cutting access hole - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2009
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cutting access hole

Related to my seacock replacement, I have another problem.

The hose runs under the floor of the head through a bulkhead. The hole in the bulkhead is too tight to pull the hose through! This bulkhead hole is about 3' away under the floor and the access from the other side is very limited. No way to reach it.
Seems like I'll need to cut a hole in the floor of the head. This is a fiberglass liner. I could buy a hatch to put in the hole but that would stick up about a 1/4" and I don't like that. I could then cover the whole floor with teak grate but would rather not.

I'm thinking of using a router or roto-zip and cutting a clean hole in the floor. Then re-use the cutout as the lid for the hole. I can add stringers under the floor to support the lid along with a lip all around. The cut out groove needs covering and I'm thinking of T-moulding. This is the weak part of my idea.

Any other ideas?
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Old 01-03-2009
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Wouldn't a whole saw, make a much cleaner cut ?

Here is another type of hole saw, that may work.

Amazon.com: New EazyPower 6" Hole Saw for Wood, Drywall, Tiles: Home Improvement
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Old 01-03-2009
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Pry-Out Deck Plate / Inspection Port

I think these would work better.
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Old 01-03-2009
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Xort, I really can't visualize your problem, you say you have limited access to the bulkhead. There are hole saw extensions out there. Don't know if it would help.
Hole Saw Adaptors, Extensions and Kits Product Info and Reviews | DoItYourself.com
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Old 01-03-2009
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Unless you have room to use a template guide do not use a rotocutter.. they are near impossible to guide by hand without an edge to work against, and they are so torquey(?) that they can take off on you and leave a mess behind.

A large holesaw as suggested above will work better. Also the fittings pointed out by Thumbs should look alright, probably better than trying to hide a cutout any other way, and it's reusable at a later date.

What's on the other side of the bulkhead? Can you cut out there in a less noticeable area (such as a settee top or inside a cabinet)?
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Old 01-03-2009
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The hose runs horizontally under the floor of the head. 2 feet in from the access panel in the salon is where the stringer is with a cut-out for the hose to pass through. I cannot reach in there (remember the pix of the seacock with no room to access the seacock?). I could not get any sort of 2 foot extension through the existing access hole in the salon floor, but even if I could, I'd still have to remove the hose first and the hose is stuck in the stringer cutout! Which I cannot reach.
There is access from the other end but it's just as bad, maybe worse.

So I need closer access to the stringer cutout under the floor. That means cutting a hole in the floor of the head next to the stringer.

My issue is with finishing that hole after I cut it out. This access hole will be about 8" or bigger so I can reach in there to work on cutting up the hose and then enlarging the cut-out in the stringer.
A Deck plate was my first thought but I don't want to use the deck plate because they stick up about a 1/4" off the floor. I want a flush or nearly flush finish to the hatch.

I will use a guide for the router. I have a router and am familiar with the way they can jump around. Now I have to figure how to temporarily fasten the router guide to the floor. I'm thinking I might caulk it to the floor. Tape will probably not hold. Small amount of chipping will be covered by the T-moulding. I can get 1" wide T-moulding and glue it to the new hatch so it lifts up with the hatch if I decide to make the hatch removable. I might just caulk the T-moulding down when I'm done as I doubt I'll need to get in there for 10 years. Except it would make a nice storage place for about a case of beer!
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Old 01-03-2009
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Ed- In your case I would recommend a really big circular saw. When in doubt, get a bigger hammer/saw/explosive/etc.... What the hell you probably wanted to remodel the head anyway, right?

Oh, and just cut the hole, I'm sure you can figure out how to fix it later!!!
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Old 01-03-2009
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Jim
Big help you are!
Can you stop by that 'other' boat and pick up some parts for me? It's still available.
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Old 01-03-2009
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"how to temporarily fasten "
Hot wax glue gun, used sparingly. Usually a good twist will pop it off afterwards and if that doesn't do, you can hit it with a heat gun to remelt the wax/glue and release it.

Sounds like a large inspection plate would be a good idea, and give you access to that extra beer stowage area forever after.
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If I was going to have to be cuttin' on our boat, I think I'd want a Fein Multimaster. Kinda spendy, but I've heard nothing but Good Things about these tools.

Jim
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