The monitor was removed from the transom and taken to the work shop to drill and through bolt the stanchions. I was planning to drill the tubes with the drill press, but I wasn't able to position the unit onto the drill press properly. The unit was just too heavy and bulky to hold in position while operating the drill press.
I then switched to using a cordless hand drill to make the needed holes in the stanchion tubes where needed. This process was easier to manage but not as easy to carry out. Drilling stainless steel is a very slow and tedious process. Drilling stainless steel was discussed further here when I fabricated a new set of chainplates for an Islander 36.
All I needed to do was drill four holes in tubes and I would be set! I started with a trip to the hardware store to purchase two new drill bits. Stainless steel is a real pain to drill, and any tricks will help make the task less arduous. A new, sharp drill bit will make this task proceed a bit more smoothly.
As always, there is a right tool for the job. For drilling stainless, you want to use a cobalt drill bit, as these are made of a harder metal and will hold their edge longer. If you took your regular drill bit and started spinning it on the pilot hole, you would dull and destroy the drill bit in a few minutes. I purchased two of these because they are very sharp, but one mishap can cause the drill bit to dull or shatter. Should this happen and I only purchased one, I would then need to make another trip to the store to pick up a second drill bit!
The Monitor was positioned firmly in a flower bed where nothing sharp would hurt its polished finish and the through bolt holes were slowly and steadily made. Keeping the speed low reduces the amount of heat buildup while removing the metal. If the bur starts to blue, you need to stop and slow down as heat is building up. If the bur turns blue, the edge is soon lost and you will need to switch to a new one soon. If you see orange appear in the bur, it is toasted and you might as well drill at full speed and finish your hole because the bur is dead and not worth using for the next hole.
Drilling stainless steel is a slow and tedious process that results in an unnoticed hole in the metal. There should be no change in colors nor excess heat buildup near the hole, just a punch out in the metal where surface once was.
The next step is to install the through bolts which will tie the unit all together. If you simply bolt up the stanchions, the metal tubes would be crushed during the tightening process! To avoid this catastrophe, you need to install metal tubes that will provide resistance to the tightening bolts.
The problem with this simple task is it is not very simple. The metal tubes are snug and do not slide through the pipe. If they did slide, there would be no way to hold them in place while the bolts are installed.
The small metal tubes were placed over the opening to the pipe in line with the holes in the side and tapped in with a hammer. This worked well until the pipe was at the maximum depth of the hammer. I then switched to a center punch (used backwards) where I tapped on the small end and transferred the force to the tube via the large wide end. This allowed the pipe to be tapped into place without issue and in line with the holes. If the pipe needs to be twisted, simply grab the pipe with a box wrench and spin the wrench with a lever bar to provide the mechanical advantage needed to spin the restricted tube inside the pipe. This trick works, but it is hard to carry out and best to not need. Just make sure to start out lined up and keep it lined up during the entire process.
With all the through bolts supported, the Monitor was fastened together and all the nuts were tightened until the lock washers laid flat. I did not over tighten the fasteners as this would cause undue stress on the whole unit.
Next step will be another test fit!