If you read Pt I you’ll remember that we decided to replace and beef up the chainplates that were on the boat. They were suffering from crevice corrosion and after a lot of research, it was found that they were a tad too small. Since we were replacing all of them anyhow, we opted for 316L stainless steel 3/8 inches thick and 1 1/2 inches wide (they are varying lengths).
I ordered the 316L stainless from Speedy Metals cut to size for about $150 – not bad at all considering one pre-made chainplate would be about $100 and would not have been 316L. I’ve been ordering a lot of steel and aluminum from Speedy Metals recently and can confidently recommend their services. They are a bit cheaper and a day faster in shipping than their competition in my experience.
When I got the chainplates in it was obvious there was a lot of work to be done. Stainless steel depends on its polished exterior for corrosion resistance. Without the polish the steel is susceptible to corrosion that would significantly weaken the metal. Here’s what the bars looked like when they arrived:
I bought a 3M hook and loop 6 inch sanding disk drill bit for $8 or so and a whole bunch of hook and loop sanding disks and went to work. Its important not to let stainless steel get too hot as it work hardens so I only did one pass on one side at a time, rotating the bars to let them cool in between passes. After the first full rotation they looked like this:
After a few more full rotations I am really pleased with the progress:
You can see my modest work station in our studio and the hook and loop sanding disk in these pictures. The big metal plates below the drill are to be the backstay chainplate which is massive and more of a rounded triangle shape. I’m saving it for later.
The plan for the chainplates is to round only the side that will stick above the deck, drill all of the necessary holes, and then get back to sanding them down before I move onto the polishing wheel. Lots of work to be done but its just so exciting to see them start to shine – I had to share!