Archive | January 2012

First Draft analysis of Sketchup

After posting the blog on OSE yesterday, I discussed my design in depth with Marcin. We decided to make the main arms and main linkage from 1018 steel if it is affordable. This will guarantee that the machine will cut more than the 1×6 flat capacity that we are already expecting.

After discussing with Marcin, I discussed it further with my grandfather. Less changes needed to be made than I thought! Here’s what I got out of it:


  • For the 2.5″ pins, a 1″ threaded rod will work for “clamping” the pin together. 1.5″ is overkill.
  • The easiest way to attach the threaded rod to the pins will be to drill an oversize hole (maybe 1.5″ Dia and 1/4″ deep) and plug weld around the base of the threaded rod. This insures a strong connection which will not interfere with the threads.
Upper arm:
  • For inserting the bushings, we will not weld them, we will mill out a hole .02″ smaller than bushing OD. We will then freeze the bushing so it shrinks and insert it. This insures a perfect fit, and will minimize any warping which would come from welding or torching. This also means that we will not have to fit with the machine in place.
  • The portion of the upper arm to be welded will work, and should not cause any warping.
  • I need to add bushings for the punch linkage, and the top hole for it should be slightly smaller.
  • The attachment for the punch guide will work, despite prior worries about not being able to drill and thread holes for the attachment. I’m just gonna have to learn a new technique or two. =)
  • The die holder needs a set screw on the outside to prevent it from pulling up when stripping.
  • The stripper should be 1/2″ thick
  • The alignment tube should be welded in place to insure a perfect alignment.
  • Table can be bolted or welded to lower arm.
  • I need to move the backstop so its not in the way for shearing.
  • For cylinder attachment to lower arm, the easiest way will be to torch away the section which the cylinder attachment will attach to, and weld the attachment in place.
  • Grease joints are well placed.

Materials handling:

  • We will torch the 3″ plate on our pano-graph torch (uses a camera to follow a drawn line to torch).
  • We will grind down most of the torched surfaces by hand, and surface grind the necessary ones.
  • For the angle shear assembly, we can mill the half-moon pushers; DOM is both un-necessary and impractical.
Things I need to update or change in model:
  • Add holes for Punch guide attach 
  • add set screw for die holder 
  • increase size of punch pressing plate , add bolts for it.
  • Update all pins so they are the right length, and have the right size TR.  
  • Add bushings for punch linkage, update hole location.
  • stripper nuts size needs to be updated.
  • Add guide slot for vertical linkages.
  • Add pin for punch (shaft to pusher)
  • Add bolts to attach table to lower arm.
  • move backstop
  • simplify curves; we don’t need this to be aerodynamic.
  • update lengths so all possible lengths are in increments of 1/4″. (increases ease of fabrication)
  • Color-code all surfaces to be grinded. 
  • Color-Code all steel by type (A-36, Chromoly, or 1018) 
  • Add support frame (to be done with G-daddy tuesday
  • Add flat clamp
  • Remove DOM from angle shear assembly 
  • Stripper: will it bend at center? Are welds strong enough to hold nuts? may need to weld the nut into a larger part. this is not too critical, as this part will be cheap and easy to access and beef up in case of failure.
  • Punch guide:  can this resist bending moment from shaft and stripper (yo mama couldn’t…). Are the bolts strong enough to hold to frame? Only critical thing is that  threads do not strip on lower angle shear.
  • Motion: can we get full capacity of angle shear? this could prove difficult…
  • Motion: place slot on lower arm for vertical linkage.

Things which will be updated when I receive parts:

  • Angle shear assembly
  • Angle shear mount bolt holes and location


Almost finished with model.

I had wanted to have it ready for a blog post. Unfortunately, this didnt happen. It should be ready tomorrow.

The arms and linkages are all ready, as well as the preliminary punch element. I will need to analyze the punch to see if it can withstand the pressure from stripping.


Worked a ton on Ironworker today and figured a lot out. Here’s the latest model.

I also had some fun and went flying.

I figured out  (more or less) how to do angle blade, although I will need to alter my design once I’ve recieved the blades as I don’t know their exact dimensions yet.

I still need to figure out what I’m doing for the punch. Once this is done, I can finish modeling the upper and lower arms and attach linkages to them. At that point, I will design the frame and be done with the model.



Progress has been slow as I’ve been trying to work out the remaining issues with the ironworker. I went back to enniss today and re-modeled the things I’d lost from the Piranha when I dropped my lap top. This will let me finish the upper and lower arms. At least for the most part.


Unfortunately I broke my lap top yesterday with all of my files. It doesn’t look like I’ll  be able to recover my data, although Dell has agreed to fix it. This sets me back a couple of days, as I spent all day today running around and trying to get it fixed. I also lost all of the work I did yesterday, namely modeling more parts on our Piranha.  Also, it makes  it more difficult to model parts in the shop. Oh well, worse things have happened to better people. It was my damn fault anyways.

However, I’m still sticking to my goal of finishing the model for it by friday. I’ve worked out many of the stumbling blocks (in the many hours spent driving back and forth to fix the computer)…

I also got OSE a new MIG welder. This required a TON of running around.

On an unrelated note, I’ve surpassed $500 in orders this month for shelves. I’m constantly relieved when I get more orders. I never know how long its gonna be till I get another paycheck. Its odd to think that I might actually end this year with more money than I’ve started with, all from my own business!!

Ironworker goals

My main goal this week is to finish the sketchup model of the Ironworker. This should be done by friday, and then I will blog my model, along with the calculations for it, on OSE for other engineers to double check my calculations. After this, I will generate a BOM and finish the remainder of the proposal. This will be done by the following friday, 2/3. As soon as my proposal is approved, I will order materials and begin building ASAP.

I will be checking off these goals as I complete them, with a date.

For this week, here is what still needs to be modeled and figured out:

  • Punch assy, including stripper and die holder
  • Vertical linkages ( 1/24 ) and main linkage 
  • Main Pin holder –   1/24
  • Find necessary extra length of arm for optional coper-notcher attachment –  1/23
  • Upper arm
  • lower arm
  • angle shear mechanism 
  • base
  • dovetail locking system for punch
  • Pins
  • Hold down device- angle  and flat
  • Backstop –  1/24
  • valve mounts
For many of these, I will include scaling calculations for thicknesses and pins.

Where I may run into difficulties:

  • Motion analysis- I may need help insuring the machine gets the full range of motion. This will involve length of vertical linkages, and hole placements for main linkage pin and cylinder pin.
  • Punch assy- need to re-develop OSE concept for different dies.  Difficulty will be in attaching the guide so it still allows the same or more clearance as was in the original prototype
  • Pins- need to find best method of making pins which allows for greasing and still pulls together pieces
  • Angle shear- it will be hard to figure a way to make this easily replicable
  • Making the base- haven’t even thought about it
  • hold down device- havent thought about it.



  • Finished Backhoe Specs for the Grab CAD challenge
  • Had conference call with Marcin and my grandfather to discuss Bulldozer Specifications.
  • Saw my baby brother get his wisdom teeth out- both entertaining and terrifying.


In  prototype model:

  • Reconfigured lower blade mounts for flat and angle.
  • Added bolts
  • redid main pin mount