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Old 15-03-2009, 13:11   #16
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You really need good stock to start with 316 SS is what to use. 304 is not acceptable yet it is a lot cheaper. The corrosion
NOT! This is a misconception just because it's less expensive. see the links below for tensile strengths.

The polish and pickle finish is what resists corrosion. 316 will last longer but 304 is acceptable. I use 304 plate and 316 round bar most of the time because these are easiest to find.

Stainless Steel 304
Stainless steel 316L
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Old 15-03-2009, 15:00   #17
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I can really second the polishing tip of having it electro-polished as the last step. I think it's a cheap investment with big return!

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Old 15-03-2009, 17:54   #18
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Polishing is difficult. I tried with a belt sander and wasn't able to get a smooth finish. I talked to the metal shop that did the drilling. They said to use an angle grinder and sold me some abrasive pads in different grits to get the metal smooth. From there I used the buffing wheel. It wasn't horribly difficult to do but I wasn't able to get a perfect finish either.
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Old 15-03-2009, 18:10   #19
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Polishing is difficult. I tried with a belt sander and wasn't able to get a smooth finish. I talked to the metal shop that did the drilling. They said to use an angle grinder and sold me some abrasive pads in different grits to get the metal smooth. From there I used the buffing wheel. It wasn't horribly difficult to do but I wasn't able to get a perfect finish either.
Electro-polishing Charlie...You sand the metal smooth using a side griding, with sand paper or abrasive pads, reducing the grit until you are at 220 or better. The electro-polishing will make that finish very bright.
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Old 21-03-2009, 22:56   #20
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Here is an excellent link for a site that is very informative on chain plates. Even tho they are talking about CSY's, this information will apply to all boats with a few differences.
WD

CSY Sailboats: Then and Now
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Old 22-03-2009, 00:04   #21
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I built my own of carbon fiber. A lot more work than s.s. flat bar. Of course they are a lot lighter and no worries about corrosion.

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Old 22-03-2009, 00:19   #22
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Electro-polishing Charlie...You sand the metal smooth using a side griding, with sand paper or abrasive pads, reducing the grit until you are at 220 or better. The electro-polishing will make that finish very bright.
Ditto!

I'll do the fabrication myself but polishing is a nasty job and I'd rather pay someone else that does it for a living, then do it myself.

Electropolishing solutions,chemicals, polishing aluminum, electropolishing stainless steel

Electropolishing Basics

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Old 22-03-2009, 05:42   #23
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Electro-polishing Charlie...You sand the metal smooth using a side griding, with sand paper or abrasive pads, reducing the grit until you are at 220 or better. The electro-polishing will make that finish very bright.
Have no experience of electro-polishing, but some experience of buffing wheels. The polish is like long blocks of dirty soap. The work is held against the spinning buffing wheel to which the polish is regularly applied. Its dirty time consuming work but very effective when done right. About half the time in stainless fabrication for marine stuff is spent poilishing adding a lot to the cost!

IMHO
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Old 22-03-2009, 19:15   #24
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Another thing the electro-polishing process does is to leech the iron out of the stainless a few microns deep. I believe 24 microns=.001". Not very deep but enough to stop future iron bleeding in stainless.
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Old 22-03-2009, 19:17   #25
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Drills for SS are a bit different than standard....

When I was working as a Millwright apprentice, my journeyman taught me to regrind the drill bits to a 50 degree angle rather than the standard 60 degree. It works very well. BTW learning to resharpen drills will save you endless aggrevation over time. And a far chunk of money. Bench grinders are down to about $30-50 around here and they fit nicely into a locker.


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Old 22-03-2009, 20:21   #26
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When I was working as a Millwright apprentice, my journeyman taught me to regrind the drill bits to a 50 degree angle rather than the standard 60 degree. It works very well. BTW learning to resharpen drills will save you endless aggrevation over time. And a far chunk of money. Bench grinders are down to about $30-50 around here and they fit nicely into a locker.


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Yes...I even grind them less than that. They act more as a reamer than drill. Another great drill bit is a "uni-bit" which is a step drill sold at Home Depot or machine shop supplies.
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Old 24-03-2009, 05:13   #27
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... Another great drill bit is a "uni-bit" which is a step drill sold at Home Depot or machine shop supplies.
Get the Cobalt Step-Drill*, or at least the Titanium Nitride coated; not the HSS.

* 'Uni-Bit' is the Irwin brand name.
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Old 24-03-2009, 09:35   #28
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I think the fastest and easiest way to get what you need is to send a CAD drawing to a steel fabricator. I got good service from Stainless Steel Fabricators, contact: Jim Schoff Stainless Steel Fabricators: Custom Stainless Steel, Steel, and Aluminum Fabrication (Contact). My boat has large forward facing windows in the cabin top. The windows were held in with plastic frames that could be pushed in by a good sea over coming over the bow. I sent SSF an Autocad drawing of the new frames I wanted. They are 3/16" thick in 316 stainless and were cut with a laser. They came with holes cut and countersunk. The pair of window frames cost about $400 plus shipping. This included 1/8" aluminum rings to match for the interior trim. I am sure your chain plates would be much less.
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Old 24-03-2009, 10:58   #29
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And to think Magellan got by with wrought iron...

Of course, they ate bugs, lost teeth, most died and 3 out of 5 (I think) ships sank

Honestly, on my last boat I made a number of fittings, including some heavy bow sprit fittings, from mill finish 316SS I had in the shop, never pollished it, and they were never the worse for it. They were not crude: just not pollished. They show a few discolorations from grinding heat, but nothing that will keep them from serving beyond the life of the boat. They have been 15 years on the water.

Shiny fittings look neat, and I would have been more cautious with chain plates. I might just have gone up one guage and not worried over it.
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