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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:21 AM   #1
carcentric
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Default Hole saws for dashboard gauges

I'm looking to buy three bi-metal hole saws for these gauges:
- the standard (2-1/16") VDO round gauges,
- a VW bug speedo, and
- a 914 tach.
  1. Does anybody know what size hole saws I need for those holes?
  2. Does anybody have some to sell, or can you recommend a supplier?


Thanks.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

I have a 914 Tach & one Bug Speedo that's @ 4- 1/2" OD. I also have a smaller Bug Speedo. Not sure what size the OD is on that one though... Not much smaller, but, a little bit smaller.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

For a 2 1/16 gauge I drill a 2" hole then file it to fit.I have a 2 1/8 hole saw but no 2 1/16.Sometimes a 2" will only need a small amount of filing if there's any run out in the pilot bit.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

2 1/16"

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00999005000P

4 1/2"

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100495366
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Old January 8th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

For stuff like that, where I don't really want to buy a tool for one time use, I draw the circle I want and then drill a bunch if little holes just inside the circle (almost touching). Then I re-drill those holes with a larger bit so that the holes connect. I then clean up the points...and make it a circle with a round file.

Not a super quick process, but it works and the price is right.

That is how I made these holes.


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Old January 9th, 2010, 04:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

I agree, I wouldn't buy the hole saws for $50.00 just to use them once... (but, I'm cheap, so, ) There are a few ways to skin a cat so to speak. His way is one... But, there are MANY ways to do it. You can rent tools from some places, that might be an option! Or do as Flipper mensioned & drill a shit load of holes, connect them, & use a dremel or something to clean it up.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

For smaller to medium hole sizes electricians use a compression die set that squeezes the male circle punch w/ a sharp edge thru the metal panel. It works just like a fixed hole punch in a sheet metal shop. This method makes a very clean hole with no ragged edges. You might be able to borrow / rent a die set from a local guy.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

you could always get what sheet metal guys use to cut holes with a drill. you drill the one pilot hole, and then adjust the tool to the desired width. then cut it out. its works kinda like a rotozip
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

Another reason to not get the $50 hole saws - you're gonna need a seriously beefy hand drill to spin that 4.5" saw. And if you've got a good drill, make sure you've got a damn good grip. It's probably gonna want to torque on you.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

find a dash that has the properly sized holes already drilled in them, cut that section out and weld it into your dash? :P

You might even be able to dremel the hole itself, just draw the circle and take your time cutting it out..
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Old January 9th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

Quote:
Originally Posted by slow74 View Post
you could always get what sheet metal guys use to cut holes with a drill. you drill the one pilot hole, and then adjust the tool to the desired width. then cut it out. its works kinda like a rotozip

i am with slow74 i have this tool from when i did heating and air it would be perfect plus the size choice is adjustable. Try McMater Carr or if you have a hvac place close you can ask them

http://www.performancetoolcenter.com...le-cutter.html

this one is only $50 and it does 2" to 12" holes
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Old January 9th, 2010, 02:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

Thanks, VWman00, for the make/model and link. With that info, I found one on eBay for $38 plus $5.35 shipping and ordered it!

Since it is infinitely adjustable within its range, you can set it to inch or metric diameters, and even "half" sizes (e.g., 100.5mm). Slight disadvantage is its max thickness (20 gauge steel, .054" aluminum).
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Old January 9th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hole saws for dashboard gauges

no prob good luck i would like to see some pics of your holes we you r done
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