Posted by: Mike Randall | July 17, 2011

Whaddaya mean its not finished yet!

How long is this thing gonna take!

Well that is the current statement I’m most commonly faced with by my ever patient family and friends at the moment. For those of you who have been following my blog for a while you’re probably asking the same questions!

Sorry all but here’s my stock response,

“nearly there, just a couple more weeks now”.

That might be wearing a bit thin now, but hey, really, I’m nearly there! Fitout and finish is a fiddly business.

Like I said though in my last post post I had to finally finish off the cast iron centreboard which I’d been studiously avoiding.

After a lot of angst and online research I decided to drill the 3 x 24mm holes in the keel using a bi metal hole saw with a pilot bit, all up it cost me about $20 which was a fraction of what it could have cost hiring mag drills or taking it to a metal fabricators.

Who’d have thought a hole saw could cut through 30mm of cast iron? Not many people obviously, I kind of felt like the Lone Ranger on this one.

Here are some pics that tell the story (It was pretty easy really).

Holes marked ready for drilling

Drill press, hammer drill and Bi metal hole saw

I borrowed the hammer drill from the guys in the warehouse and used it with the hammer setting off for the axle hole in the centre of the centreboard head. The drill press couldn’t reach that far in. I did this hole through a pre-drilled guide block that was clamped to the centreboard.

My el cheapo little GMC drill press has been a solid performer on this boat build and even managed to drill two of the three hole saw holes. Amazingly it hasn’t let me down yet.

Who'd have thought it would be that simple?

I then needed to put a 6mm wide and deep groove for the safety line in the head of the centreboard. This I’d worked out how to do sometime ago with a grinder and 6mm thick cutting wheel with the whole shebang mounted to a block of wood that I could slide around the centreboard head.

Groovy grind 'o' matic - easy as pie!

After this little successful milestone I wandered around the boat and warehouse hi-fiving myself and hooting for about ten minutes!

I’m definitely starting to lose it!

Or this was a clear indication how much this task had been keeping me awake at night, I could now let it go and get on to painting the keel.

The raw casting had a slight orange peel texture to the surface so I painted the whole thing with some slightly thickened epoxy and then sanded it back.

All sanded up ready for undercoat

I’ve been painting the keel with two pac epoxy undercoat, one side at a time to avoid runs, it’s starting to come together and should be finished next week some time (really).

Wet paint do not touch!

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