Framebuilders - Drilling into bike
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07-21-08, 12:22 PM
I wanted to attach a light to the rear fender of my cruiser (Electra Ratrod)
Theres no hols for the bolts so i was wondering how I would drill a hole.
Is there a good way and a bad way to drill? I dont want to do any damage to the bike (aside from a hole)
And do I need a specific drill bit?
07-21-08, 01:09 PM
Looking at the bike, I would want the light higher up. I personally replaced the reflector with the light. You could hang a light to the side of the reflector or off of the back of the saddle. I have a second annoying light on my backpack because drivers can easier see the higher lights, think the middle brake light in most cars.
Aesthetically I agree that the light would look better either on the top or the back of the rear fender.
I have similar fenders (Nirve Streetsweepers) on my cruiser and I had to drill some holes in some unconventional places to mount them to my bike.
I'd recommend you use some tape to put the light exactly where you want it while everything is still on the bike, then mark the holes using a paint pen or a crayon.
Take the fender off the bike to drill the holes obviously...What I did when drilling mine was take a piece of scrap 2x4 and stick it under the hole I'm drilling. This way there's a lot of contact between the fender and the wood and when you put pressure on the drill you won't bend the metal surrounding the hole you are drilling.
Use the high speed setting on your drill.
To mount the lights I'd recommend a bolt with a pretty thin head on it (you could always file it down too). put the bolt heads on the inside of the fender so the bolts are sticking through to the outside of the fender and put the light on with some nuts. Then you can trim any excess thread you don't need off the bolt with a hacksaw or a cutting wheel.
I would recomend the lowest setting on your drill, speed wise, or even a hand drill like an egg beater or a brace. A standard electric drill will do a standard 1750 rpm, drill drivers are much slower. I set my mills and lathes around 60 rpm, and while higher is at time better, I just leave them there unless I don't like the results.
07-21-08, 11:47 PM
Suggest you use a 135-degree split-point drill bit. Use a center punch to dimple the fender in the spot where you want to drill. You may want to use some sort of spot drill to enlarge the dimple before you drill the full-size hole. This will help prevent the drill bit from "walking" across the fender before it starts to drill through the metal. If your drill bit isn't sharp enough and your fenders are painted, there's a good chances you'll tear up the paint around the hole! Masking tape sometimes helps prevent this problem.
07-28-08, 09:18 AM
Well thanks for the suggestions, but I ended up asking my local bike shop to do it and they said no prob. And its free. So Ill be taking it in this week. Heres the light I ended up making and attaching with a larger sized bolt.
07-30-08, 10:40 AM
Thats pretty sweet. Does it blink?
08-04-08, 10:58 AM
Yeah. Its a constant fast blink and is activated with a slight motion. :)
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