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gtod25 12-09-2008 09:00 AM

Cutting out an Aluminum fuel tank.....
I'm about to cut out a center line fuel tank, which has to be removed piece by piece. Not looking forward to the experience:(. I need recommendation about what tools to use. Sawzall won't work and grinder has not been recommended because the cutting disk gets loaded with aluminum.

Any ideas?



sailingdog 12-09-2008 09:12 AM

It might help to say what boat this tank is on, since someone may have prior experience with doing what you're about to attempt.

gtod25 12-09-2008 09:23 AM


Originally Posted by sailingdog (Post 414150)
It might help to say what boat this tank is on.

Then again it might not?

bubb2 12-09-2008 09:48 AM

GMarcus 12-09-2008 10:02 AM

Aircraft "nibbler"

You might try an aluminum "nibbler" usually used on aircraft/aircraft parts. It's strictly manual, but cheap but they also have air powered nibblers. It nibbles out about a .125" width kerf, but should work for what you intend doing..

Might look on Aircraft Spruce & Speciality's web site or Wag-Aero, etc.

Good luck,


retclt 12-09-2008 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by gtod25 (Post 414159)
Then again it might not?


Consider a Silicon carbide cutting wheel. It's recommended for aluminum.

Here's a link with pretty good information.

Choosing The Right Grinding Wheel:


timebandit 12-09-2008 11:51 AM


Skill saw with a carbide tipped blade should work just fine.

Rockter 12-09-2008 12:10 PM

Watch your heat build-up and fire risk. Resins catch fire quickly. Keep a hose nearby and make sure the water is switched on. Fill a bucket of water also and keep it nearby.

merc2dogs 12-09-2008 12:12 PM

nibblers or three jaw shears, Harbor freight sells them cheaply.
Better brands are better. They cut nice and quiet and leave a clean edge that's not as sharp as most other cutters.

Very little mess or noise.
Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

You can also pick up an attachment that works with a standard 1/2 inch drill motor.

they have three jaws and cut so the only real 'waste' is a narrow strip of metal that curls up nicely so you don't have to hunt down 10,000000 little half moon razor blades.

For aluminum, it helps if you put some dish soap along the cut line to keep the blades lubed up.


captbillc 12-09-2008 12:21 PM

RETCLT that is a great article about grimding wheels, thanks.

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