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Slyster

Can you cut out part of an aluminum bench? How?

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Slyster

It's boat project time time.. right? Thought up an improvement for my small 14' Lund rowboat.. it has 3 benches (with the front two under a carpeted wood deck)..

My idea- cut the hole in the back side of the middle bench to store four Plano type plastic lure boxes- perhaps only a 12"x10" hole. Thought it would great to have the boxes out of the way.. always a problem in this small boat. Two questions.

1- Any structural concerns with that weakening the boat?

2- HOW do you cut aluminum? It's not very thick.

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Steve Bakken

We cut sections out of benches all the time at our shop. The key is to make sure to replace the support that the center of the bench provided, whether that be brackets, attaching it to a floor, etc. As for cutting, we usually use a cut-off wheel, but a jigsaw with a metal bit works well, too. Good luck with your project.

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Surface Tension

It can be easily done. Thing to keep in mind is your going to be removing some flotation but that can be added under your carpeted deck.

You can buy the hatch from Cabelas. It will include the lid and flange. You'll then cut out the top of the bench and insert the hatch. Drill a hole large enough to get a bi-metal jig saw blade in, proceed to cut out a pattern. You won't be weakening the seat because your not going to cut past the bend, thats where the strength is.

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Surface Tension

I was typing as you were posting Steve.

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Slyster

Tension.. what do you mean by "hatch"... do they make something relatd to my idea? You can get jigsaw metal cutting blades? Didn't know that.. that's good to hear! I have a good ol' jig saw... used it just today to cut out the new wooden bench top for the rear seat. also going to paint the boat tomorrow... I'll post pix under the "post your open water pix" post when I am done.

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Slyster

I think I found what you are referring to! Called a 'locker' on the cablas site... that just MIGHT work. With slots and a door etc. Have to do some measuring tomorrow.

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delmuts

they should have them in different sizes too!( i know BPS. does) i.e. ; for the 3700's or 3600's, and holds two or four boxes.

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Surface Tension

BSP, Overton's, Cabelas, they all sell them and in different sizes. You can go with just the lid and flange or you can get that along with an interior w/ or w/o slots for trays. I have a a locker with trays in one of my boats and I don't use it. The vibrations from travel down the roads and hwy will ruin any tackle you put in them. That locker is mounted vertical and the door usually opens by itself, spilling the contents on the floor. You might consider putting your hatch on the top of the bench.

Back to the strength part. A bench seat starts out as a sheet of aluminum. Theres no strength to it. Its the bends that give it shape and strength. As long as your hole is 1 1/2 from any bend you should be fine and won't need any reinforcement. If you cut to or into a bend your going to have to add support to that area.

Yep the jig saw works good for aluminum. Just go slow and keep downward pressure on your work.

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Kevin Turner

Good advice so far. I'll just one tip: Lube the jig saw blade with candle wax. It'll cut better...KT

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Slyster

Thanks all! I painted the boat today (thanks to searching the forums here for aluminum boat painting)... looks amazing. Tomorrow I will be doing the cutting into the bench. I am not going to use a locker (can upgrade later) for financial reasons.. but will glue in a front lower lip so the boxes can tip up so they won't fall out.. and the boat is kept in the garage so a hatch isn't that big of a deal right now. Should keep the boxes cleaner and my feet happy. I'll run to Menards tomorrow and get a metal bit for my saw.. I decided to do just a 3 box hole.. I don't think there's enough room for 4. Boat taking shape now! I love the spring boat project days... wouldn't want a boat that didn't need any work.

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DTro

sylster, how did your painting go?

I have a 14ft aluminum that I thought I would try to paint this spring. I really don't care how it turns out (mostly goofy riverrats will see it anyways wink.gif), it's full of scratches my thought was just lightly sand and wash with vinegar or TSP and overspray. I'm not painting the bottom or interior, so it should be pretty straightforward.

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Slyster

Paint turned out really nice. I just stripped the any old paint that was still there with a nylon brush rotary drill bit... came off very easy.. then cleaned with mineral spirits.. let dry.. sprayed with Rustoleum "Professional" red.. 1 large can per side was enough (Menards).. and it looks like new! I'm sure it will last a few years+ I too don't really care that much.. the boat was so bad. $30 total.

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