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Old 10-05-2018, 02:16 PM   #1
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Easy way to make a Hole Bigger

Recently we had a failure of the Shore water regulator. Of course the regulator that I replaced 2 years ago is no longer made. And the replacement, requires a larger opening in order to fit. Seems the manufacturers decided the “new and improved” requires a 3 1/2 “ opening. Wouldn’t ya know it, the old regulator fits in a 3” opening.
So how do you easily increase the opening?
Guess I could have used a big burr in the drill and ground away at the existing opening to make it fit. But I really wanted a clean opening, and I’m pretty sure the big burr would most likely get away from me and cause more damage then I wanted.
Called my “go to Guy”, Jim Palmer, who runs Palmer Marine and he sent his son out to get the hole enlarged for me. After watching how he enlarged the hole for me, I thought I would share this neat trick with you all.
In the picture below you’ll see that he installed both the 3” and the 3 1/2” bits in the hole saw tool. By using the 3” bit as a guide, he was able to make a very clean new hole.
As an extra hint, when starting the cut, make sure you you run the drill in reverse to get thru the gel coat, or first layer. Once that is done you can use the drill in normal mode or stay in reverse. In reverse, it takes a bit longer, but easier to control.
After drilling, we cleaned up the hole a bit, mixed up some 2 part West systems epoxy and coated the raw surface to seal up. Installing the new regulator went pretty simply, used some Sikaflex as a sealant and done!
As a bonus, the new regulator has a pressure reduction to 65 PSI versus the original only had 45. Admiral loves the new pressure, and after checking to make sure we hade no problems with leaks, another job is ticked off the list.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:45 PM   #2
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That is never an easy thing to do. I've cut plugs the size of the smaller hole to use as a center guide,but this is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:49 PM   #3
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Yeah, thanks for sharing. There is nothing like the knowledge that folks in the trades gain through experience. I’m always kicking myself “why didn’t I think of that?”
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:57 PM   #4
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yup
I have done that on a steel clad a couple of months ago worked but it was a bitch getting them apart later
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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Nice tip!
I faced the exact same thing as you last spring and instead of enlarging the hole I built a spacer/support with mahogany that comes between the regulator and the hull, just thick enough that the back of the regulator fit in the existing hole (back of regulator is conical)

L
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:57 PM   #6
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:19 PM   #7
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Great tip...
Thanks
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:35 PM   #8
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Sheesh, where were you six months ago?!

Great tip, thanks!
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:37 PM   #9
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Sheesh, where were you six months ago?!

Great tip, thanks!

Yeah, my thought as well. I had to make a hole in my hull a bit larger for a new vent fitting a couple months ago.
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Old 10-05-2018, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou_tribal View Post
Nice tip!
I faced the exact same thing as you last spring and instead of enlarging the hole I built a spacer/support with mahogany that comes between the regulator and the hull, just thick enough that the back of the regulator fit in the existing hole (back of regulator is conical)

L
😂 LOL, what I didn’t admit to was I spent 4 hours making a “Starboard” spacer to do the exact thing you described. Boy did I feel stupid when I realized I couldn’t securely attach the regulator to the supply hose.

So Thanks Lou!
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Old 10-05-2018, 05:40 PM   #11
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John, what a great tip.. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 10-05-2018, 06:59 PM   #12
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Yet another one of those "why didn't I think of that" moments
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:20 PM   #13
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Been there and have done exactly what you did to enlarge a hole.
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Old 10-05-2018, 08:44 PM   #14
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Such a simple solution can’t believe I never saw/heard it before.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:11 PM   #15
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The new fitting needed 1/4" all round which could also be achieved with a half round rasp hand tool. Not as techy,not as precise, but doable.
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Old 10-05-2018, 09:57 PM   #16
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Yes, making the hole larger is easy. Making it smaller is the hard part...
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:12 PM   #17
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:16 AM   #18
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thanks so much.
I've used the bug burr method to predicable results in the past.

A great idea.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:42 AM   #19
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Excellent tip. I’m putting that on my “How to” list. Thanks for thinking that we may not think of that!
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crusty Chief View Post
In the picture below you’ll see that he installed both the 3” and the 3 1/2” bits in the hole saw tool. By using the 3” bit as a guide, he was able to make a very clean new hole.

As a bonus, the new regulator has a pressure reduction to 65 PSI versus the original only had 45. Admiral loves the new pressure, and after checking to make sure we hade no problems with leaks, another job is ticked off the list.

Nice hint, thanks for posting. I had to go the spacer route when I replaced our original 35-psi pressure regulator with the newer 45-psi model, but that was mostly about needing additional clearance behind the bulkhead for the new tailpiece.

More importantly, can you post a link and/or model number for the 65-psi regulator? Looks like it could be an easy drop-in replacement for us now, so I might want one!!!

-Chris
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