Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tractors Can Fly

So I got my lawn tractor in from the material storage shed. I need to do an oil and filter change and change the blades. I figured it would be a good chance to check out the operation of the hoist. I bought this tractor 7 years ago. At 26 HP it was Sears largest tractor at the time, the weight comes in between 550 and 600 lbs and the 54" cutting deck is at least another 125 lbs. At around 700 lbs, it is just a little over 1/3 the capacity of the hoist.

I was a little concerned about the height capacity. In the pictures the tractor is 2'4'' of the floor just enough to back my truck under it for loading and I could shorten the straps almost another foot as well.

The tractor raised easy and the trolley rolled easy and smoothly with the tractor raised. Here's a couple of pictures.




Monday, June 18, 2018

Heavy-Duty Welded Metal Bender

So does a bear EVER shit in the woods? "NEVER" lol. Had one leave a package in the middle of my turn around area, sometime last night. Looks like  he had a late supper on my long grass, sat down in one of my patio chairs and had a relaxing smoke before doing his business and leaving. There was an extra butt in the ashtray on the table, lol.

So its a gloomy stormy day out there today decided to make it a day of rest. Dug up an old file that might be of interest here. This is a plan for a heavy duty metal bender of welded construction. I found this file somewhere on the web years ago, it was originally published in "Science And Mechanics" back in August 1957.

This is a versatile idea capable of some heavy work. If you have the means to weld you can build this.

Click to expand click again for best view.





Notice: I did an edit on this article shortly after posting to get the pages in the correct order.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Workshop Hoist Completed

So it was a long day and there were times when this old guy actually broke a sweat (its raining and humid today, ha ha), but the workshop hoist did get completed.

I started of by drilling the top of the I beam for the two 4 1/2" bolts. I staggered them 6" each side of center to avoid creating a weak spot in the I beam.


In welding assembly, set-up is everything. To get the end plates centered on the I beam I used a piece of 1/4" plywood and some strapping thinned with a couple of passes on the jointer. I then checked this end for level and eyed down to the other end plate for wind, added one shim to the far end plate to level things up. Notice the bevels on the top of the I beam and end plate. This will be ground flat after welding to give a tight fit to the bottom of the wood beam. The bevels will insure I have good weld penetration at these corners.


Ready to weld.


I first tack welded all 8 corners to preserve my set-up and then started welding. Haven't welded in over a year. The first weld wasn't great but passable for a shaky old guy, ha ha.


This is the second pass on the weld, getting better. Takes a bit but it comes back quick.


Welding all done.


In position ready to hoist into place. Using my come-alongs , I got within a foot and a half before the come-alongs got in the way. It was a tight fit but a block of 4 X 4 and a 12 lb. helper, got the I beam between the posts. Using two 8' 4 X 4's and my helper, I raised each side a couple of inches at a time, till the I beam was tight to the wood beam (this is the part that got me sweating, ha ha).


I forgot to mention I drilled the posts first thing this morning, fresh wood bit, it went quickly. Just slid the bolts in, good alignment. I left out the flats, bolts were just long enough to get a full thread on the nut with the locks in.


The bolt side.


So here it is ready for work. The trolley has lots of adjustment for width, and it runs very smooth, a slight tug on the chain and the hoist rolls over ready to help, ha ha.


Here it is, in its stored position. I installed a 1" dowel at 6.5' on the post, to hang excess chain and keep it out of the way.


I didn't get a chance to try it out today, maybe tomorrow or the next day. I need to change the blades, oil and filters on my lawn tractor. I'll see if I can make that tractor fly, ha ha.

Cheers

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Hoist Post Brackets

So moving on with this project. I was just going to use over sized washers, on the outboard side of the bracket bolts, but wood moves and cells crush under high press, a better idea is to use a full size plate on the backside of the post. Since I now have lots of 1/4" plate material, I decided to go this route. First job is to get the four plates cut out. The front plates need to accept a heavy weld and be heavy enough to resist deformation in use, 3/8" more than meets these requirements.


The 6" I beam will actually handle up to a 3 ton hoist, so I am going to over build the rest of it to also accept a 2 or even 3 ton hoist, if the need presents itself. To that end I will be using 4 - 5/8" bolts on each end, the I beam end plates will be 3 inches longer than in the drawing to 9", and the bottom two bolts will be moved to below the bottom of the beam, for a larger support stance.

So this was the first good test of my rebuilt Startrite bandsaw. It performed beautifully, cuts were very fast, a function of the premium blade and lots of power, and the cuts perfectly square. Sure beats fighting with my 4 X 6.


Next operation was to drill the plates. I first drilled the two I beam end plates stacked and clamped, to 3/8". Then using these plates, clamped and drilled the back plates also to 3/8". Changed out the drill bit to 5/8" and enlarged all the holes to 5/8". You will notice I use a vise grip plus the table clamp. When drilling a stack, one clamp must always be in place to prevent movement in the stack. If your new to this, you will avoid spoiling work, if your an old hand, excuse my preaching. Job worked out great, I found I could interchange all the plates, and the holes always lined up well.


If your like me you'll know how difficult it is to drill a perfectly straight and level hole through a 6 X 6 post, standing on a ladder. For this reason I drilled the backplates one size larger to 11/16", to compensate for minor misalignment and keep my cursing in check, ha ha.


So here are the two end assemblies loosely assembled. 


Another view.


Here the I beam is cut to length and the loose assemblies in position.


Here a closer look at the I beam end assembly before welding.


So hopefully we will get the welding done tomorrow morning. And if the lightening and thunder don't scare me to bad, even get it installed in the afternoon.


Friday, June 15, 2018

Some Days Are Just Better Than Others

So one of the errands I ran today was a trip into town to pick up some hardware I have been running short on, mainly larger size nuts and bolts. The supplier didn't have any 1/2" bolts in 6.5" lengths so I went with 5/8". I have lots of ready rod ("all thread" in the States I believe) in all sizes, but except for the flats and locks all the hardware you see in the picture below is grade 8 industrial quality and is preferred. Definitely over built, but its a hoist, can't be to safe. I will probably change the bolt configuration to 3 per side, 2 up - 1 down.


So some days are better than others. The price quoted to me the other day for a 10" X 3/8" length of flat bar was so outrageous (more than the I beam), I figured, I will make do with what I have. On a tip today I stopped in at a local steel assembly fabricator. Didn't see an office sign so I walked in the large industrial door. Just inside the door was a large 12' hydraulic shear, behind the shear was a bin half full of scrap off-cuts, from 3/8" down to 1/8". I picked out a 3/8" X 9" X 28" piece, set it aside and went looking for the office.

The fellow in the office told me "that's impossible, the scrap bins were emptied this morning" lol. So out we go and I show him the bin. OK his turn to laugh "thats the High School shop class donation bin". Turns out they donate their larger than scrap, steel to the school welding classes. With school closed for the summer it doesn't look like the bin will be emptied soon. He looked at the piece I had selected and said "sure take what ever you want from the bin". I selected 6 more 1/4" pieces. I offer to pay a fair price. He wouldn't take any money though, and said if I left my number he would call when the bin filled up, if I wanted.

Boy thats a level of human kind you don't see to often anymore. If I have something that may be of value to someone else, that I don't need, rather than try to sell it, I will offer it up free. I guess thats called paying it forward. Looks like some of it came back today.




Hoist Ready For Metal Work

So I spent a couple of hours cutting and installing the two trim pieces yesterday, to square up the bottom of the wood H beam. The built up beam feels solid as a rock, to the whack of the hammer.

The first picture is the right side post, if you look behind the post you can see how the beam looks before adding the trim pieces.


Left Side


So here is the 6" I beam delivered this morning. I will need 9'1", which leaves 11' for one or two other projects.


So I am ready to do the steel work. To many errands and stuff today but hopefully we will get it cut, drilled, welded, and installed this weekend.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Workshop Hoist

So first things first, my next project has to be a hoist for the ventilated shop. So I had originally planned on making up an I beam by welding together two 4" channels, but on checking out the specs for my 1 ton trolley it looked undersized. I decided to go with a 6" regular I beam. Damn, I almost changed my mind when I called my order in to the steel supplier. Decided to limit my order to the I beam. It seems all this BS going on back and forth across the border over tariffs has already started effecting steel prices. I was quoted prices 30% higher than last year.

It seems when Trump, and Trudeau for that matter, pat you on the back with one hand, and those big clown smiles on their face, and say, "don't worry I,m going to fix everything", what their really doing is picking our pockets clean, with the other hand. Don't worry, thats too long and scary a rant to get into here, ha ha.

My 6'' I beam is a little larger than required, thats good, and is due for delivery on Friday, so hopefully I will get this hoist built this weekend. I bought 2 - 1 ton trolleys many years ago from Princess Auto for $60 each, (couldn't get that price now) one was for this garage hoist, the other is for a sawmill carriage, if I ever get around to building one. My 1 Ton chain hoist will match up nicely with it.

So here is my plan for the I beam instillation on the two support posts in the shop. I have convinced myself to learn as little new software as possible, so I am still hand drawing my plans, ha ha. This is a section drawing, looking towards the post on the left (house) side.


The two 3/8 X 4 1/2 bolts are not intended to carry any of the load, their purpose is to keep the I beam tight to the roof support, wooden H beam. The ends of the I beam have 3/8 steel plates welded to them and these are in turn bolted to the support 6 X 6 posts which transfer the load to the ground. 

Below is the spec sheet for the trolley.



The 1 ton trolley.


They look different colors but thats a trick of the light and the camera.


I posted this pic before of the 1 ton chain hoist for the trolley.



Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Short Tour Around Northern Ontario

So in the Big Earl post I mentioned the moose and wolves in Kapuskasing, my mistake, go the next town over, to Hearst, to find the wolves. I usually travel the long stretches of wilderness up there pumped up on caffeine and trying to make good time, ha ha.

So with this correction I thought I'd include a short tour of the north. So between urbane Southern Ontario and the Manitoba border lies a vast wilderness, cities are few, only 5 over 40,000, small towns are many driven by the vast mineral wealth and wood products industries. The majority of the north is a huge, rough, Canadian Shield outcrop. Lots of lakes, steep rock outcrops, and muskeg rule. It's so rough it was as difficulty to cross as the Rockies, when the railroads first went through.

Yonge street has been called the longest street in the world. It starts off in the heart of downtown Toronto, goes due north and gets relabeled Hwy 11, crosses Hwy 17 at North Bay, and continues north (past the turn off to my place, ha ha), over the top at Hearst and Longlac and meets back with Hwy 17 at the Nipigon River Bridge. On the west side of Thunder Bay it separates from Hwy 17 again, and goes all the way to Rainy River south of Kenora near the Manitoba border and across the river from Minnesota.


So if your traveling from Toronto to western Canada, or the other way, you will have to take either Hwy 11 or Hwy 17 over the big lake. If you are in a hurry you will take Hwy 11. You will be traveling with all the cross country truckers, but you will take 3-4 hrs. less than traveling Hwy 17. The area between Kapuskasing and Longlac touches on the James Bay lowlands and its mostly flat and straight with lots of bridge crossings.

Here are a couple of pictures of  the moose and wolf display in Hearst.


Just how big is that moose..........BIG.


If your a tourist or just have time to view the spectacular scenery, then Hyw 17 is the way to go. Its a challenging drive. You are up and down for most of the north shore of Lake Superior. You will get breathtaking views from 800' drop offs straight into the lake. Takes longer but if you like landscape pictures, you will get lots on this drive.

Everyone who has traveled Hwy 17 over Superior has seen this icon, the Wawa Goose. Various versions of it have existed since the Trans Canada Highway 17 was first built. The poor picture below is one I took on a camping trip with my son. It was showing signs of rust back then.


This is a picture of the newest version, recommissioned and installed a few years ago.


This is an engineers rendering of the Nipigon River Bridge. Hwys 11 and 17 join just before crossing this bridge, which means all traffic traveling to or from western Canada has to cross this bridge. The only detour is through the States (I know, they really should do something about that, before Trump decides to put up a WALL. It seems, he thinks, were still the Brits that burned down the White House in 1812 ). It was just recently rebuilt to the nice structure you see below.

Edit: A little more info for the interested. The Nipigon river flows out of Lake Nipigon, south for close to 60 miles into Lake Superior, seen at the top left corner of the picture. The Nipigon river is home to the worlds largest brook trout. Many past records including the current world record for brook trout where all caught on this river (further north near the outlet from lake Nipigon).


After crossing the Nipigon River Bridge you head south to Thunder Bay. Just before reaching Thunder Bay you will see the Terry Fox memorial. Terry Fox a true Canadian hero. The one legged runner lost one leg to cancer. In his run across the country, his cancer spread on this stretch of road and he had to stop. He passed away soon after, a true hero.


I have posted a few pictures of Thunder Bay before. This area is a photo hounds dream, breathtaking views of Lake Superior and surrounding landforms, everywhere. Ouimet Canyon below is a good example.


There's a suspension bridge across it now. I will have to go for a visit soon.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Operating A Small Slip Roll

If you like to work with sheet metal a slip roll is a very useful machine for forming circular and conical shapes out of sheet metal. Their are other ways of doing this with hand methods, but a slip roll makes for a easy, quick, and very neat job. Good quality rolls can be expensive, The import market has brought the price down quite a bit, with varied quality.

There are many plans around the web to make your own set of rolls, I have at least a couple I would like to upload in the future.

Following is a nice article on the operation of a small slip roll from the Winter 1954 PM Shop Notes.

Click to expand image, click again for best view, depending on screen size.






Operating A Jointer

So here are a couple of articles on operating shop equipment, one for the woodworker and one for the metalworker.

The first is on operation of the jointer. The jointer and planer compliment each other in producing straight and accurate 4 sided boards. This is very important in furniture construction and laminated glue-ups. In my opinion, if your finances require you choose between the two, the jointer is preferred by a stretch. You can do all four sides on a jointer (though the two wide sides may not be perfectly parallel). The planer will only do the wide side parallel to the side done on the jointer. You can do both wide sides on the planer, but it will not take wind out of the board without first doing one side on the jointer.

This comparison aside the jointer can do many other operations, as described in the following article from the Winter 1954 PM Shop Notes.

Safety is very important in the operation of a jointer. Check that the guard is working properly and never pass your hands over the cutter head while pushing a board over the cutter head. For shorter boards, make and USE a work hold down like the one illustrated in fig. 7.