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Step 10, The big plate
If you have already bored the block and finished the
spindle there is really just one big job left (assuming
that you buy a cross slide), measuring, cutting and
drilling the plates that bolt to the engine block head
A 1/2" x 12" plate is obviously is what I used but it is
not for everybody. It was the easiest way for me but
such a steel size may not even be available or affordable
in many parts of the world
What else could you use?
How about two parallel pieces of bar stock. Two
nominally six inch wide pieces should be about twelve
inches wide. The exact width is not as important as
having the outside edges absolutely parallel. Use a
metal scraper or file to adjust if necessary
Angle iron could also be made to work. Two pieces of
large angle iron would be needed for each engine block. Since we use both the inner and outer
sides of the angle iron, the iron may have to be the lighter grade that has parallel instead of
tapered sides.
Four pieces of vehicle frame rail will often be the "Developing World" solution.
One of the best ways came from Jeff Hansen of the Yahoo MultiMachine newsgroup. The
"doubled" frame pieces (shown earlier) from a big truck. Cut them apart and lap them together
(with sand?) for a good sliding fit
By now you have probably realized that I can't tell you how long this plate should be because I
don't know how long your block will be since you can use an engine block from a Mercury
outboard, a big industrial engine or anything in between.
The first thing to do is to lift the block into place and to measure how high you want the plate to
go up on the block. Mine only went half way up because I was afraid of warping the plate by
burning a hole in it for the spindle. My fears were groundless because later burning experiments
did not warp the plate at all. If I did it again I would extend the plate to the very top of the block
and burn holes for the the spindle and the overarm.
Why so long? The more mounting bolts the better. Your MultiMachine may be used for many
different kinds of work in the future. You may install a slotter/shaper in the #2 cylinder. You
may even add an additional horizontal block to the top of your machine for a vertical
"Bridgeport" like spindle.