Chest Lights in Aluminum Armor

Gator Fett

Well-Known Hunter
I am in the process of cutting the slots for my chest lights in my aluminum armor. I have the slots cut and shaped to the proper size for my lights, but because the aluminum is thick, the lights sit too far back in the chest plate.

Dose anyone remember how the material was removed from this armor?



I have tried my Dremel with grinding wheels and cutting bits, but niether one has worked to well.


Gator Fett

Well-Known Hunter
Thanks cal, but I am not asking about how the armor and lights sit on the vest, but how the lights set in the armor.

If you have sintra armor, the thickness of the armor is most likley 1/8". Thus, the lights are close to the outward surface of the armor. (i.e. screen accurate.)

My aluminum armor is 1/4" thick, so the lights look more recessed from the surface. The first picture I posted, shows how someone removed the aluminum from the back side of the chest plate in the area around the light slots, to reduce the thickness of the aluminum. Therefor, when the lights are mounted to the back side of the armor they will sit closer to the front surface.

My question is how to remove the aluminum to make the plate thinner in the area around the slots?


Well-Known Hunter
Oh I gotcha now, I thought your armor was pushing out from the vest and you wanted it to go inside enough where you wouldnt have to.

1/4 inch thick? wow that is thick. Have you tried a dremel with a heavy grit cutting wheel, it should whittle it down in no time. Only problem being its round so you have to keep the wheel moving, but aluminum is soft, should work.

Gator Fett

Well-Known Hunter
I have tried this grinding stone:


and this cutter:


but neither has worked as well as I hoped they would. The cutter worked great to widen the slots. But when I tried to remove material from the back of the armor, the bit did not want to grab into the aluminum. It just bounced around and scuffed up the surface.

Any suggestions?


Active Hunter
Just thinking in the opposite direction. Have you considered using two strips of polished plexi glass each about 1/4 inch thick and cut to fit each hole in your armor. The polished plexi should carry the led light through its 1/4 inch thickness to the surface of the armor.
This might give the illusion of the chest lights fitting flush to the front of the armor. Instead of plexi you could also use a clear resin to cast a clear plug for the holes. With the bright chest display lights behind the clear plug it might look like the lights sit flush to the surface of the armor.
I don't know if this idea will work, but sometimes one crazy idea leads to another crazy idea etc and one of them eventually turns out to be the idea that does work.

Gator Fett

Well-Known Hunter
Thanks cal. I picked up the new grinding wheel at Home Depot and will give it a try tonight.

If that dose not work, I will look into the plexiglass/clear resin idea.