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Old 16-03-2017, 16:42   #1
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Mounting board products

I am rewiring my Cheoy Lee Luders 36. Want a product that will be about 3'x2'x3/8". Plan on flush mounting my VHF, stereo, two Blue Sea electric panels, and couple of Blue Sea switches for batteries. Would like a piece of teak but can't find any. Thought about a white polycarbonate. Any ideas as to what others have used?
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Old 16-03-2017, 17:07   #2
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Re: Mounting board products

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I am rewiring my Cheoy Lee Luders 36. Want a product that will be about 3'x2'x3/8". Plan on flush mounting my VHF, stereo, two Blue Sea electric panels, and couple of Blue Sea switches for batteries. Would like a piece of teak but can't find any. Thought about a white polycarbonate. Any ideas as to what others have used?
I use 1/4" black King Starboard and double that up with "modules" that hold similar items like a group of switches etc.
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Old 16-03-2017, 17:32   #3
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Re: Mounting board products

Thanks so much. That is exactly what I am looking for. Should work great.
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Old 16-03-2017, 17:49   #4
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Re: Mounting board products

I make cabinet door frames from mahogany and dado-in a panel of black ABS sheet that I buy by the pound from the scrap bin at TAP plastic. First cut a pattern in cardboard, then transfer it to the plastic before assembly.





Works in progress, but I am satisfied at the way the control panels are coming out. Gonna re-do that lower row of doors to match. And add ventilation.
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Old 17-03-2017, 06:04   #5
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Re: Mounting board products

That is gorgeous. Believe i will try and see the starboard and don't want maintenance. But, wow, you did a great job.
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Old 17-03-2017, 12:08   #6
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Re: Mounting board products

Thanks. But if I can make something like this, then anyone can. It's not really difficult.

The ABS looks OK as un-framed panels too. And like PE, you can cut and shape it with ordinary wood-working tools. Here it is actually covering up the holes left by worn-out four-inch instruments:

Supposedly not very UV resistant, but it still looks the same after six years exposure to all weather. (At lat 45°)

But I'm not sure that I'd use either ABS or PE alone for a sheet of the size you need. Either would probably need additional support. Especially if they need to hold the weight of radios, etc. without deforming. (Just my "feeling" not based on any engineering calculations.) And a single panel of that size would be difficult to open, when you need to work on the cabling or black boxes behind the panel. So I advocate dividing it into two or more sub-panels, supported on some kind of framework. The frame need not be exposed, like mine is. It could be entirely behind the panels. If you don't like wood, maybe a frame of G-10 ? Epoxy-painted marine plywood?

A separate thought: Turns out that these electronics bays do need some kind of ventilation to prevent condensation and corrosion in there. (e.g. My Sony "marine" stereo just died.) And depending on your latitude and what gear you have, may need cooling-air flow as well. I have a duct that runs behind the main panels, but still might try to squeeze a vent grille in by the radios somewhere, such that I could add a thermostated fan if ever needed.

$.02
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Old 17-03-2017, 13:26   #7
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Re: Mounting board products

King Starboard is perfect. Use .5" for that large a section. Here is what my electrical panel looked like before and after.




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Old 17-03-2017, 14:08   #8
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Re: Mounting board products

Nice. Is that piano hinge at the bottom?

I've found that 1/2 inch is too thick for control panels. It's ok for things that go in a large cut-out, like a radio. But it causes difficulties for individual switches. I ended up having to make little sub-panels to hold the switch, then putting them in a larger cut-out on the main panel. It worked OK, I guess, but I ended up changing it. I made the sub-panels from blank Home Depot switch cover plates.

Probably worth noting that the AC panel, per code, is supposed to be in a separate enclosure from the DC stuff. Oops, mine isn't shown above, but it's the mirror of the radio cabinet, on the opposite side of the DC cabinet. One guy showed me an even simpler solution - he found a piece of tupperware that fit over the back of the AC panel, and screwed it onto the back of his main panel. Seems legit!
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Old 17-03-2017, 14:33   #9
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Re: Mounting board products

Yes, a stainless steel piano hinge. Trim around the edges is some Brazilian Cherry left over in my shop.
Here's a shot of the back side of the panel. Note the cover over the AC breaker panel.

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Old 17-03-2017, 14:39   #10
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Re: Mounting board products

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King Starboard is perfect. Use .5" for that large a section. Here is what my electrical panel looked like before and after.




Neat job.

Sent from my vivo Y35 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 17-03-2017, 14:41   #11
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Re: Mounting board products

Is that a genuine BlueSeas enclosure? Looks like it was made for just that purpose.
Beats tupperware!
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Old 17-03-2017, 14:46   #12
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Re: Mounting board products

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Is that a genuine BlueSeas enclosure? Looks like it was made for just that purpose.
Beats tupperware!
YEP! For the terminal blocks inside I used a piece of 3/16" plexi that screwed over the whole block and makes it almost impossible to touch a connection.
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Old 17-03-2017, 16:13   #13
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Re: Mounting board products

I think King Starboard is just a good quality ABS with a nice finish so we're all using the same thing :-)

For bigger panels you can use 1/4" for a base en then use smaller pieces that go on top as a doubler. You need to give them a nice edge of-course, but it allows you to group things together as well as reinforce. It also allows changes without replacing everything

I can't show pictures because everything is taken apart for painting and varnishing jobs :-)
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Old 17-03-2017, 17:18   #14
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Re: Mounting board products

I believe that StarBoard is HDPE (high density polyethylene). ABS is acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. There are some differences in their properties, but I'm not sure that it would make any difference for our applications. I think ABS is lighter and stiffer, but maybe a little more brittle. HDPE might be more heat resistant? Oh, and StarBoard is smooth on both sides, while ABS sheets always seem to come with a matte texture on one side, which I assume is supposed to be the "good" side. The smooth side scratches easily.

But really, I only started using it because I can get it for practically free. I went looking for StarBoard for a project - "Wow, that's $120." "Oh, look, this stuff is $2.50!" Probably the plastics shop has scraps of HDPE too, sometimes, they just didn't on that day.

It's easy to make waterproof 3-dimensional stuff with ABS using the black pipe glue from the hardware store. But you can heat-weld HDPE with the little plastic welding kit from Harbor Freight, which is fun too. ABS filament is also used in 3-D printers. Pretty soon we'll all be trading digital files for these little projects and just printing them out at home!

For an off-topic example, here's a little knock-off of the now-discontinued AquaSignal rail mount that I made from ABS one evening. Easy. And cheap enough to throw away painlessly if something goes wrong.


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Old 17-03-2017, 17:25   #15
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Re: Mounting board products

Oh, I see HDPE is available with the same texture as ABS - apparently it's nothing to do with the material itself.
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