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post #786 of Old 08-30-2013
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Finally! I found those pics of the $2 blocks Brent was talking about:

Make your own block and test it. It only takes 20 minutes and $2 worth of materials.

The cheeks of a sheet block can be easily jig sawed out of 3/16th aluminium scrap. Some use spacers which can be made out of pipe , on the becket end, to space them the same as the width of the sheave. I prefer to leave the two cheeks attached by a strip of 3/4 inch wide aluminium, then bend it 180 degrees to make the becket. These cheeks should be sanded very smooth and well rounded to eliminate chafe.
Then it' s simply a matter of running a 3/8th ss bolt thru the sheave to make up the block.
You can make up sheaves by running a hole saw thru a sheet of plastic , such as a cutting board. Micarta, salvaged from electrical panels makes even better sheaves which will last several lifetimes. Black plastic is far more UV resistance , if you can find it.
After hole sawing it out, you put a carriage bolt thru it and put it in a drill chuck. Then you use a vise and machine the groove in it , using the drill like a lathe.
You can use a spacer to make a double block, or put different sized sheaves in line, like the yachtie blocks.
While I think bearings are a gimmick , if you insist , you can make the hole in the sheave a half inch wider than the bolt, then stack bits of 1/4 inch rod , made out of any material you like, around the pin and viola, roller bearings.
I have made a single block this way, using only hand tools in 20 minutes, a far stronger and more reliable block than most of the super expensive "Yachtie " blocks people get conned out of large sums of money for. A billionaire can't buy a better block for any amount of money. It takes less time to build one than it takes to travel to the ship swindler and buy a block .
Yet another of many examples of how building your own produces a far better product than the cheque book delivers.
Last edited by Brent Swain; 10-17-2011 at 04:35 PM.

I assume these are from his own boat - which starts to give some small indication of its condition. I guess we all have different measures of "perfection".

Last edited by smackdaddy; 08-30-2013 at 12:32 PM.
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