Day 405 Pedistal & Motor alignment
The day went well for me! The bending of the handrail to go around the pedestal needed to be a good smooth one, and I'm running out of SS pipe! Professionally built pedestals ( or binnacles what-have-you ) usually have a 1.5" pipe around it. Without heat, this kind of curve in that size pipe would be impossible, so I chose the 1" instead.

The bottoms needed to be angled in of course, mostly to narrow the tripping hazard, but also because the base is already big enough. They also needed to be angled back a bit so the whole rail would end up a little forward of center. This is to facilitate the centering of the compass mount. It's pretty big with 2 balls on the end that might become finger catchers. Best leave at least 3" there.

The shift and throttle for the engine, I decided, will be mounted on to the side of the pedestal. This way the cables can feed down through the same hole, and the handles won't get in the way of the seating.
Devising a method to do this took more than a couple of brain cells, and much humming and hawing as I put it together.

The main things I had to remember were:

(1) The throttle assembly can't be put together ( because of silly engineering) inside the "box" so must have a plate and cutout large enough to insert the whole thing put together.

(2) There must be an access panel below the arms so the cables can be connected ( if they can't be connected and stuffed into the top hole!)

(3) The panel must go low enough to allow clamping of the cables to the mounting plate using little nuts and screws.

(4) The cable center ( off by 1.5" from the handle's pivot point) must line up with the center of the pipe, but be far enough aft that the cables are aimed towards the back of the pipe to avoid the chain.

(5) The hole in the pipe must be long enough and angled in to allow a smooth flow of the cables as they head in through the cockpit floor.

(6) And most importantly, it must look aesthetically pleasing! In other words it better look good. The pedestal is  the center of interest on a sailboat, much like the navel is on a belly dancer. It's what you're standing next to when you wave to poor land-locked dreamers on the beach as you sail by. :)

The control cables are 15 footers with Teflon lining we found new on eBay. They are 1/4 of the price the throttle control companies want. It's amazing how smooth they feel! Bicycle ones suck compared to these.
A cleft over hunk of pipe cut off off of the pedestal pipe was cut to be a 3/4 round, then plates welded to the ends and top made the enclosure. The photo left shows a never-to-be-seen-without-an-endoscope view of the inside of the box. Once ground smooth, it really looks fine. Can't wait until the polishing starts on that!

The pedestal will be finished tomorrow ( by hook or by crook! ) as we must go back to work after that.

At last Gena finished the engine mount modifications and began to align the engine to the prop shaft. She used a dial indicator ( photo right ) to make sure the wobble on the shaft is minimal.

If the engine drive shaft is out by even a little, there will be wear on the transmission and the cutless bearings in the tube. 1/5000th of an inch was accomplished over time, but the centering must be done horizontally and vertically. That makes it a real time consuming task. The joint on the transmission and the flex plate off the engine offers a little give but getting it as close as possible is better. The motor mounts, basically a bolt on a flange with a lump of rubber on it, allow for a little movement to reduce vibration, so it's all relative really!

Day 405:
10 hours - Finished motor mounts and aligned engine, made throttle/shifter box for pedestal.

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