Using a plasma saw can make portal hole cutting quick, but it has its drawbacks. Fortunately there is a cost-effective alternative that is safer, and will get the job done: a nibbler.
Great news for those that want to install portals but have built in cages! It can be done with a nibbler and some metal tapping tools. Read on to learn how…
Watch the video on using a nibbler:
1. Use a template (ordering info above) to mark the location on the cage wall where the portal will be installed
I. Measuring in 14” from the cage front and marking the cage floor will place the installed portal at 15” into the cage. This is a good location for a cage that is ~28” deep.
II. The templates were designed for use with a plasma saw with an allowance for the width of the cutting tip.
a.To make a proper size hole (not too big) place a felt tip marker inside a 1” length of ½” PVC pipe that just allows the tip of the marker to show
b. Tape the PVC pipe to the marker so the tip remains in the center of the pipe:
c. Use this to trace the template circle:
**This should give you about an 8 ¼” diameter circle.
2. Spray some oil on the location where you will drill a small starter hole - about ½” just inside the marked area for portal cut out. This starter hole will be the location where you will next use the step bit to cut a large enough hole in the cage wall to accept the nibbler head.
3. Get the electric drill and put the step bit in. Make sure your drill and step bit are sized for each other. Some of the shafts on the step bits are ½” or 3/8”. A 3/8” drill will not accept a ½” shaft. Check the drill size before purchasing your step drill.
4. Use lubricating oil during the hole drilling process with the step drill. We found it best to team up and have one person spray lubricant for the duration of hole drilling while the other person drilled the hole to the depth needed.
For additional information, watch the below clip
5. The circular cut does not have to perfect - it can be a little bigger or a little smaller than the marked circle. However it cannot be a lot bigger or a lot smaller - though a lot smaller will be much easier to fix; just recut to the size it is marked at.
6. Remove all the loose metal shards from the cage floor and wipe up any oil that is on the floor and wall
7. Clean the wall with alcohol and a paper towel. Make sure there is no oil remaining on the wall.
8. Install the portal--follow the plasma saw directions
Questions: email Dr. Denae Wager at firstname.lastname@example.org