Almost. But, not quite.
After a seemingly unending amount of sanding, I finally got the deck beam to a point where I was ready to attach it to the rest of the frame. So, I drew, cut and sanded the pair of gussets, and laid out the parts on my construction drawing for fit & alignment.
|The parts all laid out on my construction drawing.|
|The all-important centerline.|
|The all-important centerline|
|Making sure all the parts are arranged and aligned as accurately as possible.|
With all that done, I marked one of the plywood gussets for the first set of holes to be drilled. Then, for the sake of symmetry, I aligned the gussets and drilled them both on my drill press.
With the gussets aligned and clamped back onto the vertical members of the frame, I drilled through them once again, into the mahogany.
Once the gussets were attached, I flipped the whole thing over, and realigned the whole thing once again on the drawing. Then I drilled and screwed the deck beam onto the gussets.
The last part of the process was to drill for the longer 1-3/4" screws to go through both overlapping pieces of mahogany. There isn't a lot of room on that lap joint for driving screws, so I only had space for one per side. On the starboard side, I accidentally drilled all the way through the wood.
After drilling for the #8 screws, I countersunk the holes with a 3/8" bit. I have to be very careful with this drill bit. It's quite aggressive, and when it bites into the wood, it'll go through it like butter.