Date: 4 October 2015. Backing Plate Concerns.
Yesterday we discussed what a
backing plate is. Today I'll tell you how I took a $12 cutting board
and turned it into a Good Enough backing plate for a shelf I'm
building in my galley. All of us know that there are times when we
must opt for the higher quality product. Fortunately for my budget,
this isn't as necessary as some might think.
It all started because of the gift
of a refrigerator. That was made possible because I have more solar
panels. Celebrate with me! Because of that additional power, a lot
of changes occurred. I am beyond ecstatic to have Plenty of Power.
It's something I dreamed of for years...
Each improvement seems to morph
into more. It's called
link] and sometimes it is fun. This
time, definitely my life is improving to a grand extent. I will be
able to run a refrigerator/freezer all the time and that's a true
blessing. Larry and his Eva made that possible.
I'm very grateful to both Eva and
Larry for the pair of solar panels. Soon, I will be raising a glass
of tea (with ice!) while living off the grid. Life does not get much
better than that.
that I have the power to supply a refrigerator why not by a
microwave too? I found a small one on sale and brought it home.
However I didn't want to just sit the microwave
atop the reefer. Thus the need for a shelf.
To make sure the support
hinge didn't pull through the aft bulkhead, I needed a backing
plate. I gave a bit of a Primer on the why's and wherefores in
Another page website visitors have found helpful is
Boat Talk is a
dictionary of sorts for some of the terms boaters become
familiar with over time. It's like me, and not fancy at all.
does provide a brief description along with links to various
articles should you want more details.
Side Note: My friend Stu is
the author of
Dictionary of Nautical Terms.
It's available on Kindle and far more thorough than my own
Boat Talk page.
After deciding I needed a backing plate, the next problem was in
finding something that would work and be within my limited budget. It dawned on me that some cutting boards are a similar material. The plastic won't easily break. I decided to buy and
use a 1/4" thick cutting board as the backing plates required for
the galley shelf project. The one I bought from Walmart was $12 and
measured 15" x 20".
Three strips were cut, each 17" long. That's the
length of the stainless hinge.
determined three backing plates would be sufficient for the task at
hand. One is outside in the cockpit. To sandwich the back
bulkhead, the second is on the inside between the upper half of the
hinge and the bulkhead.
will go under the shelf board and extend an extra inch as a support
for the wood. The
three backing plates are 17" x 2" wide.
I had a myriad of concerns
regarding this project. The wood chosen for the shelf is
just 3/8" thick plywood. As there's not going to be a lot of
weight on it, I didn't see any reason to go with something
Still, I don't want it to break. I opted for two pieces of
backing plate (aka cutting board) to reinforce the top
portion of the hinge. One is on the outside of the cabin. The other is
inside, between the hinge and the bulkhead.
There are a couple of reasons for that one on the inside.
The primary is so that any shifting of the boat won't cause
the metal in the hinge to damage the wall. Seaweed
vibrates slightly when the engine is running. The cutting
board will act as a gasket of sorts. Secondary is to add
strength at the connection point where the bolts penetrate
the aft bulkhead.
Now outside I wanted the washers to be larger. Fender
washers are the ones that are real big and of course I did
not have enough in my ship's supplies. Fortunately there's a
right nice hardware store in the neighborhood.
FENDER WASHERS AND NUTS
secure the backing plate
to the aft bulkhead.
Additionally, I wanted to be sure the plywood shelf would not break
at the hinge. The shelf will have a backing plate beneath
the wood that is wider than the hinge. I'm *spreading the
load once again. Next, the wood, with the hinge on top.
*Spreading the Load means enlarging the contact point so
that things won't break, pull thru or fail.
was done that way so the shelf could raise flush with the back
bulkhead. If I had the wood on top of the hinge it wouldn't
lift properly. The thickness of the shelf would prevent the
hinge from folding completely.
When I went looking for my
fender washers I discovered I didn't have enough for the project.
It's handy to have a toy store aka marine hardware store so close
by. I stopped in at Beach Hardware [http://beach-hardware.com]
in Madeira Beach where I met the nicest gal. Robin helped me find all the goodies I needed.
reasonable at Beach Hardware too, and that's a bonus.
Jim's the owner and his phone number is 727-420-0421.
I came home
stoked to finish the project, anticipating zero problems.
can be so naive...
Have you used a cutting board for something other than
What did you do with it?
Books, Characters, Galley,
Backing Plates ~ Previous
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