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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.

2/14 Update

I ground the grease channels in the 2.5″ pins yesterday. See the following videos.

I ended up doing one spiral, with a 2″ pitch, and 5 channels running along the length of the pin and rotating slightly. Grease can typically travel about 1/2″ to 3/4″ away from the channels, depending on the clearance between the pin and the bushing. This pattern would distribute it to all except the very centers of the squares, but since the linkages and upper arm will be rotating around the pins, the rotation will cover the rest of the squares.

The channels are the width of the blade of the die grinder, and about 1/16 deep. I may need to make them deeper, as they may clog being this shallow. I’m asking my grandfather today and I’ll update tomorrow.

Update: Grandad said they’ll work. 2/14/12

I also purchased and began machining the bushings. More on that later, I’m heading to the shop.


Slacked off a bit on updating, but hey, it’s the weekend! I HAD to go flying and to a fancy picnic. =)

Anyways, progress has been kinda slow- its not that I was working slowly, it’s that I’m terrible at estimating time. I had a short day Friday as well: ~6 hours.

I’m still working on the 2.5″ pins. Friday, I finished off machining by drilling and tapping the hole thru the center of the pin for the grease fitting. I also drilled the holes which will distribute the grease to the outside of the pins.

The Sharpie you see on the pins is the path I’m going to grind down for the grease to travel through around the pin. It needs to be distributed about the pins’ entire length, to insure it won’t bind with any of the bushings, and that the entire length of the pin will be receiving grease.. I’m debating changing the pattern, as the grease usually can distribute ~1/2″ to 3/4″ away from grease channel, so my channels might be a bit excessive. I also need to make by-passes between the spirals channels in case one channel gets clogged. Designing these channels is a little challenging, as the pin will likely only be rotated about the 15 degrees that the arm rotates at, so more channels are necessary than a fully rotating pin.

Next week, I plan on finishing up the pins as soon as I can get the threaded rod for them. I decided to change it from 1″ course TR to the 1.5″ fine TR. The piranha uses 1.5″, so there must be a good reason for it. I figured the fine thread makes the nut less likely to slip. The 1.5″ will have more holding power at the outside of the pin.

I also started keeping logs in another Google Doc. One for materials purchases, one for materials usage from Enniss, one for time it takes to do each task. The task log will be particularly useful, as it will allow more accurate time estimation for each task. Haven’t filled anything out yet besides purchases.

I received the check yesterday for materials, so no more money hold up.

Here’s a pic for the progress for the week. I received the Half-moons and the blade bushing friday as well. I also purchased the grease fittings from Grainger.