/drill_acrylic.htm --> Diamond Dust! https://www.craftics.net/ShowItems.aspx?Category=135&ParentCategory=87
     
  8. Just an idea but you could possibly find a used gauge tachometer and test drilling into that or find a similar piece of acrylic.
     
  9. Any type of bit that uses abrasive is going to generate more heat, which may actually cause the plastic to fail faster. As we all know, heat is a plastic killer. The edges of your hole will be melted. Stepping up the hole in small increments is definitely the way to go. A practice hole is a must, and a piece of would on the back will prevent tear out or more likely cracking.
     
  10. I have never had good success with any type of abrasive bit like the one pictured above. As mentioned, the heat generated by it causes more harm than good and the material build up on the bit I have experienced have rendered them ineffective.
     
  11. Holy shit I didn't see how old this thread was