Welding Chainplates


We teamed up with Rolf again, this time for the chainplates. We had the chainplates bent out of stock mild steel flat bar with Van Bebber but we needed to weld on the bit that the bolt securing the dead eyes to the chainplates attaches to.

Garrett got to pull out this bad boy, a horizontal bandsaw. I don’t know much about these machines but it cut through the steel like nothing. It was easier than slicing hard cheddar at work. The blade, with water running continuously, basically laid on the steel and made a perfectly straight cut.


<——-  BEFORE








AFTER ———–>



We have two chainplates per side per mast, that makes eight total. The mizzen chainplates are a little smaller at, I believe, 2 inches and the main chainplates are slightly larger, again Garrett will correct me but I believe, 2.5 inches wide.


After Garrett cut each of the pieces to be welded out of bar stock inch and a quarter, Rolf used the old iron lady to bore the 1/2 inch hole we decided on to accept a half inch bolt to hold up the rigging. I do believe I heard a “bore-ing” joke escape Rolf’s mouth. But for me, I loved watching that beautiful faded green machine spin out product. I’m sure years and years and years from now I’d be equally bored…pun intended 😉


There’s something entrancing about watching something do what it does so well. Just like a violinist with instrument in hand or a bartender sliding drinks to thirsty customers. Sure it has its moments of frustration and we all don’t want to get out of bed everyday with a smile but this is a piece of history. Rolf’s told me the story but alas it’s a blank but I do know she’s older than Rolf, so there you go.

So, Rolf drilled, cleaned, and rounded than threw it to Garret (literally) and he spun the bored tube on this cool sander thingy (technical term) and presto! With the rust blasted away it looks like we went to West Marine and paid $50ea. when in reality we found a 2 foot bar in a salvage yard for 8 bucks, so $1 per fitting. I like those numbers.


Next step was to weld all 8 pieces to their respected chainplate. Babies for the mizzen and biggies for main.




Rolf tacked the pieces in place then turned Garrett and I loose to weld the rest!






Garrett and I have found

our new hobby. Although

Garrett learned quick that

he has to remember to eat

something! Shaky hands

makes for a grueling mastery of welding.









Wicked fun!


A great 3 hour work day! Next is to start positioning them on the hull. If you don’t remember, I know I haven’t forgotten, this is when Garrett says I can paint the hull!!!! He just wants to get the first holes drilled while he can still see the fasteners in the planking. The rest of the work on the chainplates thereafter can happen after we are in the water. We’ll have to create the metal straps that go around the lower dead eye which then attaches, by bolt, to the pieces we just welded onto the chainplates. Then we’ll have to make the dead eyes of course, and then the rigging which it still TBD but Garrett’s really contemplating kevlar rigging worm/parcel/and served. Our neighbor and buddy is doing that on his Aries 32 and we’ve been helping/watching the process and it seems super sweet but more on that at a later date. I gotta get home and make some dinner!


7 thoughts on “Welding Chainplates

  1. Great project! It gives this old geezer’s hope for the next generations. Have you thought about getting chain plates hot dipped galvanized?
    Keep up with good work
    Eric in Netherlands


  2. Ruth and Garrett,
    Welding Yeh! I learned yeas ago and can still jump in and do a credible job. I had a trailer made for me in northern Maine by a guy and his wife and she did all the welding! 8000# double axle! Suzie on Emerald steel did most of the welding on their ‘Spray’ too. I hope you did Plenty Ruthie, woman can have the right touch .
    Do you have a hot dip galvanizer anywhere near you? It would be a great way to prep the chain plates and other fittings for the mast like gooseneck, bowsprit ends etc. we had a complete set of galvanized fitting for the rig off my dad’s old gaff rigged boat. He kept that stuff for 50 years….all gone now unfortunately.
    I think spectra or dyneema is the way folks are going now for non wire rigging as better UV resistance andvtou can coat with shrink tube to protect from chafe etc. but galvanized rigging wire and turnbuckles is a very economical way to go. Emerald steel might have some good feed back too. Maybe we can get them to do a real world feedback on what they have used. Also feed back on stopping the rust streaking from all that steel!
    Cheers Warren

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Guys… I’ve been really enjoying following your project, and appreciate the commonsense approach you use in choice of materials & construction. You know the “why” of it, so don’t get hung up in needlessly difficult or expensive or complicated habits & traditions. So much from the past works so well. These pintles and gudgeons are a perfect example… stronger than they need to be, inexpensive, & long lasting.

    I look forward to continuing to follow you on Youtube, & here, & the exciting launch day! All the best, Rich.


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