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

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