Chain Plate Replacement

I replaced the chain plates several years ago.  There is no secret technique other than to disassemble the cabinetry as little as possible and to be as non-destructive as you can.  As I recall, one tool that was instrumental was a Japenese style pull saw.  It has a thin flexible blade that can be slid into a gap and then cuts with a pull.  I think they're available at the home improvement type stores.

After consultation with Doug Stephenson, I proceeded.  Doug's most helpful hint, other than to cause as little damage as possible, was that when the triangular boxes surrounding the aft lowers / aft intermediate stays have had every accessible screw removed, to gently "rip" the box free.  I approached that point with trepidation, but gently pulling the boxe(s) free did the trick.  It turns out that there are screws that cannot be reached at the very top.  I can't remember for sure if it is the P or S, but I think it's the P side.

Looking around, all the other chain plates are accessible with simple, albeit time consuming, disassembly.  This is a good winter project.  Take your time and take plenty of pictures to help putting it all back together and to post an article on  

What I found was that the original chain plates had a fiber material tightly packed in the lower gap where the chain plate exited the deck.  I removed all of that packing as it prevented leaks from flowing off the chain plates, preventing their easy detection and potentially created a perfect environment for oxygen starvation.

I had new chain plates fabricated and replaced all of the bolts, washers and nuts.  The knees appeared in perfect condition which pleased me greatly.

It was a big job but in the end, resulted in no visual effect inside the cabin.  I can now get to the chain plates for inspection with little hassle as all of the hidden cabinet hardware is gone.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to ask any follow up questions.  Let's hope the search function is fixed soon.

Greg Temple, My Destiny, W42 #313