Making holes in gaskets

General tips/tricks/tools that could be utilized on any platform.

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Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Making holes in gaskets

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:09 pm

I was waiting in the lobby for pills the other day when my wife handed me a Popular Hot Rodding Magazine so I started thumbing through it when I ran onto a tip for cutting holes in gasket material.
drilling holes in gaskets.jpg
This is an adjustable diameter wood drill and, if you are careful, you can adjust the cutting edge to the diameter of the hole. Put the point in the center then slowly rotate the bit to score your hole then apply a light pressure to cut through the material. Adding too much pressure can cause the cutter to dig in and the material to move or fold up so restraint must be used.

I also have used another version of this with a larger diameter capability (it was the "beam" style) to carefully cut a large hole in my Black Buggy's fiberglass body for access to the fuel neck. Remember, the larger the diameter the slower you have to go.

Using hole templates with a scalpel blade, Exacto blade or other pointed sharp blades can be used to cut the hole but care must be taken not to damage the template. A box knife w/a new blade will also work but it is so big and bulky that you can quickly and easily damage the plastic hole template.

Lee
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SCOTTRODS
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Re: Making holes in gaskets

Post by SCOTTRODS » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:38 am

I just use a hammer and gasket punches... :mrgreen:

Truly I do use a hammer to make holes (without punches) a lot... A Small Ball Peen hammer tapping around the edges of the opening cuts right through most gasket material. Been doing that since I was probably 10 or 12 years old.
I have found them completely missing more than once. - PILEDRIVER

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Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: Making holes in gaskets

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:44 am

Good point! That's the way I often use to make patterns using paper or light card stock (up to the thickness of cereal boxes). With certain materials though, such as thin cork sheet or other similar types of compressible types of gasket materials, you can damage that part of the surface so the seal isn't always the best. You can make a paper pattern and use it to cut those sensitive materials though.

Thanks for adding the good information.

Lee

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: Making holes in gaskets

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:30 am

Just to make sure I was correct I did a search on this subject and after "thumbing" through some of the ads I found a couple of places where the subject of home made gasket cutting was broached. One thing that was talked about in several places was that the different materials have to be cut differently.

http://jaws.tips/motorbike/myogasket.html

This URL is from Australia and is fairly good. He uses gasket cutter tools/punches for what it is worth. Also, his point on assuring that the inside of the motor gasket is free from edges where material could drop off and get into the oiling system and plug things up.

There are quite a few videos on the subject also.

In case there is someone who isn't familiar with using a small ballpeen hammer for making patterns or gaskets: it is the ball end you use to tap lightly around the hole and bolt holes to form the gasket. "Lightly" is the operating word so don't be afraid to go around more than once; it doesn't take long to figure it out.

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