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    How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    I am making a display box to hang on the wall for one of my clients. She wants a black velvet background. She is going to hang four family heirloom badges (like the kind Scottish people wear on their hats, I think) which have a horizontal pin on the back like a modern-day broach. I was going to cover 1/4" plywood with the black velvet. I am heading out to Lowe's to try and find the appropriate hardware on which to hang the badges so they can be removed and worn when desired. I chose the 1/4" to give me good purchase for whatever hardware I choose.

    My problem is that I will have to drill through the black-velvet into the plywood to secure the hanging hardware. A long time ago I tried to drill through cloth and it didn't go well. The cloth twisted up and ruined what I was doing. I'm also afraid the cloth will eventually pull away from the hole and leave some wood exposed, over time, even if it doesn't twist.

    I considered covering the entire board with spray adhesive before I applied the cloth but I'm not sure that it would be strong enough to fight the torque of the drill and would fail over time pulling the fabric away from the hole.

    Anybody have any positive experiences to share?
    If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Humans live by choice, not by instinct. Humans are the only creatures who make a choice to torture and kill other creatures for recreation.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    If the material is a man made fiber, a soldering iron works well.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Can you put another piece of wood over the cloth? Sorta like a sandwich w/ the cloth in the middle. Then find a way to press down on the top piece of wood so it is tight against the cloth. I use this method when I drill holes in sandpaper disk for the vacuum to work better.

    Bill
    I'll gladly tell you how I do something. Just please don't confuse that with the right way to do it, and almost certainly not the only way.


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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by jlayell View Post
    If the material is a man made fiber, a soldering iron works well.
    Cool idea. Will have to keep that in mind.
    Woodworking will teach you both patience and how to overcome adversity. The more patient you are, the less adversity you will have to overcome.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    I would use a punch to cut the cloth and use a pattern to make sure I spaced the holes the same on the cloth and the wood. Drill the wood without the cloth there, then put the cloth on with its holes punched in the matching locations so the screws can go through. Cloth fibers don't drill well; they need to be sheared.

    EDIT - note that this is explicit to felt and some similar fabrics that don't unravel. If I were using a fabric that did unravel I would put a drop of epoxy on the spot, let it dry and then drill through.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    +1 on the punch idea. I see hollow punches often at the local flea market, the kind used to punch leather as well as plastic tarps. I'd lay the velvet out & punch it on the plywood backing to give you a reference on where to drill the holes.
    WHAT BOX?

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Just drill the wood first, the cloth will separate enough to poke the screws through. If your still worried about it poke an ice pick through the cloth right before you insert the screws. If the screws are very small don't even drill the wood, just poke a hole with an ice pick.

    Spray adhesive is a good idea, remember to let it tack up before you adhere the cloth. Fresh spray adhesive will bleed through most cloth unless it is really thick. In that case spray, let it dry then spray again, let it get tacky then spread the cloth. Best to have three or four people if the board is large, some to hold the cloth snug a few inches above the board and one to press down with a wide soft squeegee.
    Most people who are into preparedness, didn't get there because it makes sense. They got there because they suffered and chose not to suffer again.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gotcha6 View Post
    +1 on the punch idea. I see hollow punches often at the local flea market, the kind used to punch leather as well as plastic tarps. I'd lay the velvet out & punch it on the plywood backing to give you a reference on where to drill the holes.
    I like that additional idea a lot. I will have to remember that - mark the holes by punching right over the backing. I always take transfer over measurement when I have the option. Very clever, Dennis.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    +1 Mike--------pending size of the holes, larger holes in the cloth can be cut out with an exacto knife after the backing is bored and cloth adhesive is dry.

    Jerry
    We make a living by what we get...............We make a life by what we give

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    These pins probably don't weigh much. Can you find some hanging hardware that you can attach with tiny brads or tacks through the velvet into the plywood?

    Brian

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Have you considered using flocking instead of velvet. Over time, if not glued to the backer, the velvet will start to sag. Flocking would be permanent and you could drill first and then apply the flocking.

    George
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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Another option would be to use small hooks to hang the badges on (like the little ones used to hang a calendar or small pictures on sheet rock). If they would be too unsightly in the whole, attach them to the backer board before putting on the velvet or fleck, and and make a little slice in the cover to slide over the hook when applying it. Flock could be applied right over them.

    The advantage is that the badges can be easily removed to wear, and easily hung back up when displayed, without disturbing the background covering.

    I would try it first on a scrap piece to see if they would hang like you want.

    jmtcw

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    Thanks for all the tips.

    I went to Lowe's and picked up some spray adhesive. Thanks for the tip about letting it tack up first.

    I found a type of black clip in the automotive hardware drawers. I bought a few different sizes and am going to try them out. If they work, I'll have to paint the screw heads I use black.

    I suggested flocking to my client when I built my walnut box but found out that "some circles" consider flocking "cheap." Who knew? I hope a sawtooth hanger is acceptable.

    L-brackets would have been my first choice but the threads stop too far away from the bend.

    I am going to try poking a hole with an awl and putting thin CA glue on the threads of the screw to try and glue
    the cloth in the hole. Hopefully, the spray adhesive will help prevent any sagging.

    It's a simple box but all this non-wood stuff is new to me. I also have to cover the mat with a tartan cloth. There are a lot of straight lines so the tiniest bit of stretching will throw it off. Another new thing to figure out how to do. Spray adhesive to the rescue, I hope. I also have to put brown paper across the back to cover everything.

    One thing I forgot about while making the box was the extra bulk the cloth would add. My rabbit wasn't wide enough so I had to cut the mat.
    If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Humans live by choice, not by instinct. Humans are the only creatures who make a choice to torture and kill other creatures for recreation.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    When you glue the brown paper dust seal use Elmer's or Titebond yellow glue. Just a thin bead all the way round the frame. Spray the paper lightly with water (A fine mist works best) and glue it to the frame. Wait till it is dry then trim the paper around the edge of the frame. The mist of water makes the paper dry tight as a drum on the frame. If you glue without misting first the paper will be loose and floppy.

    I ran a framing shop for three years so I know how this works. We did thousands of picture frames, shadow boxes and displays. I made one display frame for the Chief of Police with every type of badge the dept had used since 1910 and several patches.
    Most people who are into preparedness, didn't get there because it makes sense. They got there because they suffered and chose not to suffer again.

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    Re: How do I drill a hole through cloth?

    Thanks, Mike. I now remember reading that technique years ago but had completely forgotten about it. You've saved me a lot of trouble I believe.
    If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Humans live by choice, not by instinct. Humans are the only creatures who make a choice to torture and kill other creatures for recreation.

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