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Want to drill a 3rd hole in a 2-hole Vanity Basin...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Batpig's Avatar
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    Default Want to drill a 3rd hole in a 2-hole Vanity Basin...

    Dear Chaps,

    The vitreous-china Vanity Basin in my Flat is just a 2-hole "jobby" with separate "Pillar" style taps. As you can guess, it's pretty hard to get a handful of water at just the right temperature when you're trying to wash your face in the morning...

    Accordingly, I have come up with the hair-brained scheme of drilling a 3rd hole in the middle at the back of the unit in order to mount a seperate Spout, and then replace the Pillar taps with conventional "Basin" style taps that feed the new Spout via a concealed combination underneath.

    Four questions beg:

    1) What is the typical diameter of the centre hole in brand new 3-hole Vanity Basins?

    2) Is there anything better than a Tungsten-Grit Hole-Saw to drill through the approximately 6mm-thick vitreous-china with? (N.B. Whatever is used, I think it would have to work with fairly light drilling pressure in order to avoid a gory great blowout on the exit side...)

    3) What sort of RPM would the above type of cutter work best at in vitreous-china?

    4) Should I use something like light machine oil to lubricate the teeth of the cutter during the cut?

    Many Thanks,
    Batpig.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batpig View Post
    Dear Chaps,

    The vitreous-china Vanity Basin in my Flat is just a 2-hole "jobby" with separate "Pillar" style taps. As you can guess, it's pretty hard to get a handful of water at just the right temperature when you're trying to wash your face in the morning...

    Accordingly, I have come up with the hair-brained scheme of drilling a 3rd hole in the middle at the back of the unit in order to mount a seperate Spout, and then replace the Pillar taps with conventional "Basin" style taps that feed the new Spout via a concealed combination underneath.

    Four questions beg:

    1) What is the typical diameter of the centre hole in brand new 3-hole Vanity Basins?
    25mm will do
    2) Is there anything better than a Tungsten-Grit Hole-Saw to drill through the approximately 6mm-thick vitreous-china with? (N.B. Whatever is used, I think it would have to work with fairly light drilling pressure in order to avoid a gory great blowout on the exit side...)
    Diamond tipped holesaw from a specialty tile shop. Not cheap. They don't have a pilot drill either so make up a timber template to drill through.
    3) What sort of RPM would the above type of cutter work best at in vitreous-china?
    4) Should I use something like light machine oil to lubricate the teeth of the cutter during the cut?
    Slow ) Use a squirt bottle of water to keep it wet.

  3. #3
    PLU.MBR.BL.DR. bricks's Avatar
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    I would keep it in mind that you cannot heat up vitreous china unevenly, so if you cut it and you heat the top and not the bottom it will shatter. My advice would be to buy a new basin and tap set to go with.

    Next thing is that the pillar style tap setup it usually at a wider spacing on the basin than a three piece basin set would allow- you may have to modify a brand new tapset in order to make it fit?

    Cheap new basin and tap set should be around 1-200 $$$, The new tap set would be round 70$$$$ of that anyway, plus the cost of the holesaw$$?
    If you dont play it, it's not an instrument!

  4. #4
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Never talked to a batpig before.

    You have a number of options including:

    Option 1.

    Find price of diamond tipped holecutter.
    Decide cheaper to buy new basin and tap set.

    Option 2.

    Start to drill with 25mm tungsten holesaw.
    Break basin and go buy new basin and tapware.

    Option 3.

    Succesfully drill 25mm hole.
    Find that tap holes are too close together for standard breach.
    Discover that custom made breach or alterations to breach costs more than new basin and tapware.

    Option 4.

    Install new tapware onto wall above basin with piping inside wall.
    Cover old tap holes in basin with chrome dome-plugs.
    Find costs to re-route plumbing and refinish wall exceed costs of new basin and tapware.

    Option 5.

    Go look at range of basins and tapware at both Tradelink, Bunnings and local designer stores.
    Discover that you do not want the cheapest option!

    Cheers

    Graeme


    PS: Option 6.

    Install single hole mixer tap in one of the old tap holes.
    Cover other tap hole with chrome dome-plug.
    Last edited by GraemeCook; 28th Oct 2007 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Omission

  5. #5
    HELLO Make it work's Avatar
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    I'm surprised that no one has said to keep the pillar cocks.

    If you can make a hole in a tile you can make a hole in a basin but you gotta think about getting a 3 hole basin, even off ebay.
    You may even get one with tapware for under $50.
    Cheers

    Alan M

  6. #6
    Oink! Oink! pawnhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Make it work View Post
    I'm surprised that no one has said to keep the pillar cocks.
    Probably because that's what he's whingeing about in the first place. He couldn't be bothered putting a plug in the basin to mix the water to the right temperature.
    I've got the cheapest solution though.

    Go down to the hardware and buy a 1/2" copper Tee fitting for a buck or so, and a can of silver spray paint.. Get some pliers and cut a five lengths of coathanger wire about 4" long. Cut three lengths off your garden hose an appropriate length, then heat up two of the ends so you can stretch them over your tap spouts, then fit the Tee with a hose spout as long as you like. Wrap the wire around the hose at all the connections, and twist it tight with the pliers, and bingo. Instant mixer taps.

    Then spray it all silver so it looks nice and sexy.
    Cheers, John

    Short Stack (my son's band)


  7. #7
    Senior Member Batpig's Avatar
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    Dear Folks,

    Some great replies...

    Loved yours in particular Graham. It is just so Spot-On about the way this sort of thing usually pans out...
    Pawnhead - might pm you for some extra detail re your ingenious fix... (Just by the by, there are one or two companies around that actually do chrome-plated above-basin combinations. But they are usually more Heritage, rather than Contemporary, in style)
    Zelig and Bricks, I've got nothing to lose by giving it a go. I'll be getting the plumber out soon to relocate the drain pipe from the Laundry Tub, so I'll ask him when he comes out whether he thinks we could get a combo in under the Basin. If yes, massacre will commence shortly thereafter...
    Wont be buying a diamond-tipped Holesaw by the sound of it, though - especially if no pilot bit. Will try Tungsten Grit at low speed with water. If Basin breaks, new 3-hole unit (Marbletrend: $119 at Bunnings) should stem resulting flow of bad language and tears... ie. then

    Thank-you for replies,
    Batpig.

  8. #8
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    I did exactly what you are trying to do. i picked up a 32mm diamond tipped hole saw (ebay ones from China are real cheap) and a drill press + hair dresser water spray bottle or similar.

    Use a slow speed (800rpm) and go slowly...never let the hole get dry. Approx 1 minute per centimetre thickness.

    Most tap bosses need 32mm hole and most spouts will fill the same 32mm hole.

    Great excuse to increase the tool collection with the fine addition of a drill press, if you do not have one!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jacksin's Avatar
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    Once you get the hole bored use caution when tightening the centre spout of your tapware, as I have seen a basins crack between all 3 holes due to some muscle bound boofhead over tightening one.
    Jack

  10. #10
    Senior Member Batpig's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim and Jacksin,

    Still wont be doing anything until Plumber eyeballs underside of basin when he comes out to relocate the Laundry Tub waste pipe. This isn't going to happen as soon as I had hoped because we've just found a big nest of active Termites going hell for leather in the shed at the back of Mum and Dad's garage! In the Handyman-equivalent of "Rock, Paper, Scissors", Termites outrank Plumbing... (except for Burst-Mains, Burst-Hot-Water, Burnt-Out-HWS-Element, and Backed-Up-Krapper.)







    (Will start thinking about a Drill Press though...)

    Best Wishes,
    Batpig.

  11. #11
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    unionize those termites to bite a hole in your basin for ya , in exchange for free grub out back

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