We’re finally doing it! Drilling the holes in the solid keel for cradle support rods.
It took us days to get the alignment as accurate as we could. We’ve used laser leveling and good old geometry with string and tape measure in a modern and old school “belt and suspenders” approach. We hopefully have measured twice and drilled once to get this accurate.
We are drilling three 2-1/8″ diameter holes up through the keel, spaced 12″ apart. We’ll insert three 2″ diameter steel rods up through these holes. Gaps will be filled with epoxy.
Our first hole took 2 1/2 hours to drill using a diamond tipped drill. The second hole seems to be going faster.
We are constrained where we can drill by the thickness of the keel. The keel must be at least 2-3/4″ so we’ll have 3/8″ wall thickness. So, all we could get was a length of 24″ to support RELIANCE.
Enjoy the pictures which show progress to date. Hopefully sessions Saturday and next Tuesday will conclude drilling operations!
1-3. Steve Siok measures keel thickness with our high-tech measuring device – home-made wooden caliper with arms 2 3/4″ apart. (validated by drilling small holes and measuring thickness and keel material composition. These holes also confirm that the keel is indeed solid). We also confirmed that the fore and aft balance point” BP” will be “between the pipes.”
4-7. Our drill bit assembly – note the card showing the comparison of size of RELIANCE to the Space Shuttle – done by our RWU intern Aaron Towers 8. Picture of the three 2″ o.d. rods with attachment plates that will inserted into the three holes we are about to drill. The attachment plates will be bolted to a 6′ x 6′ a 1″ steel road plate weighing about 1,500 lbs. Before assembly, we’ll put oak “keel blocks” on top of the attachment plates. These will be conformal to keel shape and angle of heel, and the keel will rest on these rather than on steel.
9-10. Keith Bradley, Sandy Lee, Steve and Bill Lawton measure face and butt height alignment of the drill from base of drill rails to height of level laser line. This culminated many measurement activities. First, fore and aft RELIANCE hull levelness as well as her sideways levelness were checked by laser. Then the drill assembly was aligned to be perpendicular to the waterline which had been marked on the upper part of the keel and the drill bit was centered to the hole to be drilled. Finally, we then ensured that the drill bit and drill assembly were level. These last steps will be repeated as we go to the second and third holes.
11-17. Various pictures of crew drilling. Note the road plate mentioned above gives a steady base for the drill
Steve lays out keel thickness
Fitting into small places
Balance point and thickness laid out
Bit and extension
Drilling first hole, Bill, Steve and Keith
First hole, Keith getting tired!
First hole – about 1 hour in
About 1.5 hours in
First hole – Herk takes picture
Now with extension on bit
Steve takes over
Tim Horton takes over for the second hole