We need to reinforce the mounting area of the base. Not only that, but we need to cover the eyebolt and give the L-rod something to push against.
Tools needed for this section:
– hack saw
– drill with 3/16″, 5/16″, and 1/2″ drill bits
– hole punch or nail
– foam sanding block
– bench vise
Take the “Re-enforcement Mounting Plate” template, and place a piece of tape on the back of it.? This way the template will not move when marking the cut edge and holes.? Speaking of which, go ahead and place the template on the aluminum and mark the edge.? Take your time cutting the aluminum to length with your hack saw.? We need the edges to be as straight as possible. After cutting the pieces to length, be sure to file the cut edges so they are not sharp.? Also, cut two pieces before you decide to drill holes.? The reason for this is we are going to drill two plates at the same time. This way, we will have a matching pair. Using the template again, mark the holes with a punch or nail on one of the plates. Place two plates back to back, with the marked one up, and place them tightly in a vise.? We want to drill the top two 3/16″ holes first.? First drill out the left hole, and bolt the two plates together.? Drill out the right hole, and same thing, and bolt the two plates together.? The reason to do this, is so the plates do not move when we go to Drill out the 1/2″ hole.? Loosen the vise, and move the plates up enough for the 1/2″ hole to be drilled.? We are going to drill the 1/2″ hole with (3) drill bits.? First, drill the hole with the 3/16″ bit.? Second, drill the same hole with a 5/16″ drill bit.? Now, we can use the 1/2″ drill bit to finish the hole. Be careful not to push to hard on the drill when drilling with the 1/2″ drill bit.? Push gently, if you don’t, the 1/2″ drill bit will bite and pull the drill in way to fast.? After you drill the 1/2″ hole, use a round file, and file the 1/2″ hole just enough to make it a smidgen larger than a 1/2″.? Now to put a finish on the plates.? Using the foam sanding block, sand the plates in one direction, to give it a brushed look.? The plates are done.
Installing the re-enforcement mounting plates on the MDF base.
Place one of the plates on the MDF base, and line up the edges of both. Clamp the plate and MDF down onto a piece of scrap wood.? Using the 3/16″ drill, drill through the MDF using the plate as a guide. When finished drilling you should have four matching holes. Place the second plate on the opposite side of the base, and bolt the plate-base-plate together through one of the 3/16″ bolt holes.? At this point you may need to run the drill back through the other three holes to make the plates and base line up just right.? Loosen the one bolt up, rotate the plate to make room to insert the eye-bolt.? Line everything up and bolt together to test the fit.? Here is a few miscellaneous pictures of the assembly.
The next thing we will do is paint the bases, but I’ll save that for the next posting.