Cutting glass

Ben and I do DOG daily (have you met Ben Woody?) but my early evenings and weekends are dedicated to acquiring old Hobie 16s cheap – usually with soft decks and other structural issues. This is long range planning for the return of ALM and a tribal post apocalyptic fable idea.

The hulls need to be opened to make repairs but the trick is to cut the glass without shattering it. The in and out of reciprocating saws tend to rip apart the lamination at the cut edge. I’ve pushed drill bits sideways to make cuts, but drill bits are designed to go cleanly down, not sideways. I’ve seen a Rotozip in Home Depot which I gather uses spinning bits to make horizontal cuts. I already own two routers but these are heavy, high RPM devices that are best be kept on a flat surface and guided by a physical template – it’s not safe or practical to try to use them free hand for the surgical cuts required on hobie hulls. Designing a counterweighted arm for the routers could allow them to be guided with a precise feather touch. A thin routing bit could glide through thin glass laminate without traumatizing the surrounding material – think hot knife vs butter.

Buying and trying a Rotozip might be the most practical idea.

Along with building the pirate fleet, there’s also a support boat possibility. A little scary, stay tuned.

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