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Essay: drill the knockout w/o a press (long) (archive)

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Posted by Slick///M3 on June 20, 2000 at 11:20:40:

In Reply to: Re: Factory keyless entry install, is it difficult posted by KC325 on June 20, 2000 at 10:08:12:

: if you have a drill press it is easier to make the 2 holes more neatly.

There a a few things which make the drilling of the knockout a bit tricky:

- moulded ridges on the back of the knockout will make the bit skip
- the locking tabs on the back of the knockout make it difficult to drill from the outside
- the bit will suddenly grip the soft plastic, possibly causing it to go off the intended spot.

Here's how I drilled it neatly w/o a press.

1. Get piece of flat wood, and drill a couple of 1/4 inch holes for the tabs to fit into. This way, you can lay the knockout on the wood, front side up. Drill in a place where you can fit a suitable small clamp to hold the knockout down for drilling.

2. Cover the front of the knockout with masking tape.

(Refer to the instruction drilling diagram for steps 3 & 4.)

3. Mark the exact center of the width (side-to-side) distance in two places, then use a fine point pencil to draw a lengthwise (top-to-bottom) line through the two points.

4. Find the exact center of the line, and mark it. From this mark, measure along the line to find the two exact centers between the center mark and the top and bottom edges. Mark the two secondary centers.

5. Use a suitable clamp to hold the knockout down on the board.

6. Use a small nail or punch to indent the two drilling points.

7. Drill a 1/16" pilot hole, then increase the bit size appropriately. Use a high speed dril, with light pressure.

8. If you don't have the exact drill bit sizes called for in the destructions, you can get close, then use a sharp knife to slightly expand the holes.

Tip: if you don't drill the LED hole far enough away from the knockout tab, you may have trouble getting the spring clamp on with a tight fit, because it will fight with the tab. If this happens, you can file out a notch on the end of the clamp. I used a Dremel for this.

Tip: If the LED or mic are a bit loose, you can dab a bit of epoxy or other glue around the loose item, on the inside of the knockout.

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