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Old 07-30-2015, 10:49 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Oregon
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: GMC
Bus Plumbing......

Hello, we are getting ready to put our floor in this week and will be then getting ready for the water system. I see a lot of things online for almost everything except the plumbing. I.E. getting the holes drilled for toilet and shower to tanks and the sinks as well. Whats the best method for drilling the holes? I see lots of jobs completed but none of the dirty work is shown.....Help me please im drowning in confusion and doubt....HEHE...

Thank you,
Ole & Becca
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:01 PM   #2
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A good quality hole saw and a robust drill motor.

I had to drill 4 large holes.
Fill for gen fuel.

Don and Mary
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:36 PM   #3
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Hole saw is my first choice too. If you have plywood to go through, remember to pull the hole saw out frequently to clear the dust out of the cut; sometimes they don't clear well on their own. A jig saw works well too. In any case, use a metal-cutting blade because it's best for the steel deck below the plywood, but it'll do well enough cutting the plywood too (if you haven't removed that).

Don't forget there are ribs below the floor and it's best to avoid cutting them out. There can be other "obstacles" too.. brake lines, wiring harness, etc.. In my bus, I took measurements and made my best guess as to where the penetration should go, then drilled a small test hole from inside the bus. Poke a wire or other object through so that it's easy to find from below, and go have a look to be sure the location works with whatever features exist below the floor. Adjust the location as necessary from that point, then cut the full opening.

Take heart: If your guess was good then the test hole will be inside the full-size opening. Even if a test hole falls outside the full-size opening, it's not the end of the world. Just seal it up the same way you have/will do the bolt holes from the seats.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:44 PM   #4
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test hole works good, and I just cut out a square hole with 4-1/2 grinder...didn't have a hole saw when it was needed
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:03 PM   #5
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We used a hole saw but it was a cheap harbor freight one and I think it was only intended for wood. Went through a couple of blades because the metal kept wearing the teeth off. For the 3" toilet hole the saw just wouldn't work, so we used a step drill bit and then a skil saw to shape out the hole to the right size. Since the hole saw had already cut the plywood flooring to the right size hole it was easy to make the metal floor match.
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Old 07-30-2015, 01:18 PM   #6
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BI-METAL is the key.
Don and Mary
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:21 PM   #7
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The hole saw and and good drill is perfect for plumbing individual holes. If you are good one square hole could accommodate all penetrations in a common area with a jig saw, sawzall or skillsaw.
Multiple penetrations in one area? One bigger hole is probably best. Single holes you need a good hole saw and drill.
You might see the price of a good metal bit as to expensive up front but after you buy five for five holes that cost as much as one good one that you can get 10 holes out of it was worth the cost upfront.
The right tool for the right job always pays for itself even if you can't answer for the cost upfront.
You will be able to answer for it later.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:32 PM   #8
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Amen to that! "Buy once, cry once," as I've heard it said. A good tool is safer, gets the job done faster, and lasts longer. I guess there's the rare exception when one knows going in that a tool will be abused and will wear out early, and then it makes sense to buy one that's priced to be disposable. Rarely when I think "I'm only going to use this tool just this one time...." does it actually prove true. More often it turns out "why didn't I buy this a long time ago??" and I'm glad to have bought a good one.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:15 AM   #9
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The problem I see with most people using hole saws
and large drill bits is everyone gets in a hurry and thinks
that it will be faster to run the drill at full speed instead
of slow and steady. I've used the HF hole saw set for
numerous holes thru the floor and they are still sharp I
just drill at the lowest speed my drill will turn them. Same
goes for drilling rivets. I can drill 50 or more with one bit
and still be sharp. Keep the speed down and let the bit do
the cutting job it was designed for.
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Old 07-31-2015, 11:23 AM   #10
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Roger that --- Overheating due to excessive speed and/or pressure is what eats most bits, drills, etc.

And...doesn't anyone use/know about lubricating/cooling oil while performing these tasks? Even a shot of WD-40 now and then will make a huge difference in both the cutting ability AND the life of the tool but I rarely see anyone do anything but..."push harder/turn faster". (?)
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