Archive | February 2012

2/28 update

Continued working on the frame today. I learned to use our big hydraulic brake. It was certainly a new skill to learn. Didn’t realize it till it was too late, but the brake was going down lopsided! this made a couple of my bends square on one side, and too bent on the other. It still works though.

The frame would also be doable by welding the brackets to the frame, but I figured bending would be easier and look better.

I’ll finish the frame tomorrow, and pick up the torch tip for the 3″ material. Hopefully I’ll get the holes torched for the main linkage.

2/27 Update

Today I punched the holes in the frame and finished up the vertical linkages.

Vertical Linkages assembled


Lost some time, cause when I got to the shop was flooded. The water heater broke and got water all over jimmy’s office and the bathroom. Had to clean up.

flooded bathroom

2/24 Update

Cut sheet metal for frame. Will drill or punch holes in it soon.

Continued on the vertical linkages. Got the two about machined to size but will weld in additional material and machine it down. See video below.

Also cut out table on panograph.

Finally feels like things are moving. Especially because I don’t have any doctors appointments this week. I had to go 3 times last week. Damn finger.



2/23 Update

Freeze fit bushings in vertical linkages. Still need to finish the second pair. I am slow and frustrated with my slowness and clumsiness.



The first freeze fit

2/22 Update

Finally got the big holes figured out. Jimmy did the first hole in the vertical linkages using the motorized circle cutter, and taught me to use it. I wasn’t successful the first time, I need to go back and fix it tomorrow. The second time I was successful. See the photos below. I plan on finishing them completely tomorrow.

I also bored out the hole that Jimmy torched. It took a long time, about an hour. However, other things can be done while boring them, since our machine has an autofeed. I plan on working on the sketchup model tomorrow while boring the other holes.

I’m also picking up some dry-ice to do some freeze fitting tomorrow. Once the bushings are frozen, I will know what the final bore should be; It needs to be just bigger than the OD of the frozen bushings.


2/21 Update

This durned finger is taking more and more time away from fabrication. I went to the doctor again this morning because it looked infected and it was. They suggested I take time away from working. I worked the rest of today anyways and it felt fine, but now it hurts worse than ever. I’m only working a half day tomorrow. This needs to heal.

Didn’t get much done today, but I’ve figured out how to solve some of the fabrication issues I was facing.

For cutting the main linkage down, I’m going to use uncle’s portable cold cut saw and saw most of the area away. This would probably also be doable with a vertical bandsaw, but ours isn’t in operation. I’ll machine the rest away after sawing. He volunteered to do it for me, and I’ll probably have him do it, because thats one scary looking saw!

The hole I'll torch tomorrow. Inner circle is what I'm torching, outer is approximately the final diameter after boring. I still need to drill a small hole for the torch to start in.

For making the big holes, I’m going to try torching them. We have a motorized circle cutter that can be used with a torch (video to come). This will torch the holes for me and they will be pretty exact. I had considered it before, but shyed away from torching, because we will need to bore to size, and the torching will harden the steel, making it more difficult to machine and more likely to damage bits. My uncle said I don’t need to worry about that, but I’m still going to do a sample with one of the holes to see.

Another option is renting a slugger bit of 2.75″ diameter for this, but I couldn’t find anywhere that rents these out. I’m calling one more place tommorow that a friend recommended. Buying one would be too expensive (~$500) .This would be much easier than torching, as there’s no cleanup involved, and it won’t harden the steel.

Attempting to drill the big holes

I was originally planning on drilling these holes, and had machined our bit for this. After attempting to drill, it was clear that this was not going to be possible. Even though I’d ground flat spots on the bit for the chuck, the chuck kept opening up and losing grip on the bit. I couldn’t get it tight enough to actually drill much. Also, the lowest setting on our drill press is still much too high for using a bit that size. Torching will be much easier.

The other thing I did was drill the center hole and drill and tap the grease holes on the vertical linkages. This is pretty straightforward and easy, a nice change from the way things have been going.

The vertical linkages

Monday 2/20 Update

Another day of long hours with little results. Started at 7:30, finished at 5:30. I find myself getting very frustrated and stressed. We have such a big shop with so many wonderful and exotic tools, and none of them are properly functioning.

Ok. Enough complaining for the day.

I did finish the pins. It was the same process as the others. Since we didn’t have a 1.5″ drill bit, I had to machine the threaded rod a bit to be able to insert it. I then protected the threads with tape and welded. After that you grind away the weld so it’s flush with the top of the pin. See the video below.

I continued working on the main linkage and drilled the “prehole” for the big bit. I may end up renting a large slug bit instead of drilling.

I did prepare the bit for drilling today. This took a long time to prepare because the large bit wouldn’t fit into the drill press. We had to improvise a way to machine it down to be able to chuck it. See the photos and video below. My granddad torched a slit in some tubing so we could put that around the drill bit to chuck it into the lathe. Unfortunately, the table on the drill press wouldn’t lower enough to put the bit in, for some reason it’s getting stuck. Hopefully I’ll diagnose and fix tomorrow.

I learned today that you can take up to .04″ away with each pass on our lathe! Perhaps this is common knowledge, but years had passed since I’ve had machining practice, and I could’ve sworn you weren’t supposed to take more than .01″. This made machining much faster.

I also learned how to adapt a tap to be used with a drill! Very useful. See video below.

I also received and cut the vertical linkages to size. This was interesting, as before cutting it weighed 170 lb. Nobody was around to help me lift it, so I found a ladder and items of various heights and slowly elevated it to saw height.

One more thing worth noting is that I received the blades today. All have arrived except the lower angle blades.