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Old 04-08-2021, 16:00   #1
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Bronze chain plates

I'm replacing the chain plates and am looking for a foundry to cast them.

Port Townsend Foundry is very slow at getting the quote to me and have more than 1 month back log.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a foundry to cast bronze chain plates in the US or Canada?

Thanks
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Old 04-08-2021, 17:22   #2
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Re: Bronze chain plates

Just wondering why cast bronze rather than flat bar stock which is readily available and relatively easy to work with to produce your own.
Mystic River Foundry castings
These guys have vast experience working with small batch sailors needs.
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Old 04-08-2021, 17:41   #3
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Re: Bronze chain plates

Thanks for the referral to Mystic River.

All the shroud chain plates have two bends in them (6* and 5*) and backstay has a 26* bend. I can't bend 3/8 flat bar and don't know enough about bronze alloys to know how to bend it (and I don't have equipment to bend that thick of metal. If they were straight, I could get the flat stock. In addition, the holes are squared for carriage bolts and I've got too much on my plate. This is a job that is better to pay an expert to deliver.

Thanks again for the tip. I'll give them a call in the morning.
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Old 04-08-2021, 18:10   #4
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Re: Bronze chain plates

Any machine shop with a press brake can bend you some out of bar stock, and punch square holes in them. Probably lots cheaper than having them cast, esp. if patterns have to be made for each.
I made mine from 3/8" silicon bronze plate, cut with a plasma cutter at a local college, and bent on their press brake. The main ones have two bends: one out from the hull, the other around the chainwale. Not as elegant as a custom casting, but lots more affordable, and plenty strong.
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Old 04-08-2021, 18:25   #5
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Re: Bronze chain plates

Seriously, you do NOT need to have something cast from scratch. That will cost oceans.

You need a machine shop to make these from bar stock. The square holes might be a challenge for home work (assuming they really are NEEDED), but even bending these isn't hard. Heat them red hot with a torch, and put them in a solid bench vise, and bend all in one go. It's not hard. I've done it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 19:06   #6
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Re: Bronze chain plates

Thanks y'all.

For bending, if the machine shop has a brake press capable of making the two < 10* bends and the one 26* bend, does the metal need to be heated before or after? Does making those kinds of bends in cold silicone bronze (3/8" x 1.75 or 2" wide) cause any stress cracks on the bend area? I can find a machine shop, but getting the silicon bronze is a little difficult here in lower Alabama. The carriage bolts are not needed, but wanted. I want to minimize outboard protrusions like with bolt heads because these are external chain plates.

Thanks for the advice. I'll check with machine shops for bending and square punching while I source the plate material.
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Old 05-08-2021, 03:06   #7
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Re: Bronze chain plates

Quote:
Originally Posted by scherzoja View Post
Thanks y'all.

For bending, if the machine shop has a brake press capable of making the two < 10* bends and the one 26* bend, does the metal need to be heated before or after? Does making those kinds of bends in cold silicone bronze (3/8" x 1.75 or 2" wide) cause any stress cracks on the bend area? I can find a machine shop, but getting the silicon bronze is a little difficult here in lower Alabama. The carriage bolts are not needed, but wanted. I want to minimize outboard protrusions like with bolt heads because these are external chain plates.

Thanks for the advice. I'll check with machine shops for bending and square punching while I source the plate material.
The material does does not need heating to press-brake bend it. You can work it several times before it fatigues, but a decent shop will make each bend right first go. It certainly can't hurt to torch it red-hot and let it cool afterward, but for one bend in each spot it's not necessary.
Alabama is no handicap to sourcing metal: you can get it shipped. I got my plate stock, 1/4" and 3/8" from a supplier in the midwest. Just google the key words.
After you see the price of bronze carriage bolts, you might change your mind and go with plain hex heads.....mine are such, and don't really offend the eye that much.
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