Electronics box build advice.

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by samir elbaguer, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. samir elbaguer
    Joined: Dec 2018
    Posts: 14
    Likes: 1, Points: 3
    Location: Fort lauderdale florida

    samir elbaguer Junior Member

    Hi, I been following this forum for a while. Got a lot of valuable hints while building a console for my boat.
    I in the design process of building an overhead electronics box. What I have in mind is basically a square box. I'm thinking of just going with a female mold made out of ether a laminate board or an MDF after sealing it with spray can primer sanding it and spring it with some paint and having it polished. It's my first time building a mold, although I'm familiar with fiberglass laminating process.
    I don't have a spray gun, so I'm limited to using spray can primers and paints. It's a one off job, so breaking the mold after I'm done is not an issue.
    Any advice on pros and cons of using laminate board vs MDF and what primers I should use-avoid will be highly appreciated. Thank you
     
  2. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Not sure why you'd build a mould.

    It would be much easier to buy a sheet of marine core like corecell or divinycel and get it delivered cut down to ship ups (not freight).

    Then you can hand laminate the panels on a flat table with plastic for release.

    Or, if you go to say 12mm core; you could actually hotglue the entire box together, if small enough. Then you'd radius the edges and glass it on the outside monocoque.

    Or there is also plywood. Fasten it with yellow glues and stainless nails. Router it and it has the added benefit of being able to take a screw.

    In fact, one of the only places I like plywood is the console. A minimal amount of inside glasswork and you have a square, sturdy, mountable, screwable box-laminate the outside with epoxy n glass a bit and it is also water resistant. For holes; no core fill needed.
     
  3. samir elbaguer
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Fort lauderdale florida

    samir elbaguer Junior Member

    The reason why I'm thinking of taking the mold route is that the outside will be finished. I did my lower console the way you suggested, plywood with fiberglass on the outside, but then I had to take it to a paint shop to have it painted. I don't have a spray gun or a garage to spray it in.

    The box is a good size. 52" X 16"
     
  4. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    fallguy Senior Member

    How will it match the painted console if you use gelcoat?
     
  5. samir elbaguer
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Fort lauderdale florida

    samir elbaguer Junior Member

    The box will be about 4' above the console so if I get the gelcoat color close it will be very hard to tell.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. samir elbaguer
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Fort lauderdale florida

    samir elbaguer Junior Member

    This is what I've in mind
     

    Attached Files:

  7. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: New York

    missinginaction Senior Member

    It seems to me that you're overthinking this. What you have there is a pretty simple box. I'm not sure of your dimensions but it seems to me that it could be easily constructed from exterior ply or marine ply or okoume. Cut your parts and seal with three coats of epoxy. If you want a really robust box sheathe it with a layer of 4 ounce cloth. After the box is assembled use a roundover bit on the edges, fair with with some thickened resin, sand it down nice and smooth and give it a coat of Interlux Epoxy Prime Coat and Finish with Interlux Perfection. Perfection cures to a very hard, durable finish. I built my entire flybridge using this technique and my boat has been living out in the elements for 5 years now with absolutely no evidence of water infiltration or deterioration. I'll post a few pictures below to give you an idea of how a project can turn out, if you pay attention to details. All the flat panels on the flybridge are made from Auarcoply exterior grade plywood, finished as I described above. I picked it up at Lowes. It's an A/B grade exterior rated plywood made with waterproof glue. Good luck on your project!

    115.JPG 114.JPG 116.JPG 117.JPG
     
  8. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    The most likely place to change on a boat in 5-10 years is console.

    Changing electronics, device failure..etc.

    I am building a foam boat, but planning to build a plywood console. About the only reason I might deviate is the star side of my boat is a bit heavier. So I might build a foam box and a ply face.
     
  9. samir elbaguer
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Fort lauderdale florida

    samir elbaguer Junior Member

    I just finished building my console. The box I'm building right now is basically a cover to cover all my wiring on the Bimini top, radar cable, overhead lights their wiring, various antenna cables and so on. I may have a glove box built into it and maybe my sound system head, spare VHF radio. This is the console pic. The box is going right above it. The reason I'm hesitant building it from plywood covered with epoxy is that my arm are still sore from all the sanding I did fairing the console, It's built using this method, and I'm hoping that building it in a female mold will minimize sanding.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    What mfd is that? Do you like it?

    Do you realize sanding a mould is equivalent work, but inside the female is harder?

    Then there is a chance an amateur like you or me fail on the gelcoat or in the layup?

    If you build the ply or foam core cabinet right and plan the glass overlaps; sanding and fairing is greatly reduced.
     
  11. samir elbaguer
    Joined: Dec 2018
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    Location: Fort lauderdale florida

    samir elbaguer Junior Member

    Those are Simrad EVO2, 12 and 16 inch. They're fine. I'm not big on touchscreens but it's impossible to find anything else this days. They are unusable in bad weather. If you get them it pays to invest in a full remote control. In my experience Furuno is the best. If you can afford it, buy it. Believe me you won't regret it.

    I started building the mold couple of days ago and was cursing my stubbornness every second. Should've listened to you guys. The amount of sanding is double and the results are not guaranteed. Oh well, live and learn.
     

  12. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
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    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    Good luck Samir.
     
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