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Old 30-04-2014, 22:05   #1
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Advice on a couple of things

Ok, off to the boat this coming weekend to finish a couple of jobs.

Firstly, I need to run some wires up the inside of my steering pedestal. Last weekend I tried to remove the compass which should let me pop a wire down. The compass only lifted up about a 1/2" or so and then wouldn't come any further. I didn't apply a lot of force, as I wasn't sure if anything else would be holding it in. The question here is do a just give the compass a big pull upwards to remove it from the binnacle or is there something else likely to be holding it in?

The other thing is that my wife organised for new acrylic windows for the dodger. These are made out of 3/8" (10 mm) thick material. The plastics place wasn't able to form a curve in them, but assured my wife that they will bend to fit but it will be a "tough job". I actually think the original windows most probably weren't formed either, but I'm really concerned that the bends are going to be very tight for this thickness. Can any knowledgeable folk out there give an opinion based on the curvature as shown in the attached image?

Cheers, Jeff
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Old 30-04-2014, 22:12   #2
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

Good luck with bending the acrylic; that looks like a lot curve to pull into 10mm panel.
While i'm no expert on this job, I reckon it isn't doable; at least not easily.

I have seen them "moulded" against a female mould using heat and air pressure but doing it cold...

Hope for your sake I'm wrong.
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Old 30-04-2014, 23:02   #3
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

As far as the compass, I wonder if there's lighting wires that are holding it secure. Giving it a good pull would risk pulling the wires apart if that's the case. Any way to see under the small 1/2" gap after you get it that far? Might be tough, but really do need to narrow down what's holding it back.
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Old 30-04-2014, 23:13   #4
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Good luck with bending the acrylic; that looks like a lot curve to pull into 10mm panel.
While i'm no expert on this job, I reckon it isn't doable; at least not easily.

I have seen them "moulded" against a female mould using heat and air pressure but doing it cold...

Hope for your sake I'm wrong.
Yeah, that's kind of my thoughts but the guy at the plastics place assured the wife it was doable. I've been thinking about using a gas torch to heat the sheets and curve them over the old windows - which have taken a set to the curve - but I'm just not confident I can do that without making a big screw up! Plan B is to bitch and moan to the supplier and redo them in 6 mm. Bit light I know but plenty of boats are running around with clear plastic sheeting windows.
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Old 30-04-2014, 23:15   #5
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlzO View Post
As far as the compass, I wonder if there's lighting wires that are holding it secure. Giving it a good pull would risk pulling the wires apart if that's the case. Any way to see under the small 1/2" gap after you get it that far? Might be tough, but really do need to narrow down what's holding it back.
Well the compass lighting is one of the wires I want to connect. There is a joiner down there somewhere because the wires at the compass light wires aren't the same as those exiting under the deck. Might just have to give one mighty heave and hope for the best!
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Old 30-04-2014, 23:39   #6
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

Acrylic can be easily bent while heated to a plastic temperature... that's how the pro's do it. But they don't use a torch, for that will never get it heated uniformly enough, and you will not get the fair curve that you want. If you can get the sheets into an oven, then uniform heating can be done. Some friends talked a local pizza parlour into using one of their ovens to do theirs... worked well! Another, less easy means is a set of infra red lamps; anything that will heat it evenly and slowly. If you can get some scrap material from the vendor, you can experiment with temperatures. I don't know the exact temp, but it isn't very hot.

Also, if you drape the limp new hot plastic over the old windows, you will get near to but not the same curve. It may be near enough that you can spring it into place, but maybe not. Again, some experimenting might save you some grief.

It isn't as easy as it looks, but I managed to get decent results on our previous boat some years ago.

Good luck,

Jim
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:05   #7
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

You want it at 130 degrees C for best results according to my mate who bends up aircraft windows

And it will shrink a little
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:54   #8
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

Yeah, the windows are pretty big. This is really gnawing at me at the moment. I've been racking my brain how to make some sort of insulated box to bake them in. I've got both an LPG blow torch and oxy-acetylene and a fluke DMM with thermocouple so those bases are covered. Even if I could partially form them, I'd be a lot happier.

Especially after I used reverse logic and tried to straighten one of the originals - "SNAP" it went into two nice halves. They are pretty well worn though, so I would expect the new ones to do better.
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Old 04-05-2014, 20:35   #9
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Re: Advice on a couple of things

Well didn't have time to play with the pedestal because we spent most of the weekend trying to get the darn windows to fit. Trying to get them to curve caused self tapping screws at start tearing out of the fibreglass and then when we kind of solved that they started to twist the window framework out of shape. Current status has me near divorced and the admiral running around like a headless chook trying to find someone to heat form replacements using the old ones as a template

On a more positive note, we now have plenty of perspex to replace all of our port holes, along with a couple of hatches that could use make-over and perhaps enough left to make a really cool see-through companionway hatch.
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