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For now, this is all I have. You can sort of see it in the back. I can take a better one later. It will be freshwater only. This one was screwed in, but I would like to make something that I can snap into place, probably with some floor flanges and some aluminum posts.
Seeing as how this one was bolted in, there is absolutely no way that these were meant as a flotation device. Also, even if the bench was not bolted down, the weight of the bench would be too difficult for anybody to throw. So far, I haven't found a water resistant padding. Molded cushions retain moisture. The only saving grace for them is the water resistant vinyl fabric that is over the top of it. I have some of the throwable flotation cushions in there as well and I can feel that it is just a bunch of layers of cheap plastic foam. That's why I was thinking about the foam beads.
It looks very similar to this one. I was thinking that I could remove the plywood and make a fiberglass cast, then just add some lightweight filler. I just don't think poly beads will stay in place in that form.
Marine upholstery is usually designed as a floatation device, you should check local and manufacturers recommendations first to avoid trouble later on.Having said that, weight is often an issue with boats...A lot of weight is locked in the frame itself.You can cut good sized holes into the big sheets and cover with flyscreen wire (aluminium) to reduce a few kg here.For the foam go to a rubber or upholstery shop and ask for something that is in your comfort zone and offers water repelling features.If no luck or too expensive use the standard foam and make sure to have enough open areas (the holes from before) so the foam can air out properly.I would no go for an aluminium frame as unless you can solder/weld it the joints will not last long under the abuse caused by a rocking boat.With proper plywood you use a thickness that suits and reduce most of the weight through cut outs, making it possible to use thicker sheets than the original while still lower on the weight.
Got any pics of the old seat? What kind of boat, fresh or saltwater? Were cushions meant as spare life preservers/removeable?
Making new bench seat
It is certainly safer. But the acid is much faster and I think it does a better job. Each has it's pros and cons.
The best thing I have used to clean copper is muriatic acid, found near the paint thinner in your local hardware store. It only takes seconds to clean it with a q-tip, but you definitely need to wear thick gloves and be very careful. Also, when not even boric acid will clean copper wires, I have used it to remove black corrosion from copper wires before soldering. The stuff is wonderful, but very dangerous. I also recommend paying the premium for low odor formula because the stuff is disgusting if you breathe it in.
Personally, I would prefer a more discrete package and solar panels are a little bulky. If only they made decent rechargeable coin cells...replacing all of the devices in my house with NiCd rechargeables has already saved me about $100 and no more corrosion if they aren't taken out before storing electronics.
Instead of flipping the switch every day, you could consider a photo resistor and possibly a transistor, if needed, to let the sun activate and deactivate the power.
Has anyone tried the self fusing silicone tape? I also know you can get heat shrink tape, but its a little pricey.
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