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Re: [bolger] fitting polycarbonate?

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  • Paul W. Esterle
    I replaced the windows with Plexiglas on my boat (www.captnpauley.com). They were 3/8 thick and I drilled the holes about 2-3 apart. Use a plastic drill or
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 1, 2004
      I replaced the windows with Plexiglas on my boat (www.captnpauley.com). They
      were 3/8" thick and I drilled the holes about 2-3" apart. Use a plastic
      drill or knock off the cutting edge of a standard twist drill practice on
      scrap to make sure it doesn't "grab" and chip the plastic. I used a medium
      toothed saber saw and cut outside the line. Sand to the line. Then I rounded
      over the edge and polished it with 600 grit then jewelers rouge until shiny.
      This remove any scratches that could serve as stress riser and crack the
      plastic. I used 1/4" fasteners in 5/16" hole to allow for
      expansion/contraction. I also used pan head screws with washers underneath.
      DON'T USE COUNTERSUNK SCREWS!!! I painted the area on the back side of the
      window where it mounted on the cabin. I used 3M 101. BoatLIFE Life-Calk is
      also good. 5200 or even 4200 may react with the plastic. I put rubber
      washers on the back side of the screws so the window tightened down on them
      and didn't squeeze out all the plastic. Use plenty of tape to mask off any
      areas you don't want sealant...

      This article will appear in the next issue of SAIL's BoatWorks Magazine.

      Paul Esterle
      Freelance Boating Writer
      Member, Boating Writers International
      Published in Small Craft Advisor, SAIL,
      Living Aboard, Boatbuilder, Good Old
      Boat, Blue Water Sailing, Nor'easter
      pages.preferred.com/~pesterle/
      www.smallcraftadvisor.com
      www.captnpauley.com
    • craig o'donnell
      ... Don t use drywall screws or wood screws. Use pan head screws unless you have cup washers for the fluted shank screws. If you use fluted head screws like
      Message 2 of 7 , Sep 2, 2004
        >The manufacturers have detailed specifications for everything you are
        >asking. Go to the website of the maker of your polycarbonate and
        >follow the directions. Several caveats. These materials are fussy
        >about the kind of drill you use, the speed you drill. They have widely
        >variable shrinkage rates so the holes have to accommodate the
        >shrinkage/expansion.


        Don't use drywall screws or wood screws. Use pan head screws unless you
        have cup washers for the "fluted" shank screws. If you use fluted head
        screws like drywall screws you'll crack the plastic.

        Drill holes oversize so the plastic can expand and contract.
        --
        Craig O'Donnell
        Sinepuxent Ancestors & Boats
        <http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~fassitt/>
        The Proa FAQ <http://boat-links.com/proafaq.html>
        The Cheap Pages <http://www.friend.ly.net/~dadadata/>
        Sailing Canoes, Polytarp Sails, Bamboo, Chinese Junks,
        American Proas, the Bolger Boat Honor Roll,
        Plywood Boats, Bamboo Rafts, &c.
        _________________________________

        -- Professor of Boatology -- Junkomologist
        -- Macintosh kinda guy
        Friend of Wanda the Wonder Cat, 1991-1997.
        _________________________________
      • Lincoln Ross
        Sounds like you guys are mixing up polycarbonate and plexiglas (aka acrylic). Polycarbonate is very hard to crack. You can beat on it and bend it without doing
        Message 3 of 7 , Sep 3, 2004
          Sounds like you guys are mixing up polycarbonate and plexiglas (aka
          acrylic). Polycarbonate is very hard to crack. You can beat on it and
          bend it without doing so, and I certainly can't recall any troubles with
          holes. It's good to use a slow feed rate, however, so it doesn't melt
          and freeze and grab your tools suddenly, which can do a real job on a
          bandsaw blade. I suppose those ideas with oversize holes are good so the
          polycarbonate will lay down flat. Plexi, on the other hand, will crack
          if you just think about it wrong. (I promise not to think too hard about
          anyone else's plexi windows.)

          > craig o'donnell wrote:
          >someone else wrote:
          >
          >
          >>>The manufacturers have detailed specifications for everything you are
          >>>asking. Go to the website of the maker of your polycarbonate and
          >>>follow the directions. Several caveats. These materials are fussy
          >>>about the kind of drill you use, the speed you drill. They have widely
          >>>variable shrinkage rates so the holes have to accommodate the
          >>>shrinkage/expansion.
          >>
          >>Don't use drywall screws or wood screws. Use pan head screws unless you
          >>have cup washers for the "fluted" shank screws. If you use fluted head
          >>screws like drywall screws you'll crack the plastic.
          >>
          >>Drill holes oversize so the plastic can expand and contract.
          >> --
          >>
        • juan negron
          Sounds like you guys are mixing up polycarbonate and plexiglas (aka acrylic). Polycarbonate is very hard to crack. You can beat on it and bend it without doing
          Message 4 of 7 , Sep 3, 2004
            Sounds like you guys are mixing up polycarbonate and plexiglas (aka
            acrylic). Polycarbonate is very hard to crack. You can beat on it and
            bend it without doing so, and I certainly can't recall any troubles with
            holes. It's good to use a slow feed rate, however, so it doesn't melt
            and freeze and grab your tools suddenly, which can do a real job on a
            bandsaw blade.

            Si seƱor. The stuff is tuff. Expensive but well worth it when the
            characteristics demand it. We use it for signage purpose when we need
            something to stand up to bored punk's abuse, for example. The usual
            problem is machining the stuff, as it is formulated precisely to
            prevent the same damages you are trying to inflict on it.

            PET is another of these materials ( the same used for soda bottles) ,
            although less rigid, and less scratch resistant.

            Both should state the U.V. resistance warranty, as not all are
            formulated for exterior use!

            We cut it with a jigsaw with a DeWalt cobalt steel Extreme blade, ref
            DT2144, for alu, plastics and fiberglass. These blades are great. As a
            matter of fact, lately we tend to buy DeWalt power tools as first
            choice. ( Standard Disclaimer : No relation to DeWalt... Bla, bla...)

            Juan.
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