SailNet Community banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?

Thanks

Gerry
 

·
Telstar 28
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,000 Posts
Aircraft "nibbler"

Gerry:

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,

Gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
aluminum?

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

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,481 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
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.

Ken.
 

·
ancient mariner
Joined
·
439 Posts
RETCLT that is a great article about grimding wheels, thanks.
 

·
Freedom 39
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
Sawzall worked on mine. If you go with a power tool I strongly suggest...hearing protection, safety glasses, gloves and long sleeves...don't ask.:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Thanks to everyone who contributed information....

The sawzall works the best, where I could use it (I used it to remove the top of the tank). Grinders , jig saws etc were a bust. Way to scary and too much work jammed in a very confined space with bits of flying aluminum everywhere. So I have just cleaned up the tank and I am now the proud owner of a boat with a keel, metal lined wine cellar.:rolleyes:
 

·
Retired and happy
Joined
·
228 Posts
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.
I agree - and not just resins! Aluminium is a very reactive metal. Once the stable oxide coating is removed, the powder produced by grinding or sawing can be potentially flammable. However, provided you take precautions, using discs or saws intended for aluminium cutting should get you a positive result.

Happy cutting!

Stuart
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top