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Old 12-02-2019, 06:54 AM   #21
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Yes ,epoxy does not wet out as well as polly , the simple solution is thinner mat 3/4 oz or glass cloth , not roving.

Multiple sewn layers of glass are best left to the vacuum infusion folks.

Epoxy is a glue that sticks well to plywood , polly is for laminating , not a glue.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:41 AM   #22
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I will be ripping out two very old and falling apart battery boxes in my engine room which house both my two start batteries, and my house batteries. The space in question is about 21" wide, and 64" long.

I have found many battery boxes online from all sorts of manufacturers that I could probably make work in some way, but they all would require modification, or group the batteries in smaller sections than I'd like.

I'm considering just building my own sectioned box-like long structure out of King Starboard but am curious if others have recommendations of materials, tips and tricks and the like when building your own.

I have 8x G31 LiFePO4 batteries for the house bank + fuses. The start batteries are G31 AGM batteries. Ideally I would like four G31s in a "section" to make two sections just to have more strength and blocking between them, although they are super light (31lbs each).

I also need a very strong cover structure because it is in between my two main engines, and where I walk/lay when working in the engine room.
Marine plywood coated and assembled with laminating epoxy and 'super bond' epoxy glue in the joints .. Paint if wanted...but prime before any painting. Stronger and easier than Starboard. FG Coatings CO in ST Pete good source for epoxies.
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:18 AM   #23
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Did anyone mention cheap, commonly available, Azak. It would be acid-
proof and it glues strongly with PVC cement not necessary but especially if corners are mitered for extra glue area. Azak sells their own glue as well. Stainless ring nails hold it while gluing. Works easily with hand and power tools.
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by stevemitchell View Post
I will be ripping out two very old and falling apart battery boxes in my engine room which house both my two start batteries, and my house batteries. The space in question is about 21" wide, and 64" long.

I have found many battery boxes online from all sorts of manufacturers that I could probably make work in some way, but they all would require modification, or group the batteries in smaller sections than I'd like.

I'm considering just building my own sectioned box-like long structure out of King Starboard but am curious if others have recommendations of materials, tips and tricks and the like when building your own.

I have 8x G31 LiFePO4 batteries for the house bank + fuses. The start batteries are G31 AGM batteries. Ideally I would like four G31s in a "section" to make two sections just to have more strength and blocking between them, although they are super light (31lbs each).

I also need a very strong cover structure because it is in between my two main engines, and where I walk/lay when working in the engine room.
I have two Todd Battery boxes that I just removed for a housebank redesign. I am also in the Seattle area. But, I believe they are roughly 21" Width x 12 1/2" Height x 24 1/2" Length. They are in great shape and have SOLID covers... If you're interested (or anyone else) $150 for both or $100 each.
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:06 PM   #25
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I have two Todd Battery boxes that I just removed for a housebank redesign. I am also in the Seattle area. But, I believe they are roughly 21" Width x 12 1/2" Height x 24 1/2" Length. They are in great shape and have SOLID covers... If you're interested (or anyone else) $150 for both or $100 each.
Sending you a PM
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:52 PM   #26
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I rarely use fiberglass mat. I can get a pretty strong lay up using 3 layers of 6oz E glass cloth. I knock together boxes using scrap ply and 2x materials. I round over all the edges with a 1/2 inch router bit or sanding block. I wrap it with shrink wrap or cooking type cling wrap. I lay down a plastic drop cloth on my table and staple the ends down. I cut my cloth to the shape I need. Lay it out on my table and wet it out. Then lay it over the form and smooth it down with a metal fiberglass roller. I wrap a sheet of ply with plastic, lay it on the freshly laid up box, and weight it down. This gives a smooth flat bottom on the outside. After it dries, I pop it off the form using compressed air in a void at the top of the box edge between the plastic wraped plywood and the fiberglass box. Once it's off, I cut an inch off the top of the fiberglass box. I use this cut off to make the top. I wrap the cut off in plastic and put it back on the form. This gives the form the same size of the fiberglass box so the top, after laying up, can drop down over the new box and fit tight. Making the top is the same as the box except the cloth only needs to hang over the form 1.5 inches. The excess 1/2 inch can be cut off. Really you can make the top as deep as you want. I keep mine around 1 inch for tight spaces.



If anyone is curious, I use U.S. Composites epoxies. I find them easier to work with. Also a bit cheaper as well.


Fiberglass , Epoxy , Composites, Carbon Fiber - U.S. Composites, Inc.






I use horse stall mat to line the bottom of my battery boxes. It's cheap and can be bought anywhere there is a farm supply store like Tractor Supply, Farm and Fleet, or Rural King. I like those cable glands to seal the cable into the box. Any good closed seal weather stripping will work for the top to box seal. I use straps and metal rings to hold the top down. I always bolt my battery boxes down if possible.


Box straps.
https://www.amazon.com/Boat-Marine-H...language=en_US


Cable glands. I buy the size that fits the cable's measured diameter. I put my terminals on after they are trough the cable gland fitting.
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_s...language=en_US


And a nice video about fiberglass types from a long trusted source.
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:32 PM   #27
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I'll cast a vote against Starboard. I believe it is not well-suited to this and many structural applications, where it is (over)used by builders, yards and DIYers. It lacks the necessary stiffness, it distorts easily under load, and it is dimensionally unstable with temp changes.

As others have noted, carefully glassed over plywood will work, and so will GPO3, while the latter is more costly, it will never rot or be affected by acid, it's stiff, stable and available in a wide range of dimensions. It screws and glues well.

I'll also use this opportunity to point out that while ABYC standards allow for up to 1" of movement for an installed battery, I believe there should be no movement, batteries should be completely immobilized.

This article may be helpful. https://stevedmarineconsulting.com/w...nk133_03-1.pdf

Keep in mind, there is no requirement for batteries to be in boxes. ABYC Standards call for "containment" taking into account the type of battery used. Thus, an AGM battery could rest in a liquid-tight tray and be compliant. My approach is to use boxes only for flooded batteries, otherwise, I prefer to install batteries in trays/cleats and use clamps to hold them in place, improving heat dissipation and making casual inspection, i.e. every time you walk by, far easier.

(In Xiamen, China at the South Coast Yard)
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Old 12-06-2019, 09:39 PM   #28
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When I have a battery in a box that allows the battery to slide a bit, I cut a piece of Starboard to size and slide it down next to the side of the battery to shim out the extra space so the battery canít slide at all. The Starboard wonít be hurt by battery acid. I donít want any movement of the battery, over time it can loosen the cables.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:34 AM   #29
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I definitely will not be using Starboard based on feedback here. 10 of the batteries are LiFePO4 and 2 are Lifeline AGM, but I will most likely have the AGM in their own section or box.

I want a box or structure with a hard set of lids because these are between my main engines and act as a walkway/crawl-way and need to be sturdy because of my...bulk
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:49 AM   #30
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I like those cable glands to seal the cable into the box. Any good closed seal weather stripping will work for the top to box seal. I use straps and metal rings to hold the top down. I always bolt my battery boxes down if possible.
It sounds as if you are trying to seal the box, to make it airtight, is that right?

(In Xiamen, China, at the South Coast yard)
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:52 AM   #31
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It sounds as if you are trying to seal the box, to make it airtight, is that right?
Nope, it does not have to be air tight. Just have sturdy sides and a top. At this point my primary plan is to use marine grade plywood and one of the methods listed above to fiberglass it together to give it strength. The lids will be removable for servicing and such - might even make them hinged, which was also a suggestion earlier in the thread.
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Old 12-07-2019, 01:58 AM   #32
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When I have a battery in a box that allows the battery to slide a bit, I cut a piece of Starboard to size and slide it down next to the side of the battery to shim out the extra space so the battery canít slide at all. The Starboard wonít be hurt by battery acid. I donít want any movement of the battery, over time it can loosen the cables.
The ABYC standard for battery installation, including movement, is as follows...(underscore is mine).

10.7 INSTALLATION
NOTE: When installing flooded batteries on a sailing vessel, consideration should be given so that the orientation of the battery minimizes the uncovering of battery plates while heeling.
10.7.1 Battery mounting materials and surfaces shall withstand electrolyte attack.
10.7.2 Provision shall be made to contain incidental leakage and spillage of electrolyte.
NOTE: Consideration should be given to:
1. the type of battery installed (e.g. liquid electrolyte or immobilized electrolyte).
2. the boat in which the battery is installed (e.g. angles of heel for sailboats, and accelerations for powerboats).
10.7.3 Fasteners for the attachment of battery boxes or trays shall be isolated from areas intended to collect spilled electrolyte.
[10.7.4 Batteries, as installed, shall be restrained to not move more than one inch (25mm) in any direction when a pulling force of twice the battery weight is applied through the center of gravity of the battery as follows:
10.7.4.1 vertically for a duration of one minute, and
10.7.4.2 horizontally and parallel to the boat's centerline, for a duration of one minute fore and one minute aft, and
10.7.4.3 horizontally and perpendicular to the boat's centerline for a duration of one minute to starboard and one minute to port.


(In Xiamen, China, at the South Coast Yard)
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Old 12-07-2019, 02:33 AM   #33
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The ABYC standard for battery installation, including movement, is as follows...(underscore is mine).

10.7 INSTALLATION
NOTE: When installing flooded batteries on a sailing vessel, consideration should be given so that the orientation of the battery minimizes the uncovering of battery plates while heeling.
10.7.1 Battery mounting materials and surfaces shall withstand electrolyte attack.
10.7.2 Provision shall be made to contain incidental leakage and spillage of electrolyte.
NOTE: Consideration should be given to:
1. the type of battery installed (e.g. liquid electrolyte or immobilized electrolyte).
2. the boat in which the battery is installed (e.g. angles of heel for sailboats, and accelerations for powerboats).
10.7.3 Fasteners for the attachment of battery boxes or trays shall be isolated from areas intended to collect spilled electrolyte.
[10.7.4 Batteries, as installed, shall be restrained to not move more than one inch (25mm) in any direction when a pulling force of twice the battery weight is applied through the center of gravity of the battery as follows:
10.7.4.1 vertically for a duration of one minute, and
10.7.4.2 horizontally and parallel to the boat's centerline, for a duration of one minute fore and one minute aft, and
10.7.4.3 horizontally and perpendicular to the boat's centerline for a duration of one minute to starboard and one minute to port.


(In Xiamen, China, at the South Coast Yard)
I agree, that is why I shim them to take out any sideways movement. Even though the battery box is secured some boxes have room so that the battery can slide back and forth a bit. The Starboard shim stops that movement.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:37 AM   #34
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It sounds as if you are trying to seal the box, to make it airtight, is that right?

(In Xiamen, China, at the South Coast yard)
Yes and vent it overboard from the bottom of the battery box. I was taught to do it this way in the 80's. Things may have changed since then. I know batteries have. I've only dealt with flooded lead acid and AGM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 10:38 AM   #35
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Battery box build recommendations

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Yes and vent it overboard from the bottom of the battery box. I was taught to do it this way in the 80's. Things may have changed since then. I know batteries have. I've only dealt with flooded lead acid and AGM.


For flooded batteries, I think you want the vent at the top, or at least an exit at the top. Air coming in the bottom and out the top would be fine. The key is that hydrogen is lighter than air so will collect at the top of a battery enclosure, and needs to be vented out from there.

Propane is just the opposite. It sinks, so propane lockers are vented at their bottom.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:31 AM   #36
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Right now I just use the cheap plastic battery boxes available everywhere. I want to build my own custom box but I am faced with a problem I can't figure out, help me here..

Having suffered a split battery at one time I am aware of the importance of having an acid proof box. Im pretty good with fiberglass and a decent carpenter so that part is simple. Here is the issue, I want one side or end to be hinged so I can slide the batteries out without having to lift them over the edge of the box. I have the vertical room but lifting batteries up the foot or so needed while laying on my belly or knees is getting hard.

Any suggestions?

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Old 12-07-2019, 11:52 AM   #37
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Screws for Starboard

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Starboard will work fine to make your battery boxes from. As you probably know, Starboard doesn't glue well. There are some glues specially designed for Starboard but I have used 3M 5200 and it works ok.

Reinforce the joints with backing strips and put it together with screws. The glue/5200 is more for sealing.


But plywood with a couple of coats of CPE will last just as long and be lots cheaper.


David

Starboard holds together with screws as well as or better than screws with wood from what I was told by my old shop's resident carpenter. And it is certainly strong. I certainly never had a problem with it. Chemicals and fumes don't bother it. But with LiFePO4 batteries that really isn't the issue. Ventilation holes are the most important thing you can do for your batteries though regardless of type. Starboard would not be my first choice for wet acid batteries though as sealants don't stick to it so any leaks would go out the bottom seams. There may be some new caulking or glues I don't know about though that might work.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:25 AM   #38
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Nope, it does not have to be air tight. Just have sturdy sides and a top. At this point my primary plan is to use marine grade plywood and one of the methods listed above to fiberglass it together to give it strength. The lids will be removable for servicing and such - might even make them hinged, which was also a suggestion earlier in the thread.
OK, good. Battery boxes must be vented at the highest point, i.e. in the lid, to prevent entrapment of hydrogen gas (for LA batteries of any type, including AGM). As long as you have that, a gasket is fine, but unnecessary.

(In Alishan, Taiwan)
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:28 AM   #39
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Yes and vent it overboard from the bottom of the battery box. I was taught to do it this way in the 80's. Things may have changed since then. I know batteries have. I've only dealt with flooded lead acid and AGM.
You can vent directly overboard, however, venting must be from the apex, the highest point in the lid. This is because hydrogen gas is lighter than air and rises, a vent at anything other than the apex will not allow all gas to vent.

(In Alishan, Taiwan)
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:58 AM   #40
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I just finished building a battery box for eight group 31 batteries. I made it from 1/2" exterior plywood that I nailed together. Once the box was together I put fillets of thickened epoxy on all the inside seams and then epoxied two layers of 1708 biaxial fiberglass to the inside of the box. The fiberglass in epoxy is to make the inside of the box water tight and acid resistant. The box is for the batteries for my home solar/battery backup power system so it didn't need to be made to marine standards.
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