After sonic and x-ray testing the block for structural perfection it came time to check all critical dimensions and machine as necessary in preparation for assembly. It is here that an expert engine builder chimed in and stressed the importance of using a torque plate when honing the cylinders.
For the uninitiated, a torque plate mimics the effect of a head that is torqued to the engine block. The stresses imposed by the head studs on the block (when under load) actually distorts the shape of the cylinders a minute amount. If the engine were machined without it then the cylinders would be perfectly round until the head were torqued on when they would change in shape. Machining with the plate ensures that the cylinders stay round when the heads are installed. This frees up horsepower and ensures proper and even wear of the pistons and rings.
Many engine builders skip this step but it is important if you are to have the best possible result. After honing the block was ready for a final cleaning and then paint. A special thanks goes out to Paul Newman for his guidance with this part of the project.