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Old 02-07-2012
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Stainless steel backing plates, thoughts, where to buy?

Has anyone had s/s backing plates made for deck hardware? If so, where? A local chandlers or a machine shop? I'm up to making a proper drawing for them if necessary.

I do have access to the equipment to make them myself, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get a good finish.

If anyone has a recommendation for a place to make them, especially in the SF bay area, that would be great.

I ask because I want to bring some lines back to the cockpit and not all of the hardware I want to use has backing plates available off the shelf.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowButSteady View Post
Svendsens, in Alameda.
Actually I did a little searching and found this stuff at McMaster Carr - 12" square sheets, mirror polished finish.

So all I have to do is cut it into the right size pieces, and drill holes.

McMaster-Carr

Edit : hit "reflective" on the left to see the stuff I'm referring to.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
So all I have to do is cut it into the right size pieces, and drill holes.
If only it were that easy! Polished S/S looks very nice but it's a bit@h to work with. Cutting & drilling it will wear out your tools faster than you can believe. At a minimum you will need a drill press and a bandsaw with a metal cutting blade. If you try to make them with a hand drill & hacksaw or jigsaw you'll almost certainly end up marring the finish you paid for

I recommend using aluminium - it can be polished to look good and can be worked with wood tools. You will have to polish it once in a while to keep it looking good but its out of the weather so it's not bad.
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Aluminum can make sense but if in a visible area stainless would look better. The stainless you linked to at McMaster Carr is expensive in the thickness you need for a good backing plate, and you still have to have it cut and drilled. I agree with Sloop it is not a job for one not well equipped.

Go to a shop that works with stainless. Every large city has several and they may have scraps of the correct thickness, they can cut and drill for you matching the hole pattern in the hardware. If you can't find one call a big restaurant and ask who does their stainless work - most commercial kitchens are all stainless.

I have cut and drilled some stainless but for anything of any thickness I use a welder who works with stainless on a regular basis.
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Mark, I'm with mitiempo on this. Stick to stainless and let a shop cut them up for you. If you can bring in actual templates, i.e. cardboard dummies actual size, it will make their job easier & your bill a little smaller. Give them an extra week or two so they can make it when things are slow, and you might be able to trim a little more off the bill too.

If you really want to do the machining yourself...a local shop's scrap barrel may still be the cheapest source for stock. Although given the price of stainless anything these days, I'm wondering about trolling the thift stores for old skillets next time I need some.

I wonder what alloy skillets are made from?
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Use G10 instead, it is also available from Mcmaster Carr and you can cut it more easily and it is probably stronger than SS.

I am considering making G10 stanchion mounts from 1" G10 stacked and glued together tapered at the edges. Drill a 3/4" hole in middle with a hole for set screw and then use simple SS tubing for the stanchions. Make G10 plugs for the tops, G10 inserts for the holes for the lifeline wires. Would there even be a small market for such? Its an easy app for an unused CNC mill.
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The new hardware will be next to some existing hardware that's backed with polished stainless plates. I'd really like to use the same for appearance's sake.

Actually one piece of hardware is made by Garhauer, the rope clutch. I wonder if they have an off-the-shelf backing plate. I'll drop them an e-mail.
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Stainless comes in different grades so be careful what you buy, some is magnetic. All of it is too much work to cut & shape; So I used aluminum that worked for me..Dale
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