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Old 05-08-2015, 10:37   #31
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

McMaster-Carr delivers next day around here.

Stick with the stainless, a direct replacement.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:48   #32
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
McMaster-Carr delivers next day around here.
I already ordered the stainless and it will be arriving today.(next day)

The problem I have now is this whole electropolishing thing is giving me a headache. No local places that do jobs without a contract agreement, no mail in ones that will do it for less than 100 with a one week turn around...it just seems like a joke of an industry. If it is so necessary to actually make stainless stainless, then why do so few places do it?

What about the nuts and bolts that bolt it into the bulk head? Do I need to have those electropolished, or at least passivated as well?

Can I not expect these to last a good 5-10 years if I just use good ole fashioned polishing tools?
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:12   #33
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
I already ordered the stainless and it will be arriving today.(next day)

The problem I have now is this whole electropolishing thing is giving me a headache. No local places that do jobs without a contract agreement, no mail in ones that will do it for less than 100 with a one week turn around...it just seems like a joke of an industry. If it is so necessary to actually make stainless stainless, then why do so few places do it?

What about the nuts and bolts that bolt it into the bulk head? Do I need to have those electropolished, or at least passivated as well?

Can I not expect these to last a good 5-10 years if I just use good ole fashioned polishing tools?
You're asking all the right questions and noting all the same things I've thought about the industry, too. I throw up my hands and just stick with bronze. I know just enough about stainless and have had just enough bad experiences with stainless failing to personally stay away from it. On my boat, though, bronze is a direct replacement whereas on your boat, stainless is what you had. Bronze is dear and if you start adding up all the fastener bits and pieces you'll also use, you'll probably sigh, get the electopolishing done and move on.

Best of luck to you.

PS the aluminum bronze that you found is not an alloy typically used in saltwater environments but is found in freshwater applications. Manganese bronze is commonly used in saltwater, Silicon bronze is as well.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:31   #34
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post
You're asking all the right questions and noting all the same things I've thought about the industry, too. I throw up my hands and just stick with bronze. I know just enough about stainless and have had just enough bad experiences with stainless failing to personally stay away from it. On my boat, though, bronze is a direct replacement whereas on your boat, stainless is what you had. Bronze is dear and if you start adding up all the fastener bits and pieces you'll also use, you'll probably sigh, get the electopolishing done and move on.

Best of luck to you.

PS the aluminum bronze that you found is not an alloy typically used in saltwater environments but is found in freshwater applications. Manganese bronze is commonly used in saltwater, Silicon bronze is as well.
I came real close to buying bronze, but I could only find it in 1/4" thickness and my old ones were 3/16" thick. I was afraid that it might not fit into the slot cut for them, so I stuck with the 3/16" thick stainless.

at this point my only option would be the return the stainless, then buy 1/4" bronze and hope it fits into the slots okay(it was pretty tight with the 3/16")
...so yeah another headache and no real money saved there.

So now I am pretty much stuck biting the bullet and letting one of these electropolish companies rip me off, so I can in the end, have an inferior product.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:42   #35
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

I'm working on some more elecropolish quotes.

Do I need to do the bolts as well, even though they are going inside the cabin onto the bulkhead where it's dry?
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:57   #36
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
I'm working on some more elecropolish quotes.

Do I need to do the bolts as well, even though they are going inside the cabin onto the bulkhead where it's dry?
Don't worry about the bolts. Also, for things like chainplates, look up "metal polishing" locally. There may be a metal shop out there that mechanically polishes... that can be superior to Electro polishing... and end up looking like a mirror!
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:11   #37
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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Don't worry about the bolts. Also, for things like chainplates, look up "metal polishing" locally. There may be a metal shop out there that mechanically polishes... that can be superior to Electro polishing... and end up looking like a mirror!
I may go that route instead, but could I not get a mirror finish myself by using a polishing kit?
The main issue here is that the rigger comes next week to re-rig and tune the rig...so I really need to have this project completed by then.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:22   #38
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

The fasteners will come ready to install.

Mirror polishing can be substituted for electropolishing.

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
...could I not get a mirror finish myself by using a polishing kit?...
Most likely not. You need to have more equipment than a Dremel.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:35   #39
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

Electro polishing would be nice but as long as you pickle everything you should be good.
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:37   #40
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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Originally Posted by VinnyVincent View Post
I may go that route instead, but could I not get a mirror finish myself by using a polishing kit?
The main issue here is that the rigger comes next week to re-rig and tune the rig...so I really need to have this project completed by then.
You could, but it's a learned process. You need the right compounds for polishing. Hot Rodders do it all the time. It depends on the original finish, you might need to start with coarse sandpaper and gradually move to finer and finer and then compounding wheel if the bar is not smooth to start with. The good news is you only have to do the part that's outside the boat and well inside the inside. Of course it will look better is you do it all.
The world would not end if you used raw stainless but it wont look as good.


Are you sure your existing ones aren't good? Zyglo the area previously embedded, repolish that area if needed. If they were Schaefer they were probably very nicely polished to start with.... at least some I've seen were.
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Old 05-08-2015, 13:25   #41
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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You could, but it's a learned process. You need the right compounds for polishing. Hot Rodders do it all the time. It depends on the original finish, you might need to start with coarse sandpaper and gradually move to finer and finer and then compounding wheel if the bar is not smooth to start with.
That was my plan originally. Cut it, grind the cuts/corners, use a palm sander with 80 grit, then 120, then 240, then wet sand by hand, then break out the dremel with the polishing compound and wheel.
I do have a LITTLE polishing experience from working on antique firearms, but I have never really had a need to get a super fine shiny finish like this...

Quote:
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Are you sure your existing ones aren't good? Zyglo the area previously embedded, repolish that area if needed. If they were Schaefer they were probably very nicely polished to start with.... at least some I've seen were.
That's a good question. They LOOK better than any chainplates I've seen pics of where people replaced them, or in some cases reused...however I understand without testing there is no way to know.
My thought process was "just change them anyway since everything is off the boat"...that was before I found out about this whole polishing fiasco.

I need to show you the pictures of the old ones once I get home, because the finish on the schaeffer(which they definitely are) chain plates is no where NEAR close to being a "mirror finish".
There is a slight reflection, but you an only make out faint colors and no features. The texture is more of a satin/matte texture, not smooth.
When it is handled you would never be able to see finger prints, it's not nearly smooth enough...that's why I was kinda shocked when people were telling me it's a really bad idea to not have them electropolished.

I know for a fact I could get the same finish by polishing myself...but could it be that it was a rough finish and they had it passivated?
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Old 05-08-2015, 13:29   #42
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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...use a palm sander with 80 grit, then 120, then 240, then wet sand by hand, then break out the dremel with the polishing compound and wheel...
You would surely be in for a lot of unnecessary work.
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Old 05-08-2015, 14:02   #43
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

Electro polishing is often more of a satin finish, some better than others. The mirror finish usually comes from hand polishing. The goal of the finishing is the smooth out the ridges and valleys in the metal surface (microscopic) to disallow corrosion in those valleys. Mechanically doing this can be as good or better than with chemicals. Pickling without knowledge and control can actually make the process worse.. if the acid attacks the valleys more and leaves residue in there.


You may be overthinking this by reading too much on the internet. If the old plates are clean look at them closely with a loupe for cracks or indication of corrosion.
Look under "non-destructive testing" in your area... maybe someone could zyglo the area in question for you. Trouble is so many shops have a minimum charge.
You just have to make a judgment call.
It a Newport 28, not an offshore "round the world" boat usually. or is that your intention?
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Old 05-08-2015, 14:19   #44
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

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You would surely be in for a lot of unnecessary work.
I was planning on following this guys method:
DIY Chainplates: Polishing the Stainless | Sailfeed

Is there an easier way? Aside from paying some crooks 100 dollars plus shipping and a weeks wait to do it for me?
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Old 05-08-2015, 15:39   #45
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Re: Chainplates from grainger

Yeah, you left out 400, 600 and 800 grit. And starting with 80-grit will create much extra work.
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