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making chainplates or readymade

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Currently have Benjamin Latham 48:1 under construction and am stymied at chain plates.  Plans say mfg from 1/16 brass strip but I cannot drill holes in this small strip with table mounted Dremel.  I have searched for ready made chain-plates but have had little success. Currently have some on order with Hobby World but am afraid they are out of scale at 7mm.  Any suggestions on how to make them would be appreciated



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Last time my wife asked me to drill some holes in the bottom of a tub she wanted to use as a planter, I just used my 22 pistol to punch the holes, worked great. She had the same need a few months ago and after watching me, used her own pistol to do it. Might work for you, if not, you will have some fun.

jud :pirate41:

Edited by jud
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Try using a center punch in the strip before you try drilling the holes. It doesn't have to be so deep as to deform the strip. A small dimple will keep the bit from wandering.


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Perhaps this will help you. I usually make my chain plate from copper wire strand, if you strip off the covering of 14GA multi strand wire for instants and nip off several inches of the copper and separate them you have single strand wire ready to make into a usable product. Take a strand of a suitable length and semi stretch it using a pair of pliers at each end, this makes the material "straight" Take your dead eye and pull or loop the wire around it and give it a twist........you now have the dead eye trapped with two lengths  of wire which you can solder together. Try not using to much solder or heat.......... with a bit of practice you'll be able to turn out more than enough  units with what ever lengths you will need. If the chain plate is not exposed outside the hull.... drill, using the appropriate drill size that will allow the soldered wire into the hole with out to much play then use a touch of CA or PVA for installation. If the plan calls for the chain plate to be exposed on the hull side......mark the hull at the stations according to the rigging plan for space and length (length if the chain plate) drill the appropriate holes and using your pliers, bend the end(enough to enter the drill hole) of the chain plate assembly, 90 degrees,align them all as needed and secure with CA or PVA. You can paint them prior to installation or age the wire in what ever product you are familiar with. If 14 GA strand is to big, try 18 GA or 22 GA.............also you can make "long narrow" chain plate using the headless brads on a board technique using copper strand. I have found the copper wire to be so much easier to use in rigging application than brass or floral wire, just a matter of what works best!



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Sideliner, I have drilled through brass many times with a 63 bit to an 85.  The first thing to do is put a dimple where the hole is then drill it out.  However one of the things I do is chuck the bit so that only an 1/8 " out of the chuck.  This helps to prevent the bit from wobbling.

David B

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Also, the brass strip is in a hardened state. Heat to cherry read and allow to cool It will drill easily then. Centerpunching is a good idea as well.

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A different, though perhaps somewhat more expensive route would be to have them etched. Perhaps there are other parts you could do at the same time. Perhaps you could share the cost with other builders by having several copies done.


Drilling into sheet brass can difficult with helical drill can be difficult, as the standard drills tend to 'catch'. There are special drills for brass that have a steeper helix and are ground differently. Another option are spade drills as traditionally used by watchmakers for the purpose. They can be obtained from watchmakers and jewellers supply houses.


Watchmakers also used to make spade drills themselves, but this needs a bit of practice (which they would have acquired during their apprenticeship).



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