Metal Magic: Cutting Round Instrument Holes


KITPLANES editor at large Paul Dye continues the Metal Magic series with a tutorial on how to cut round holes in aluminum, mainly for the purpose of building instrument panels. There are several ways to get perfectly round, accurate holes in panels, and he discusses the two most popular.

This series is sponsored by Aircraft Spruce & Specialty.

View the complete list of published Metal Magic videos.


  1. Thanks for these video! As a scratch building they’re invaluable. I’ve used fly cutters before, I’ve also had them catch and ball up my work like a piece of tin foil. Since I have to cut a bunch of holes in my spar blanks of various sizes, are there other methods? I’ve heard regular wood hole saws can be modified for aluminum. Any experience or thoughts on that?

  2. I am about to cut a 1.125″ hold in my RV-8 panel for a USB charger using a hole punch. I have never used a hole punch, so this video was perfect timing. Thanks Paul.

  3. A little oil on the circumference of the hole on the sheet of aluminum (both sides) and on the die and the die threads will make this job go much easier.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.