best way to make MANY little holes in gator board


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Mar 25, 2004
Tampa, FL
need the collective genius....

apparently, I'm going to be sewing a large cloth piece onto/thru 1/2" gator board....anyone have a good way to make the holes ( must be small/narrow )... even carpet needles are too easily broken. Nails seem right, but the really narrow ones are too short. icepick? awl? too wide. attachez gun seemed good but "I" connectors are too short. shotgun wont work--no consistant pattern!
Sewing machine needle? A standard 130/705H needle fits the Attach-EZ sewing tool nicely. Singer needles will not fit. Jeans needles are a bit stiffer and have a slightly sharper point than regular universal needles. 130/705H-J 100 is 1 mm in diameter. The smallest jeans needle is size 80 = 8/10 mm diameter.

For the smallest hole, smallest needle is size 60 and are sometimes hard to find.

You can even poke holes and carry the thread in a single motion.
I used my slight headed pinner with 3/4 inch nails to do this. Used a piece of pegboard for the spacing of the holes, and then just went on a shooting rampage with the pinner. Worked great.
How about changing the substrate to mesh stretched over strainers? Then backfill to increase support if necessary.
Andrew's idea is a good one, using fiberglass window screen material from a home improvement store. Cover it with fabric and sew through it easily.

Another method is to sew the cloth item to a piece of alphacellulose board, and then attach that to the Gatorfoam. That is better than sewing directly to the Gatorfoam anyway, because that material has some nasty chemical properties that might discolor your item over time.
Or you could simply stretch fabric onto a strainer and stitch to that. The fabric weight would depend on the size of your textile etc.

You can buy unsized fabrics from Test Fabrics for very reasonable prices which don't require prewashing.

Originally posted by Sherry Lee:
Does window screen stretch over time?????
I don't think so, and I've not encountered any problems with it. It's designed for a purpose much more demanding than ours. Fiberglass is dimensionally stable and once stretched, it will stay that way.

If you are concerned about using the screen, then Rebecca's suggestion of a fabric may be more suitable for you.
I've used the screen method before - as then suggested by Baer. I really liked the process and outcome. It wasn't until I was reading your thread that this vision of baggy sliding screen doors popped through my head at which point I gasped and then asked the above question. It's good to ask those of you with more experience - you'd know if some didn't hold up, eh?

Thanks always!