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Old 05-25-2008, 03:56 AM
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Default Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

Figured something would come up with a search, but couldn't find anything.

I'm moving from the stock Clarion 5 1/4" speakers in my cockpit to JL 7.7"'s. What is the most efficient way to "file" away the fiberglass to enlarge the speaker hole?

I have an air die grinder that I worked at it a bit, but it just doesn't seem to tkae any meat of the fiberglass off. Is tried all the bits that came with the kit, too. Maybe there is a special bit I can buy for it?

Or, should I get a dremel or rotozip? If so, which bit there?
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

The best way to accomplish this is to use a double hole saw arbor. You thread on a 5" that acts as a guide and you drill with the larger. Now this is probably the most expensive way to do it but certainly is the cleanest.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:35 AM
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Default RE: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

I would use a jigsaw with a fine tooth blade. Adjust the depth of the saw and watch out for wires behind the hole. Use blue tape on the area you are cutting so the fiberglass won't chip.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

RotoZip style tool ...

http://www.rotozip.com/SiteLanding_Page.htm

and a Carbide bit...


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Old 05-25-2008, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

The best way I have found is use a coarse drum sander on your die grinder. Messy, but quick.
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:35 AM
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Default RE: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

Use a rotozip type tool. I cut my speaker holes with a big dremel like the rotozip. The only caution I would have is take your time. When I went too fast I broke the bits because of the heat generated.

Good Luck
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

Use a roto zip with a tile / ceramic bit. Tape it off with a blue painters tape. You should seal around your JL speakers with a white caulk.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

cheapest that works well is the coarse drum sander that fits in your electric drill - have the shop vacumn close - agree with the bead of white silicone around the speaker....
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

I'm not too worried about a mess. When I had the die grinder in there, the shop vac pulled the fiberglass dust right in there.

I'll put a bead of white silicone around the speakers. The existing ones did not have any silicone around them.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:11 PM
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Default RE: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

When using a hole saw, first run it in reverse so you wont f up the gelcoat when you go forward.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

Quote:
capt. thunder - 5/25/2008 7:35 AM I would use a jigsaw with a fine tooth blade. Adjust the depth of the saw and watch out for wires behind the hole. Use blue tape on the area you are cutting so the fiberglass won't chip.


+1 on that

Also make sure you overlap PLENTY of blue painter's tape to the area you are cutting. That way if you slip with whatever cutting tool you are using, the surface you are cutting into will havea little protection from scratches/nicks.

I also used a small shop fan set on high sitting right next to where I was cutting. I used it to blow away the enormous amount of dust I was making. This helped me see exactly where I was cutting and kept me from breathing in all the dust. Also kept cleanup to a minimum as I did this outside. I recently put 2 Infinity Kappa 6x9's in the bow of the boat and they went as smooth as could be using this method. Normally when you try to do something custom you run into all kinds of odd problems, with this project, I didn't have not even one.

Good luck
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Old 05-25-2008, 05:58 PM
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Default RE: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

I use a 1/8 carbide ball end mill in a Rotozip. It works fast and does not make a huge mess. The carbide holds up well and does not chip the edges. The ball end lets you plunge in by just rolling the tool into the work. There are lots of carbide end mills on eBay........................
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Enlarging Speaker Holes in the Fiberglass

I just cut holes in my cc for speakers the other day. I went the jig saw route because it was what I had. I used the Bosch U101AO3 blades, which are 20 tpi, cut bi-directionally, and are for curves in clean wood. Bosch also makes this blade in a t-shank. For 5" speakers, it took 2 blades per hole. I put 2 layers of blue tape (crossed directions) on the console and a layer on the foot of the saw. I then laid out my holes, pre-drilled a 1/4" pilot hole, set the saw on the slowest speed, and let the saw pull itself through the cut. When progress slowed, I changed bits. When I pulled the tape, there were no gelcoat chips! If you have the hole saws and a drill that will turn them, that would be the best way to go. But if you don't, this way works well and fast.

I used a drum sander in my drill to polish up the hole and make sure there was sufficient clearance between the speaker and the hole. A little sillycone and a couple of screws and I now have tunes on the boat.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:43 PM
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Default What is the purpose of silicon around the speaker

I noticed in this thread that two people suggested putting a silicone/caulk bead around the speaker.

What is the main purpose?

1) Keep water out (which if these are marine speakers, would it matter?)

2) Make it nice looking (because there is a slight crack between the speaker and fiberglass)

3) Some other reason?

Not trying to be smart here. I would never have thought to do that and the fact that two suggested it struck me.

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Old 08-25-2011, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jreuscher View Post
I noticed in this thread that two people suggested putting a silicone/caulk bead around the speaker.

What is the main purpose?

1) Keep water out (which if these are marine speakers, would it matter?)

2) Make it nice looking (because there is a slight crack between the speaker and fiberglass)

3) Some other reason?

Not trying to be smart here. I would never have thought to do that and the fact that two suggested it struck me.

Jeff
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt. thunder View Post
I would use a jigsaw with a fine tooth blade. Adjust the depth of the saw and watch out for wires behind the hole. Use blue tape on the area you are cutting so the fiberglass won't chip.

Just did this a week ago and it did great. Outlined the parts I needed to cut out and everything was good to go. Went from 5inch to 7inch speakers.
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:45 PM
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I used a Dremel to enlarge my 6.5 hole a little (by about a 1/4 inch). For new speakers up front, I used the Dremel circle cutting tool. Worked like a charm. Figure on using one Dremel bit per speaker. (I used the one that was for fiberglass, laminate, etc. About $4+ at Home Depot).
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:01 PM
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air body saw is what we use....
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:08 PM
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All good ways stated on posts. I have used the Dremel also with an upspiral or ball mill. Gives you complete control of the cut. Best way I found. Home Desperate or Lowes has the bits.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen E View Post
cheapest that works well is the coarse drum sander that fits in your electric drill - have the shop vacumn close - agree with the bead of white silicone around the speaker....
I just put new speakers in a few weeks ago and had to do the same. Used the drum sander in an electric drill...quick and easy. I have all the other tools mentioned, but I think you get the most control with the drum sander.
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