How to cut dash?

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How to cut dash?

Postby Kikaboo » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:58 pm

I am thinking about swapping out my VHF with a newer model that has built in AIS.
However the new unit is slightly larger meaning I will need to enlarge the dash cutout a bit.
Maybe 0.25 to 0.5 inches all around.

How would I cut the dash hole larger? Dash is from a 2015 32Exp but I suspect the technique would be the same for any dash.
Last edited by Kikaboo on Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: how to cut dash

Postby SGilbert » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:18 pm

I used a Roto Zip on mine. Be very careful; it can get away from you. Wear safety glasses!
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby rlynch03 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:38 pm

I taped the surrounding area real well and then used a jig saw. Worked very well.
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby kellyg » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:09 pm

Removing that small amount of material, I would use a Dremel. My Roto Zip is not variable speed and can be too aggressive.
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby lg260ss » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:12 am

Rotozip type tools don't do a great job of cutting metal. The OPs dash panel is aluminum, I would use a jigsaw with a fine toothed blade. If you are only taking out a very small amouth of material, then maybe a grinder would work well too.
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby must_dash » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:35 am

Could tape and mark and use a powerfile type belt sander. Had a 1/2" wide sand belt on a finger.
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby catalina_mike » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:13 pm

rlynch03 wrote:I taped the surrounding area real well and then used a jig saw. Worked very well.


Agree and use a fine blade and take your time.
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby JNelson90 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:01 am

I used a jig saw with a fine tooth for the aluminum dash and cut it just undersized. I then used a file to get the cuts outs just right. Good luck and take your time.
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Re: How to cut dash?

Postby Kikaboo » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:50 am

Thanks everyone. I'm gonna use a jigsaw with a fine blade.
We are going on a 10day trip next week and to be safe I don't want to start messing with the radio now in case I screw something up. This will therefore be a project later on in the season or at the end.
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