aluminum livewell thickness?

Discussion in 'Boat Modification Journal' started by OkieBo, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    I went to order aluminum sheet metal today for my livewell. I quickly realized I didn't know all I needed to know. Neither did the sales clerk. So I ask this to you guys. What thickness do I need? My box will be 45"long, 21" wide, 23" deep. It will be incased in a 48"long, 24" wide, 24" deep plywood/resin box. It will also be insulated between the two. Also he recomended that I do not 90 degree bend aluminum. Instead cut all pieces and weld. Good or bad idea? Thanks
     
  2. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I'm not real sure, but you will save on some of the needed thickness by having it in the 'glass box. Take a look around the web at livewell and boat manufacturer sites and see if any of them list the thickness of their products:wink:
     

  3. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    The closest info I could find on the web was 1/8 " thick. I sent an email to boc sponsor fishmate to get their input and possibly utilize their services. I was thinking about if 3/32 would work to save some more cost then weight.
     
  4. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Aluminum prices are down and 1/8 would be a little easier to weld than 3/32. Not sure if you're doing it yourself or having it fabricated, but if you're having it built the labor costs to build it will make up most of the cost, not the aluminum.
     
  5. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    1/8 = .125 and 3/32= .09 . One 4 x 12' sheet of 1/8" 6061 aluminum locally runs 320.00 per sheet. .09 would cost about $75 less. Plus I think 5025 would work and save even more.
     
  6. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    I meant 5052 not 5025.
     
  7. Grimpuppy

    Grimpuppy New Member

    Messages:
    3,556
    State:
    Concordia, KS
    They are right about bending it. Aluminum over a thickness of about 20 gauge tends to crack if you bend it 90 degrees. This can be avoided if you are doing it in a press brake with a large bottom die opening. But this creates a large radius at the bend. I would weld the corners. As far as thickness goes, 12 gauge (.08) will be plenty strong. You could also get away with as thin as 14 gauge (.064) if you cross brake your pieces.
     
  8. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    crossbrake?
     
  9. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Bo, if you have some scrap yards close to you give them a call and see if they will sell you aluminum. I've been getting my materials from a local scrapyard for a lot cheaper than what it runs new. Yeah, you may have to get a couple of smaller pieces instead of 1 4 x 8 sheet, but if you find one like I've been dealing with here you'll pay about half or a quarter of what it would run you new. Just a thought.
     
  10. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    I will try the scrap yard idea. The closest one is 45 miles away so physicaly checking is not much of a option.
     
  11. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    Look at a big piece of duct work - a cross brake is the shallow "x" that's bent into the metal. The slight bends make the flat piece of metal stronger.
     
  12. BajaCoop

    BajaCoop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,206
    State:
    Poplar Bluff,MO
    If it is going to be incased in a box that will support it then you can go as thin as you can weld.
     
  13. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    I looked at chest type truck boxes and most are about the same size and dimensions as what I am looking for. They are .100 thick. Not only are they the same size they are cheaper than buying just the raw material alone. Looks like I might go toward this option. The only problem I have with the truck box is no baffles or lip to harness shifting water. They are also only 50 lbs dry weight. I have seen several cat tourney boats use these boxes. I will still inset it in the plywood/resin box under oversized seat cushion. Hell a 49" cushion will end up a bed.LOL
     
  14. Dsage

    Dsage Active Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    Topeka, Kansas
    Bo you might check out a dealer on ebay that has some nice prices on metal stock. His ebay name is metalstogo .
     
  15. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    Bo I used an alum tool box for a truck, I welded a piece of alum angle from side to side right in the middle to keep it from bowing out on the sides then put a piece of pvc inside the angle for a spray bar and welded a flat piece on each end to work as a baffle to keep the water from splashing out. just havent put a cushion on the top yet cause it may make it to tempting to take a nap.
     
  16. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    Well I heard back from Fishmate today. They can build me one based on my exact dimensions for about 150.00 more than the truck box would cost. I wouls still have to purchase all pumps and plumbing. The box they would build would be a modified version of there Big Cat model. I just wished I wasn't so picky and cheap.LOL
     
  17. war eagle

    war eagle New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    kentucky
    HELLO I SEEN YOUR POST ABOUT THE LIVE WELL.....I'M A WELDER WORKING IN A FAB SHOP AND I MAD I LIVEWELL LID OUT OF .125 GUAGE ALU AND IT WORKED FINE...REALLY I THINK IT WAS A LITTLE OVER KILL..WE BEND ALU .125 .063 .080 ALL THE TIME ON BRAKE PRESSES AND NO PROBLEMS....I BUY MY ALU FOR SCRAP PRICE FOR 1.15 A POUND....I SEE YOU GOTTA PAY A FORTUNE... I CHOOSE .125 BECOUSE IT'S IS SO MUCH EASIER TO WELD THAN THE OTHERS NOT UNLESS YOU TIG IT..I USED MIG BEOUSE I DID NOT HAVE THAT MUCH TIME AND WANTED TO GET THE SCRAP WHILE I HAD THE CHANCE..
     
  18. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    Welcome to the BOC!
     
  19. jasonminitruck

    jasonminitruck New Member

    Messages:
    334
    State:
    tennessee
    fishmate uses 1/8 aluminum
     
  20. OkieBo

    OkieBo New Member

    Messages:
    199
    State:
    oklahoma
    Right now i am leaning towards the truck box plan. I would say it is .100 thick. It is also about 30 gallon shy of my "custom box idea". Still tho i should be able to have a easy 40 gallon livewell.