Cutting holes in vinyl tubing

WVOSS@novell.com (Wes Voss) writes:

>I'm replacing some of my vinyl tubing on a kite, and I'm looking for a good 
>way to cut the hole through the tubing for the spreader to pass through. In 
>looking at the original, my guess is that the hole was burned through, but it 
>looks pretty clean. 

>Any suggestions on the best way to do this? I've tried drilling, but it's 
>pretty messy. 

I've used a leather punch and find it awkward to get the hole properly

You can get very good results by drilling if you set up a jig to use
with a drill press.  Take a piece of wood and drill a hole through it
that is a little larger than the diameter of the vinyl you intend to
drill through.  You should be able to pull your vinyl through this hole.
Drill another hole through the wood that is a little larger than the size
of the hole you wish to drill through your vinyl.  This hole should be
perpendicular to the first hole, and pass through its center.  This is the
hole your drill will pass through to cut the vinyl.

Clamp this jig to a drill press.  You can now drill vinyls production
style.  Repeatedly drilling and pulling more vinyl through the jig, I've used
this technique to drill hundreds of vinyls in minutes.  After I have
twenty feet or so of vinyl drilled, I start cutting with a vinyl

Since the hole in the jig that the vinyl is pulled through is nearly the
same diameter as the vinyl tubing itself, the tubing retains its round
shape when the drill cuts through it (it can't collapse under the pressure
of the drill).  This results in very accurate and neat looking holes.  It
eliminates the roughness usually associated with drilled holes. 

To make vinyls which only have one hole in them (rather than drilling all
the way through, leaving a hole on each side of the vinyl), set the drill
depth on the drill press to stop at the center of the hole in the jig that
the vinyl is pulled through. 

Bob Carlson

Return to Kite Fliers's Site