Catalina 22 Keel Eye Bolt Final Fix

I’ve been following a wordpress blog called the “dragon duck“.  He has a philosophy that just putting in a few minutes when he can towards building a boat can result in a lot of progress over time.  So pretty often he’ll post about a little more progress.  I’ve already watched him build one small boat this way and he’s started on two more.  Pretty inspiring.

I can’t commit to any big amount of time to work on my boats, but maybe I can fit in a half hour of relaxing project work here and there.

When we last left this project, I had cut away the rusted iron, drilled a new hole, and tapped new threads for the eye bolt.  But it didn’t line up with the keel when screwed all the way in.

Perpindicular

non-parallel eye bolt

Following advice to make sure it is parallel, I got out my trusty keel eye bolt adjusting tools.

 

keel repair material

keel repair tools

Then applying elbow grease, I filed the high points around the hole.  Stopping every few minutes to check the new fit.  It was kind of exciting to see the final stop point of the bolt advance around the hole till finally about a 1/2 hour later – it was parallel!  Well, almost parallel, I didn’t want to go too far because when it gets the final tightening it should go just a tad further.  If not, I still have the file…

almost parallel

almost parallel

side view

side view

other side view

other side view

Yay!  Keel eye bolt fixed!

 

Catalina 22 Keel eye bolt repair complete!

Last weekend I completed tapping the hole for the keel eye bolt.  This is the last structural problem I had to solve before beginning the blasting, sealing and shaping process.   Naturally, it went smoothly up until it didn’t.

Considering all that’s gone into fixing this keel, I was pretty nervous about screwing up the screw job.  That’s why I had my friend JP come over.  He’s really into cars and has tapped holes before.  I know I do a lot of stuff on my own (with the help of YouTube), but I also like to have coaches too.

We got right to work.  The first thing we did was level the keel.

Level keel prior to tapping

Level keel prior to tapping

 

I used the keel tap I got from Catalina Direct and a tap driver I got from Home Depot.

Starting the tap

Starting the tap

Cast iron seems very easy to work with.  From what I read, it actually self lubricates as you work it.  Pretty amazing.When we drilled the hole, we didn’t use any oil, and we didn’t when we tapped the threads either.

It didn’t even need to be backed out as we went deeper.  We just kept turning and turning till it was in deep enough.  Also, we only needed hand strength to turn it.

Deeper and deeper

Deeper and deeper

Once the tap had gone all the way in, the filings were all at the bottom of the hole.

tapping complete

tapping complete

I used my pancake air compressor to blow them out.  Yes, I closed my eyes.  No, I don’t want to go back to the eye doctor.

Now, here is the not so great part.  There is probably some trick here, but once it’s screwed all the way in, it’s perpendicular to the keel.  No amount of changing where I start screwing it in makes a difference.  All the way in = perpendicular.  This may have something to do with where the tap is when you start.  Not sure how we would be able to tell how it would wind up.  It might also be that the area around the hole is not quite level.

Perpindicular

Perpendicular

If I back it off a bit, I can get it parallel with the keel, but then the shoulder of the bolt is not flush

Parallel, but not flush

Parallel, but not flush

So what do I do?

A) leave it perpendicular

B) leave it parallel, but with a slight gap around the shoulder

C) see if grinding down around the edge of the hole will let the bolt go a little further and wind up with the shoulder flush and the eye parallel.   I’m a bit worried that I might screw up the threads and not make a different anyway.

OK you mechanically minded folks out there.  What do you think I should do?

P.S.  After we were done, JP gave me a ride in his race car – A lotus.  He’s been building it the last 3 years to actually race on the race track.  And wow, it does have some acceleration!  Pretty too.

lotus

lotus

 

 

 

Catalina 22 keel eyebolt repair progress report

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

uh oh – exposed threads

While the welder was here fixing the pivot pin bushing…

fixed!

fixed!

He also cut away the metal around the old lifting bolt …

No eye bolt

No eye bolt

And we attempted to re-tap it.

Tapping the keel

But no joy.  The inside of the existing hole was rusted and the threads were pretty much missing down one side

Not so well

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

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

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

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.

Grinding

Grinding

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

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

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.

Drilling Action

Drilling Action

Final view:

Ready for tapping

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.

 

Bolt arrival and a little surprise

If you read last post, you know I just ordered the keel bolt from McMaster-Carr.  Which is an autoparts supply place mostly, but they have all kinds of stuff.  I ordered on Friday, July 3 and got it Tuesday so that was great. The website doesn’t tell you how much shipping will be when you order, so I didn’t like that part. It was only five dollars, but this is a small order. I’m not sure I would want to order a big shipment and have an unknown fee attached.

I ordered a drill to drill out the old threads, a tap to make new, bigger threads, and a new bolt.

The new bolt is only 3/32 bigger than the previous one, so not much as you can see in this picture of the ends.  The new is on the right. Doesn’t look that much bigger does it?

Old and new bolts

Old and new bolts

Take a look at it from this perspective:

compare old and new keel bolts

compare old and new keel bolts

wow! That was a big surprise when I opened the box. So the new bolt is just a bit bigger than the old one! No wonder it is rated for 5000 pounds!  I may have trouble fitting it in the old spot on the keel. I guess it’s a good thing the keel has already been cut down some in that area.

I also got the drill bit and the tap delivered at the same time.

drill bit, tap & bolt

drill bit, tap & bolt

Looks like it’s time for tapping party. Not sure when I will be able to get to it though 😦

Keel eye bolt materials purchased and on the way

In my previous post describing my eye bolt probable solution, I was unable to find the exact bolt that I had calculated using the drill and tap chart. I went back to the website and this time was able to go right to the sizes I wanted, I’m not sure what was different but I’m happy they worked out. Here’s the drill and tap chart as found on http://www.shender4.com/. Note that the items highlighted in a pinkish color are the sizes provided and recommended by the well-known Catalina parts dealer. You will notice that the drill size is under the aluminum brass and plastics. It seems to me we should be using the drill bit size for iron so that’s what I’m going to do on the new eyebolt. The colors in yellow indicate the eyebolt size and thread and the drill bit size.

Drill and Tap chart

Drill and Tap chart

First the tap

Tap purchase

Tap purchase

then the drill bit

Keel Drill bit purchase

Keel Drill bit purchase

and last, the eyebolt

Keel eye bolt purchase

Keel eye bolt purchase

Just to remind you, the standard bolt they use looks like this, so there will be some differences in the way I hook it to the winch cable.

Standard eyebolt shape

Standard eyebolt shape

keel total purchase

keel total purchase

Total cost at http://www.mcmaster.com/ is 37.46 plus shipping.

Total cost at the well known Catalina parts dealer is
$56.20 – Tap
$14.95 – Cobalt drill bit
$16.00 – Eyebolt
———
$87.15

$tingySailor should be proud of me ;^)

Alternate plan for the keel bolt

So I’ve come up with another plan. Correct me if this is a bad idea, but what I hope to do is to drill out the hole completely and then re-thread it. I’m going to get a bit the size of the replacement eye bolt, drill it out completely (threads and all) and then re-tap with a bigger square bottom tap. Then I’ll buy a replacement eyebolt rated it for some ridiculous high weight and use it instead of the eyebolt I purchased.

Note that you can find a tap chart anywhere on the web by searching the key phrase ” tap size chart”.  I use this one from http://www.shender4.com/.  Here is an excerpt:

ThreadChart

Here are the specifics:

My new keel eyebolt is 1/2 inch. It is a 13 thread.  This is highlighted in yellow on the chart.   The orange highlight of 27/64 is the matching drill that you can buy with it from the well-known Catalina parts supply company .  Am I reading this wrong, or since this is an iron core, should the drill size sold be 29/64, not 27/64?

It doesn’t matter for my keel.  Given that the existing hole is 1/2 inch size my new drill size for iron should be slightly bigger.  I picked 33/64 , which is highlighted in pink. I will also need a tap sized for a 33/64 hole with a 9/16-12 thread.

A tools/parts supply website, mcMaster-Carr sells taps and has a great website to help you find out which one you need.  The problem is, taps don’t come in the sizes I just calculated.  I can’t get a 9/16-12 sized for 33/64, but I can get a 9/16-18 with a 33/64 hole.   The chart says the hole should be 17/32 for iron.  Does making the hole 1/64 less matter?  Seems like they wouldn’t put it in the chart if it didn’t matter.
tap specs

 

Assuming that will work, now I need a 9/16 eye bolt with a 18 thread.  Let’s head back to McMaster-carr, they also sell eyebolts in all sizes.

Working my way through the different options I found a 9/16 – 18 Zinc plated steel eyebolt (with shoulder) rated for up to 5,000 lbs.  That should handle my little 550 pound keel.  (Note that it can still lift 1,000 lbs even when the lift angle is 45 degress)  Note also that the shank length is 1 5/8.  The eyebolt that I bought has a shank length of only 1″.

eye bolt specs

 

So now all I have left is to drill a new hole and tap new threads.

One other thing. The site says “All taps are for use on most metals and plastics. Also known as hand taps, use them with a tap wrench”.  I don’t have a tap wrench.  They sell a tap wrench for a tap this size (over 1/2″) for $44.  All this for a one time use.  Can these be used with a socket or wrench?  The welder used a metric socket on his tap, but the socket stripped out before he finished, so that’s a strike against it.  Any alternatives?  

On more other thing.  Once I get the drill bit , is it going to be possible to drill into the iron?  Do I need a special drill?  How hard is this going to be?  I didn’t post the drill bit search result, but they have those too ($22 each).  Should I get two?  Will a single one do the job?

What do you think?

 

Keel eye bolt tapping – fail

Although it’s been great making progress on the keel, I’ve run into another issue that’s going to slow me down.  (As if I could possibly go any slower)   It’s the keel eye bolt.

Unexpectedly, the re-tapping of the keel eye bolts did not go so well.  The welder came over and brought his tap.  He oiled up and started screwing it in.

Tapping the keel

It went only so far, then stopped.

Keel tapped out

The eye bolt didn’t fit all the way.  At first I thought I might leave it like that, then $tingy Sailor suggested I might cut the threads off so it would be flush and not have any exposed threads.  This seemed reasonable, so I went out to do it.  Taking a closer look made me rethink the whole thing.

Tap looks good

Looking at one angle makes you think the tap went pretty well, but ….

Not so well

 

From the other angle you can see that there are only 3 threads on the other side.  Not near enough to trust with the weight of the keel.  It looks like there is actually some corrosion or a void so there is no metal to tap into.

So, it’s back to the drawing board.  I have a plan though.

  1. Buy a bit and tap
  2. cut a notch behind the original eye bolt location
  3. redrill, retap, put in new eye bolt flush to surface
  4. Have sandblaster do the entire keel, including hole.
  5. seal the entire thing in epoxy.
  6. Finish fairing and painting.

Here is an old picture marked up to show where the new cutout is going (red) and the current cut that was done (yellow)

proposed eye bolt location (red)

Anything I’m missing?  Any suggestions?  Will it be a problem if it doesn’t line up directly under the keel cable hole?