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Old 05-23-2005, 05:05 PM   #1
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Question Drill a hole

just got a replacement antenna...getting ready to install. It doesn't look like it'll fit in the hole left by the ol' skyliner, so I'm going to have to drill a new one. What's the right tool? hole saw? never used one on metal before, and I want to make sure....no room for error, here!
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:36 PM   #2
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Chuck,

A regular hole saw will work, if you are going into new aluminum. If you are remounting over the same old spot I would use snips. The hole saw works because of the center hole. The installation instructions should tell you Min size, but if you are going with a new Braund Antenna, the hole can be cut by hand for both the inside and outside.
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Old 05-23-2005, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
just got a replacement antenna...getting ready to install. It doesn't look like it'll fit in the hole left by the ol' skyliner, so I'm going to have to drill a new one. What's the right tool? hole saw? never used one on metal before, and I want to make sure....no room for error, here!
Just make sure if you use a hole saw that you have a "pilot" in the saw. Something that is the same dia. as the hole there. If not that thing will take off like you won't believe! What size hole ya makin? Typicaly the drill bit in the hole saw is 1/4". Let me know what you have for a hole and drill bit, I might have a bushing........... Or can make one....
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Old 05-23-2005, 06:45 PM   #4
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I you have access to both sides of the hole, I would recommend a..a..ah...I don't know what it is called to go out and buy it, but technically, I would call it a manual compression shear. I have seen electricians use them to make clean holes for electrical conduit.

Basically, it is a die & mandrel that is bolted through a pilot hole (which you already have). Using a wrench, the assembly is tightened from one side until a hole is punched.

You can't beat it for clean holes.

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Old 05-23-2005, 06:51 PM   #5
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It's called a knockout punch, try an outfit like Greenlee. $$$ though.

Tinsnips or a high speed grinder if you just have to open it up a little. It won't be visible once the antenna is on, if the hole isn't perfect it won't matter.

John
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Old 05-23-2005, 06:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
It's called a knockout punch, try an outfit like Greenlee. $$$ though...
Thanks John - That's what I was thinking of.

I do remember seeing a small selection in one of the home improvement stores. They might be a little cheaper there.

I wonder if Harbor Freight sells them? For a single use, their stuff might work.

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Old 05-23-2005, 06:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
Chuck,

A regular hole saw will work, if you are going into new aluminum. If you are remounting over the same old spot I would use snips. The hole saw works because of the center hole. The installation instructions should tell you Min size, but if you are going with a new Braund Antenna, the hole can be cut by hand for both the inside and outside.
"by hand"??? you mean w/ tin snips? I can't picture cutting that small a hole w/ snips...

its a winegard...looks just like the one you installed on VT. (I could swear I saw pics of you up on the roof installing that...but I looked again today, and couldn't find them).

anyway, the directions say "make a 1 3/4" hole".

I think I'll need to put it off to the side, similar to VT's antenna. the old skyliner was mounted dead-center, just aft of the forward vent. but since it doesn't lie flat on the roof when retracted, actually sitting on a bracket that elevates it 6" above the roof, the tail end was suspended above the center vent. but this new arrangement wants to lie flat. won't fit between the vents.

so. any other bits of wisdom to bestow, before I make the leap?
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:08 PM   #8
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If you can find a set at Harbor Freight prices they are very handy.

$15, Harbor Freight price but only goes to 1 11/16"

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=91201

John
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Old 05-23-2005, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
"by hand"??? you mean w/ tin snips? I can't picture cutting that small a hole w/ snips...

its a winegard...looks just like the one you installed on VT. (I could swear I saw pics of you up on the roof installing that...but I looked again today, and couldn't find them).

anyway, the directions say "make a 1 3/4" hole".

I think I'll need to put it off to the side, similar to VT's antenna. so. any other bits of wisdom to bestow, before I make the leap?

The holes do not need to be exact. The hole in the outer skin actually works better if it is like a figure 8, or overlapping holes. You have to make the holes oblong unless you are a pro. I always cut it slightly over sized. Cut out the template, tape to skin, and use one of the young-uns crayons to mark the outer edge. It is critical that you measure from a fixed pint to the center line of the antenna base to be sure it is square. I prefer royal blue . Then I cut out the hole in the template and mark it as well. If you have a hole punch, punch out the screw holes and mark them too.

The reason for all the coloring on the skin is so you know the boundaries of the holes you will cut.

If you have a long enough bit drill a hole clear thru the outer and inner skin at the center of the template hole as well. If not drill the center hole, and use a long screwdriver and a hammer, or a punch and a hammer to mark the center for the inside hole. Drill the biggest hole you can inside the edge of the hole you marked. You want to do this before you employ a hole saw or else you will have to make the inside hole bigger to get it all to line up. I use a set of aircraft shears to cut the hole to a sufficient size to allow for wiggle room and allow me to feed wires, etc. Once you have the outer cut, then cut the inner hole.

The antenna should be test fit to measure the shaft so it can be cut down. You will also need to cut the sleeve for the handle. The directions for this are good, I always cut them long and have to cut twice. I cut the very first one short and had to get some parts. Most RV dealers sell a kit with a shaft and collar for this situation. USE LIBERAL AMOUNTS of VULCEM when attaching to the roof. Be sure the base is square before affixing it to the roof. The reason I mention this is that the inner ring alignment is critical and it all starts by being square.

Me drilling holes
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Old 05-23-2005, 10:34 PM   #10
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anyway, the directions say "make a 1 3/4" hole".

I think I'll need to put it off to the side, similar to VT's antenna. the old skyliner was mounted dead-center, just aft of the forward vent. but since it doesn't lie flat on the roof when retracted, actually sitting on a bracket that elevates it 6" above the roof, the tail end was suspended above the center vent. but this new arrangement wants to lie flat. won't fit between the vents.

so. any other bits of wisdom to bestow, before I make the leap? [/QUOTE]

Chuck,

If you already have a hole saw in the correct size, then consider riveting a small piece of aluminum over the existing hole. Take all but a minute to do. Then you have a solid base to drill the center of the holesaw into. The patch should be smaller than the eventual hole.
Be careful with your antenna placement. The Airstream shape promotes clean airflow, unlike SOB's. This airflow will happen close to the skin at driving speed. It might oscillate the antenna head in such a way that it wears into the skin, or breaks the antenna head.
Better to leave it in the center and raise the end up over the vent, in my opinion. The head might oscillate in the wind, but won't wreck your roof in the process.
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Old 05-24-2005, 05:43 AM   #11
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chuck

uwe has a point, the batwing antenna will saw nice little slots in the aluminum if it touches the skin. just make sure the rubber feet carry all the weight and the tips do not touch!

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Old 05-24-2005, 07:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
I you have access to both sides of the hole, I would recommend a..a..ah...I don't know what it is called to go out and buy it, but technically, I would call it a manual compression shear. I have seen electricians use them to make clean holes for electrical conduit.

Basically, it is a die & mandrel that is bolted through a pilot hole (which you already have). Using a wrench, the assembly is tightened from one side until a hole is punched.

You can't beat it for clean holes.

Tom
Manual or Hydralic Hole Punch. Two halfs fit together and you pump the handle to make the hole. Big ones have compressors. Can be rented. However can not use if there is space between the halfs, like inside and outside skins. Does do a great job if you can get around that problem.
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:17 PM   #13
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I bought a 1 3/4" hole saw, so that'll probably be the easiest way.

the interior ceiling panel is still down....took it down to find the leak last fall. turned out to be the old antenna, which is the reason for this project. so I'll have to tack the ceiling back in place so I can get the hole in the right place. but its a good thing I have it down, because otherwise, I might not have seen the structures that are attached on the inside of the exterior skin. they look like they are part "stiffener", and part "nailer"...something to rivet the inner skin to. but I have no idea how they're attached to the outer skin. there are no rivets visible from outside. so I might have tried to drill right through them.

I don't really think it'll fit in the skyliner's spot. I mean, you could do that, but it would look really strange with its tail stuck up so high. If I take off the skyliner's bracket, and let the new antenna's legs rest on the center vent, that would probably do more scraping, as its rubber feet won't be resting on that one spot where it touches the vent.

I don't know...has anyone actually "seen" or had a batwing placed there? maybe on a larger trailer, the vents spaced further apart.

anyway..another thought I had was to make a "gasket" out of alluminum flashing, and sandwich that between the new antenna base and the roof. I found the same corrosion under the old antenna that Rich posted about on VT. The idea would be for that flashing to be "sacrificial"; it would rot...but nothing would be in contact w/ the roof (hard to fix) except alluminum. I don't know...overkill?
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Old 05-24-2005, 12:25 PM   #14
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Inspect first.

Measure twice, cut once!

Look at the vintage Thunder site to make sure you don't have metal corrosion up there like VT did once is was prepped for painting and they found all the pon holes.

Rob
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