Help with cutting hole in van roof - Manchester

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  • Hi,

    I'm in Manchester all week and could really do with making progress with my van. I'm not really confident to go cutting holes in my van myself so I'm looking for someone experienced to either do the job for me, or help me. Any recommendations?

  • Either Julians or Willums way would work fine..

    I went with Willums ,as i already had a jigsaw and metal cutting blade..

    Made a card cut and (double/treble)checked where it should go,marked with a felt pen..taped the paintwork just outside the line to stop any scratching from the jigsaw base..drilling a hole for the blade to go through first

    Cleaned up and then painted the bare metal,before fitting the sunroof sealing with silicon..been fine for a couple of years..

  • Are you cutting a round hole(ie for a chimney , or a square hole for a skylight?) if its round , mark out what you need to cut, drill a few holes close together following your line , close enough to begin with that you can get the blade in, then cut. As willum said put say masking tape on first ( this will stop the paint chipping so easily, ) if its a square hole as julien said get a drill and an angle grinder, same process , mark out , drill a few holes, and begin, is it a steel roof or fiberglass? Remember , Measure twice ,Cut once, don't know what your doing but check your not cutting through a cross strut or something, Trust me , I'm a roofer, I do this loads of times, lol, spicky

  • The way I do it is to drill a small hole in the centre of where you want it, then scribe a line around it with a pair of dividers to just a bit bigger than the hole you want. Then I get a really thin cutting disc, they sell them for cutting stainless but they are great for ordinary steel too and are only 1mm thick.
    Now cut a line through the centre of the hole and ricght to each scribe line, so you now have two halves if you like. Cut another line at ninety degrees so its four, then eight etc, until it looks like flower petals. Then you just bend them up like a crown, using a hammer if you need to. Once done, cut the sharp tops off about an inch above the roofline. Push your flue through, then you can hammer the petals back so they grip the flue and stop it rattling. Much easier to do than to explain! Once done, push the dektite flashing over the top and rivet it down.

  • Course it doesn't leak , I'm a roofer,in the iow at the moment 26degrees with the burner going tonite, but it's cold outside, only 12ft from the sea, but it's looovley!

  • We also are having a roof problem...what about if you need to cut a hole in the roof but you already have insulation, vapour barrier, and the ply up! We are wanting to put a vent/skylight in ours too... i know if we just go for it with the angle grinder it will set fire to the insulation...thats what happened when we tried to do the window.. :whistle: we really need some ventilation!

  • Bi metal hole saw for your drill screwfix do cheap ones,cut through 4mm steel in narrow boat roof for a stove just keep it cool with the odd spray of wd40

  • keeping cool is good!!

    If using a hole saw or corer then build a small well with blutack or plasticine round the hole where you are cutting. If it is only sheet metal then fill with paraffin (oil lamp oil) because it is a "cutting oil". But because it is not then water will suffice because you can dry it out more easily from the insulation. This will keep the cutting edge cool and save it from blunting.