Best way to cut the metal of a Tuffy console? - Defender Source
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Old May 21st, 2011, 11:46 PM
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Will
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Best way to cut the metal of a Tuffy console?

I'm trying to make a custom faceplate for the Deluxe Tuffy Stereo Console. I am mounting an amateur radio and maybe a couple switches, but the problem is there's only a cutout for a standard single DIN size. I need to cut out the metal around the sides. Does that make sense? What would be the best way to do this - what tool(s)?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 06:20 AM
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Walter Dent
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Do you have access to air? If so, a die grinder with a cut off wheel.
If not, a dremel with a cut off wheel and lots of patience. I have to cut a lot of electrical boxes at times for intruments and the first option is what I always use.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 08:53 AM
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Plasma cutter. Take it to a metal shop.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roverhound View Post
Do you have access to air? If so, a die grinder with a cut off wheel.
If not, a dremel with a cut off wheel and lots of patience. I have to cut a lot of electrical boxes at times for intruments and the first option is what I always use.
+1 needed to get three sets of RCA cables into the main housing. Dremel tool is probably best just due to size of the space you are working with.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:34 AM
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Will
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Dremel was the first thing that came to mind, but I'm not sure it will fit in the limited space. Hmm. I'm wondering if a pair of tin snips would work (probably not)? Maybe just the old hacksaw and a drill method would work. I was hoping for something a bit more clean, but since it will be covered with a faceplate it doesn't have to be too pretty.

Or maybe a holesaw on each end? hmm.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 03:09 PM
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Plasma would make a mess.

Use an air saw with a 24tooth blade....cuts Tuffy boxes like butter. Have done several...
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 09:38 PM
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What kind of ham radio are you mounting? There are other ways to mount the radio without chopping up your Tuffy. Back in the day, I had a mount made up for my Kenwood 2m. Details here.

I sold that mount and don't use it anymore but it worked well. Another option is the stereo box for the cubby. John Lee used this to mount his Icom. Details here.

Try not to chop your truck up for a ham radio. There are so many other ways to skin this cat.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 09:56 PM
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I had to enlarge the opening on my Tuffy to fit a CB. There was no way around it since the opening was a welded part of the Tuffy. I'm glad I did it. If I ever want to put in a HAM that happens to be smaller I can always make an insert.

Just be careful and patient when doing it. Mask the opening with tape and do the corners last, by hand if you have to. It's the corners that you are the most likely to mess up, especially if you use power tools. It's better to take all day and get it right than to be in a hurry and fxxk it up.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 10:29 PM
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Will
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Thanks for all the tips guys.

Chris - I actually remembered your post on your mount but decided against that route, as I don't want to put much in the way of the front windscreen. I already have a mount there for a GPS, but it is removable. For the HAM I am using an older dual band Yaesu Ft-7100 with a remote had unit like yours and John's. It's much smaller actually than a standard 1 DIN stereo, but I want to make the opening bigger for other items - (USB, chargers, CB, remote antenna control, possibly an Espar controller like JimC's (http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...6&postcount=13).

Well I got tired of thinking about it and went out and did the deed. Took quite some time - masking, cutting etc. I used a simple hacksaw to cut in and then a Dremel cut off wheel. Then a hand rasp and some 100 grit sandpaper to grind the burrs down. Now to finish designing the front panel so I can drill everything before putting it back in.
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