Finally making progress, although it will “grind” to a stop for the next few weeks. Not seeing much boat work time available in October.
First, let’s do a recap. If you recall, the keel lifting bolt was rusted away, and couldn’t be saved.
uh oh – exposed threads
While the welder was here fixing the pivot pin bushing…
He also cut away the metal around the old lifting bolt …
No eye bolt
And we attempted to re-tap it.
But no joy. The inside of the existing hole was rusted and the threads were pretty much missing down one side
Bad thread day
I had originally planned to bore a bigger hole (slightly bigger diameter) and re-thread it for a bigger bolt, but when it arrived I realized it was just too massive and not the right solution.
compare old and new keel bolts
So I abandoned that idea. After some advice from swimfly, and after calling a well known Catalina parts dealer, I decided to do more cutting away and to re-drill and tap another hole. I went ahead and bought their drill and tap.
Before we started I heated it up for a few hours. That’s just a reflected red glow – no it’s not red hot. 2 heaters blew the garage light circuit, but one heater was plenty enough heat to warm it up. It did get too hot to touch. I had to let it cool a bit before we could get started.
Heating the keel
I had a mechanical engineering friend with some metal work experience come over to help me through the last (well, almost the last) step before sandblasting can be done. First we leveled the keel such that the drill hole was near vertical. Surprisingly this meant the rear of the keel was raised quite a bit. That 2 ton engine hoist I bought from harbor freight has sure come in handy.
Leveling the drill hole
Then we cut away the metal. This was my first attempt at using a grinder and it turns out it is much better at shaving off a layer of metal than at cutting out big chunks. We worked a couple chunks on both sides and were able to knock them out with a sledgehammer.
Notice the use of safety glasses. Quite a bit of cutting later (we both got lots of grinder time) and we had this. Notice the nose of the Catalina 22 peeking out of the garage.
Ready for drilling
Notice that there is still a drill hole. It was deep enough to just barely go beyond where we needed to cut.
Next was the really exciting part. We used a bench top drill press, took off the bottom plate and turned it around. Then propped it up to just the right height. It barely fit.
Drill press setup
Yes, that is a drill press on top of 3 boards stacked on a milk crate. No that wasn’t all that sturdy. No, I wouldn’t recommend it. Yes, it worked. Here is an action shot.
Ready for tapping
At this point we had run out of time and had to stop, plus I didn’t have anything resembling a tap handle that could fit the tap. I’ve since bought one and am ready to go. Based on my upcoming schedule it’s going to have to wait a few weeks. I’ll try to coincide the tapping with a trip to the soda blasters. After that it’s sealing and shaping time!
I want to stress the importance of wearing eye protection while working with metal. While grinding we were both wearing safety goggles, but in all the setting up of the drill press I took mine off and forgot to put them on again before drilling. Yep, got two specks in my right eye. Talk about painful! Made it to the eye doc the next day and she fished them out with a needle. They had already started to rust and she cleaned that out. No lasting damage, but definitely a lasting lesson.
This once and for all settles the debate of whether or not stupidity is painful. Yes. Yes it is.