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Cutting through gel-coat for new speakers?

 
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3MileBayWaker
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 256
City: Syracuse, NY

PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 2:58 am    Post subject: Cutting through gel-coat for new speakers? Reply with quote

I am looking to install 2 speakers into the bow of my boat, the factory deuces just don't cut it, already blew one out on my boats maiden voyage. Looking at 6.5" wetsounds.... I need 2 6" holes and am paranoid about going at my boat with a huge 6" hole saw. Never drilled fiberglass...

Any tips?

Carbide tip hole saw, drill in reverse, etc?

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mcdye
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Joined: 20 Oct 2008
Posts: 32
City: Central, AR

PostPosted: Mar 03, 2011 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting ready to drill some 4" ones in my ride. From what I have read from others is tape it up good, drill in reverse. Some say once thru gelcoat you can switch to forward on the drill, others just keep it in reverse all the way. Once any screws holes are drilled, chaff/bevel the edges to keep the holes from cracking and spidering out.
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kartman
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Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 1542
City: meridian, Idaho

PostPosted: Mar 08, 2011 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GO SLOW! go slow. that is the key. take your time, tape it off, and go in reverse at first, and round off all corners
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ryan351w
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Joined: 26 Jan 2009
Posts: 532

PostPosted: Apr 17, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto on the reverse, take your time. The good thing is the bright ring will cover any little imperfections.
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Suprahunter
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Joined: 28 Apr 2008
Posts: 486
City: Lowell

PostPosted: Apr 18, 2011 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Rotozip spiral saw works great. It cuts clean without hardly any vibration.
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Brit Rider
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Joined: 29 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Apr 18, 2011 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Others may disagree... But just drill the thing!

I drill holes in boats most days and for something like a speaker cut out you won't be expecting a stress crack anytime soon (or ever see a chip if if happens, which is rare on a hole saw) so all this drilling in reverse etc isn't going to save much.

My advice is:

Measure and mark up where you want to make the hole
Check the area behind for depth and obstructions
Drill a pilot hole (or put the 4"holesaw inside the 6" holesaw should there already be a hole)
Drill the 6" hole like you would in any other material --> Fast and with steady hands.
Run some rough'ish sandpaper (200 grit or lower) round the hole to remove any sharp edges.
Insert/wire speakers.

Now the holes for the speaker screws are different.... these you will want to drill reverse whilst cutting through the gel, counter sink all the way through the gel and only hand tighten. A finer thread screw is better than a wood/chipboard screw.

If you are looking for the best sound possible look to ensure all trim around the speaker cut out is nice and tight. A bit of solicone can be great for helping to quieten down rattles. Some sound deadening material on the inside of the area you cut into can also help if it seems to be less than 10mm thick or so...

When installing the speaker terminals, if you find the spade terminals aren't totally solid to the connectors, grab a soldering iron and just place a dab of solder in there... Always beats having to drop the speaker later to put the spade back on.

Hope that helps!

Very Happy

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