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Old 18 August 2007, 17:23   #1
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Cutting a hole in deck

Hi, anyone had to cut a hole in their deck with limited space underneath to work with? I need to fit a bigger hatch to get access to my fuel sender - gasket needs replacement.

Existing Ribeye access hatch was designed by a gynachologist, its useless so needs enlarging. Anyway I have a new bigger hatch, gasket & need to make a bigger hole. The fuel tank sits about 1/4 inch below the deck so I could use the jigsaw & shorten the blade, but its a bit tight.

Alternatively, can you get a cutting round thingy you put on a drill about 7 inch diam? & if so where from? I have a set of smaller ones I could do a few smaller holes with to make 1 big hole, the drill having a depth gauge to stop cutting too far.

Any other ideas?

Cheers all
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Old 18 August 2007, 18:14   #2
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What about renting a router for a few hours?

Sounds like that is the type of tool you need. By the correct choice of cutting heads you can make sure it doesn't cut too deep.

Ian
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Old 18 August 2007, 18:25   #3
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A router is the way to go. Mark cut line, adjust depth of cut to just go through. You will probably need a carbide cutter say 1/8 " 3mm dia. Take it slow. A jigsaw will make one hell of a mess and chip the gelcoat.
Regards, T.
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Old 18 August 2007, 18:52   #4
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hi brilliant suggestion I will buy a router. This forum is fab..saved me loads of hassle!

Cheers all & thanks for prompt replies
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Old 19 August 2007, 01:21   #5
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Were it me, to ensure a fair cut I'd use a plywood template to guide the router in the proper diameter circle. A router off the leash can have a mind of its own! Hmmm how do I know this....
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Old 20 August 2007, 05:52   #6
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make sure you do a template first, and install a collar (you will get one with your router) and follow the shape of the template. Stick the template down with tape to stop it moving, and i would only take a couple of mm off with each pass.... good luck
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Old 20 August 2007, 06:50   #7
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hi all & thanks for the suggestion of a template. The guy at the hire shop said the router will wander off on its own accord so Ill make up a tremplate & tape it down.

I just siphoned off the tank & have a router on hire tomorrow for the vast cost of 15e!

Cheers all, much appreciated your comments.

Incidentally, Ribeye just told me that a teak deck is fitted over the original hatch, Id be well miffed having spent 2k GBP or so on a teak deck to be cutting a hole in it & sticking on a larger pvc hatch - its the only way to get the gasket out.
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Old 20 August 2007, 14:49   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychopic View Post
i would only take a couple of mm off with each pass.... good luck
Depth wise I'm sure you mean which is how I'd approach it as well.

T
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Old 21 August 2007, 14:28   #9
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hi all, just to close this one off & in case anyone is searching in future for tips on router, hatch & cutting a hole in deck here goes. I hired a router today, made a template & stuck it down with tape, shaved off a few mm with each pass & kept rechecking my measurements. Well what a fab performance! routers are the best & clearly made for the job.

Some more tips:

Practice on a bit of old wood first, these routers have a mind of their own.
Hold the machine with both hands & put pressure down or it jumps up & wanders off.
Try adjusting speed, about middle did it for me.
Start in a smaller hole in the template, then work outwards nibbling away at the hole to make it bigger.
Buy a hatch with a big overlap!! mine had 1/2 inch of clearance so could afford a mistake or 2.
I got loads of plastic filings on me now & they are itchy so cover your arms & nose.

End result is tops, when Im out this weekend Ill have 1 hand on wheel, 1 on throttle & eyes fixed on my new hatch!!

Cheers all, top advice as usual. Anyone coming this way to Spain pm me & Ill show you the sights.
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Old 21 August 2007, 14:35   #10
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I take it you used eye and ear protection?
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