Monday, March 28, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well


For the stainless steel rub rail, I decided to use the 1/2" wide, half oval type since at the back of the boat, the edge is not wide enough for a wider strip. It also seemed like it would be a better look on a small boat. However, there doesn't seem to be any ready made end spears available, so I experimented with shaping and forming the end until I got what I wanted. So here's what I came up with:













1) Cut strip to length by clamping strip in some wood blocks and then in a vice. Cutting with a saws-all with a metal cutting blade.


2) Grinding the end to a rounded shape on the bench grinder.

3) Filing the back side flat to remove grinding burrs and flatten edges.

4) Laying strip on vice with end hanging off about 1/2" and forming (pounding away) with a ball peen hammer until underside was flat.

5) Polishing with Dremel tool using abrasive rubber polisher.

6) Final polish with fine grit abrasive pads (1800 to 4000 grit).


After the end was formed, an additional screw hole was drilled about an inch from the end using the drill press and press vice. A spring loaded center punch was used to mark the hole start and avoid wandering. A hole was drilled and then a countersink reamer until the screw head fit.

For the leading end of the splash rail, I made a form to bend the rub strip to fit. Clamping to the form and gently bending the strip by hand the yield point could be felt. With a few gentle bends and being careful not to bend it at the screw holes did the trick. The splash rails took a good part of a day to do, but the result is quite nice, I think.

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