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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

First, thanks for having me here. I am having a hard time figuring out how best to fix the wood gunwale trim on my 1952 aluminum boat. I haven't disassembled it yet, so I have to make some assumptions.

I don't have the measurement here, but where the wood was rotten away, the aluminum is very thin. I'm going to make an educated guess that it's about .02" thick (or .458mm) at best.

The wood trim along the top is about 1.5" thick (1" wide), and at most depth of the cut for the aluminum is .5".

To top it all off, I'm hoping to use some Azek (plastic) trim. Supposedly cuts like wood, but that's their advertising not experience speaking.

I was hoping that there was a reasonably priced circular saw blade made that I could just buy and put on a table saw. But the kerf on all the blades I saw was much thicker than what I think will work best.

I can't really think of any other way to do it. I've not got a very steady hand, so anything that takes that variable out is definitely better.

This is not some exact restoration obviously, but I'd like to recreate the original design as much as I can.

Thanks for any ideas or tips you may have!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What type of wood are you trying to cut ?
It's going to be Azek trim. Not sure what the trade name of the material is, I'm calling it plastic. According to them cuts the same as wood.

I don't mind having to make multiple passes to get the right depth, as long as whatever I'm using as a tool to make the cut is repeatable.
 

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where's my table saw?
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.02 is very thin

I don't see any specs on cut width for those. Am I missing it? .02" is pretty thin.
Those blades checkout at .06"
I found one that measures .03" from the Malco Saw Co. Inc, but it's only 2" in diameter.

You are in the Micro machining/hobby area for those blades.

http://www.micromark.com/saw-blades-and-cut-off-wheels.html

http://www.micromark.com/saws-and-miter-boxes.html

http://www.tool-shop.co.uk/Proxxon/...oxxon/+/28652+Blade+for+Micro+Cutter+MIC.html
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the info. What I was not sure of was whether they were talking blade thickness, or kerf. As little as I know of woodworking, the width of the cut is at least a tiny bit wider than the blade body.

Going to be hard to figure out a way to set up a table with saw blades that small diameter. :(

Got an air cutoff tool that could turn them, but mounting to a table is another story!

Not sure I can justify the whole micro-cutting table to go with, as this will be the one project I ever imagine using this for.
 

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I <3 the smell of sawdust
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I think that Azek stuff is a lot like Trex decking, right? How about making it out of 2 pieces? Cut one with a .02" (or whatever the thickness of the alum is) rabbet, then attach a flat sided piece to it. Use Titebond 3 or marine epoxy to glue them together. Assuming you have a router table or table saw, no new tools needed.

to get them to fit perfectly, just start with a single piece and rip it in half, then cut the rabbet out of one of them and put them back together. Obvously, you'll lose a blade width on the first cut, so make it 1/8" (or whatever your blade kerf is) wide than your finished piece will be.
 

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A picture of what you want to do would help. There is a marine product called Starboard, a "plastic" synthetic that's widely used in boat building. Axtek won't stand up to marine use and moves a bit, may warp. The Starboard cuts and tools like butter, available in several thicknesses and colors. A bit expensive and limited in lengths, so it may not work for you. Should be available at places like Boaters Supply and others. You may be able to use some marine silicone adhesive in a wider kerf to compensate.

I bought this canoe last summer for a song. Someone stuffed a fork lift tine through the stern. Originally, it had oak panels on the transom, fork lift tine went right through them. I used black Starboard for the repair, I think it's better than new.
http://www.boatoutfitters.com/king-starboard-cut-to-size.html?gclid=CIrast_R1rUCFVGf4Aodmz0AhQ
 

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You may want to look into Luthier Supply places. They commonly have a 4 1/2 inch blade with a .023 blade that is usually run on a table saw. They are for cutting Fret slots.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Some really good information, thank you all!

Yes, Azek is something like Trex, but it's supposedly of a different material. In the thickness I am planning on using it, warpage shouldn't be an issue. The Azek is supposed to be really soft. That Starboard stuff is not exactly outrageously priced when compared to Azek, but I'm looking at a 4x8 sheet as well for the seats, and it's about $100 more for the Starboard. I understand how flexible/warp-prone the composite stuff is, in the seat locations I intend to support the longer spans with angle aluminum.

I am sure UV will be the ultimate issue, but it's a very infrequent use dinghy (for lack of better name for what it is) that won't be in the sun when not in use. Just going to use it for fishing and taking the daughter out on the lake. Maybe 5-10 days a year. Problem now is that even when stored upside down, out of the sun, painted, all the wood dry rotted in a relatively short amount of time.

Here is a picture of a gunwale piece similar to what I am needing to replicate http://knbpromotions.com/sailing/dinghy_01.jpg That is not my boat, but the wooden strip along the top of the gunwale is what I am trying to figure out how to replicate best.

Each of those pieces on my boat is 13' long, so out of a long enough 2x4 I can make both sides. Being an older boat, the gunwale is just as rounded in the rear as the one in the photo is up front. I know you can bend wood, but one of the advantages of the Azek/composite stuff is that with a little heat, maybe even just bright sunlight, it can be bent to match that contour.

Using two pieces is a good idea, although I don't think the way the current wood strips are secured to the aluminum would be enough to keep two separate pieces together.

Although the Azek 2x4 I am considering is $50, my goal is to make something that just won't rot. I've really tried to keep this boat protected so far, and it wasn't enough to keep wood in good shape. I'd really prefer to use something that doesn't require that much attention to keep it dry and protected. I don't have the space to store it the same way I have been. If it was stored in a garage all the time, I wouldn't have a problem using wood.

The fret cutting blade I found here is substantially cheaper than the Rockler thin blade, but I'm going to have to break a piece of the trim off and see how deep the cut will be http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Saws_and_slots/Fret_Slotting_Table_Saw_Blade.html These only cut 1/4".
 
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