Electrical Contracting News (ECN) August 2016 - Page 31

TOOLS An arbor can be fitted with a hole saw that has the same diameter as the existing hole. THE HOLE TRUTH The materials and technologies in our homes and commercial buildings are advancing rapidly. While this is great news for designers and engineers, it poses challenges for tradespeople responsible for fitting new projects and refurbishing existing buildings. Here John Cove at Starrett looks at the top five hole saw hacks that can make these jobs a breeze. W hether you’re a plumber, an electrician or a carpenter you will be all too familiar with the challenges involved in cutting and fitting various materials day to day. Surfaces made of metal, timber, engineered wood, plastic, glass, porcelain and masonry, among others, can all require different approaches to create a clean hole. It’s not just surfaces either. Being able to adapt to your surroundings when you come up against non-standard fittings, jobs that product a lot of debris and dust, and even environments that are poorly ventilated can be a real hassle, taking up precious time on the job and reducing productivity. However, making some simple changes to your workflow and choosing the right tool for the job can make all the difference. So here are our top five hole saw hacks to help you do just that. 1. Cutting porcelain tiles Ceramic tiles have been around for centuries, so we’re all used to seeing them on everything from flooring and kitchen backsplashes to bathrooms and even as decorative murals. Advancements in production techniques have made porcelain tiles more popular than ever. Although ceramic tiles are made from a soft mineral clay substrate topped with a glaze, porcelain tiles are fired at higher temperatures and pressures. This liquefies the mineral into solid glass, so the tile itself is much harder and denser, making it ideal for a wide variety of applications. This strength has made porcelain tiles a popular modern interior design choice, with tiles being used in areas other than simply on floors, kitchens and bathrooms. However, the hardness of the tile makes it very difficult to cut using a simple tile cutter, and porcelain tiles are also more prone to chipping during the cutting process. 31 31-32 Tools – Starret.indd 31 18/07/2016 10:36