Leaving Antigua, W. I.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rebuilding the Beds

Lower 1.5" thick filler block test fit

With the old beds cut away to allow for the thickness of the new steel engine rails, we are ready to begin reconstructing the beds.  We will cut teak filler blocks to go in the top of the old, hollow bed.  We will glue these blocks into the cavity at the top of the bed with thickened epoxy.  They will replace the structural element that we cut away at the top of the hollow bed, as well as providing a base to which we can lag bolt the steel rails. 

Sliding in upper 1.5" block, test fit

After thoroughly cleaning and degreasing the inside of the old beds, we sanded them with 50 grit sandpaper to provide "tooth" for the structural epoxy.  We then cut pattern blocks from pine to test the fit, before cutting the teak.  Once all of the cutting and fitting was complete, we epoxied the teak filler blocks in place.  When the epoxy had finished the initial cure phase, we fit the rails temporarily in place and tested everything with the engine template.  We had to do some minor trimming to get everything in alignment.  We drilled the vertical flanges of the rails for lag bolts, and bolted the rails in temporarily.  We tested the fit with the template again, and then removed the rails and waxed their under sides, to prevent epoxy adhesion.  We gave everything two coats of white paint, to brighten up the engine space, and then we put a generous coat of thickened epoxy on the contact surfaces of the beds, and pressed the rails down into the epoxy before it started to set up.  This gives the rails a nice, even surface upon which to rest, and prevents them from rocking on any little high spots.  We bolted them in place through the vertical flange.  Once the epoxy cured, we tested the fit again, and then put in the vertical lag bolts for each rail.

This was straightforward work, but we spent a lot of time on the beds, because of the fitting, measuring, refitting, re-measuring, and waiting for epoxy to cure.  This phase of the project took 4.5 days, which was far more than we had planned.  At this point, we are ready to set the engine on the beds.


Both pattern pieces in place

Rails set in epoxy bedding

4 Lag Bolts in place
Ready for the new engine

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