As I mentioned before, the pipe for the stern tube and rudder tube arrived last week. One very heavy 20 foot length of half inch wall 4.5" steel pipe. These pipe sections support the rudder shaft and the propeller shaft which will both be made from 2.5" stainless alloy. First job was to cut the pipe into the right lengths. The pipe was too heavy to carry around the shop (even after we rough cut it into pieces with a cutting torch) so we had to get a little creative with the final cutting setup. Ended up using the forklift to hold the pipe in position, and moved the liquid cooled metal cutting saw outside to cut the finished ends. They came out perfect- nice smooth, straight ends all around.
Since the 4.5" pipe didn't make it to the wheel-abrader to get cleaned and primed like the rest of the steel, Sam and I spent Monday sandblasting the finished sections and painting with a good zinc primer. This should keep these parts rust free until the final coatings go on.
The last picture shows one of the solid bulkhead being moved. Our boat will have 4 bulkheads dividing the hull into 5 watertight compartments. This is much safer in the event of flooding as the water can be contained to one area of the boat. There are just a few more frames to finish building, then they will start going up to form the shape of the hull.