Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Short History Of The Superstack

So no plans today, I have been enjoying some summer warmth, and trying to finalize a plan for that small band sawmill, I keep harping on about. It would be nice if I could finally start that build. I have been planing a road trip to visit some of my favorite used book stores around Ontario, maybe be in Ottawa for Canada Day. A detour into Sudbury, is in the plans, to pick up some material for the sawmill, mainly a 15 HP motor.

On the subject of Sudbury I thought some might be interested in the history of the area, and the "Superstack". Vale's, formerly Inco's, superstack has been in the news lately. It is being decommissioned and will be dismantled in the future. It was built back in 1970 to get the SO2 emissions (the main ingredient in acid rain) up into the jet stream and spread it over a wider area further downwind of the area. More advanced methods of removing SO2 and NO2 emissions out of the stack gas, have made it obsolete.

So 1.85 billion years ago a big meteorite slammed into Northern Ontario, and created the Sudbury basin, a 200 km (120 mile) wide crater. This picture explains the results.

In the bottom of that crater collected the worlds largest deposit of nickel, and smaller amounts of copper, platinum, palladium, and other semi precious metals. Up until 1970 the SO2 emissions devastated the vegetation in the Sudbury area (thus the "moonscape" reference often associated with Sudbury). After the Superstack was built, an aggressive  revegetation program was adopted, that has since won awards for its successes.

Above: The story goes that the day the stack was to be completed (Murphy's law applies), there were 6 workmen completing the top lip of the stack, when the "Sudbury Tornado of 1970" hit. The stack swayed like a drunken sailor. 5 of the 6 workmen survived, with minor damage to the stack. The next day, after going home to change their shorts no doubt, all 5 quit. A new crew was sent up to finish the lip that day.

Below: Molten lava down the hillside.

Above: A view from across Ramsay Lake. A beautifully reclaimed lake and recreational area in the middle of the city.

Hope you enjoyed this little trip. Cheers.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Hobby Filing Machine

So I have a little time this morning before I hit the mowing tractor for one more day. Here is a nice short plan for a small filing machine.

I found it tucked away in a old file. Its titled PM Filing Machine. I uploaded a plan for a PM filing machine before but I don't think this version is it. It was in poor shape but I got it cleaned up nice.

I am sure when I find a day or two in the future, I want to try this. I could see it being a quick way to finish small metal parts accurately. I have a couple of small sets of Mibro files that would be perfect for this project. they have round shanks that would be perfect for a small chuck or collet.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Morning Chuckle

So listening to "Under The Influence" this morning, a CBC radio show on the advertising industry. The host told a story about Ed a fellow who called a radio self help therapist for advise. Ed told the therapist " My wife and I are newly married, my wife likes to sleep in the buff, in the morning she gets up and goes and cooks breakfast still in the buff. What advice do you have?"

The therapist replied "Tell her to wear an apron when frying bacon". LOL I thought it was funny.

Anyway I finally started cutting my lawn. Below is a picture of one of the old blades I changed out on the mower. I have been using discharge blades but I find the discharge wing usually wears off after two or three cuts because of the patches of exposed sand still on my landscape. So when Sears announced they were closing down in Canada, I put in a order for four sets of mulching blades. Without the discharge wing hopefully they will last longer.

Small Bending Roll Plan

So 10 posts ago I posted a article on the operation of a small slip roll. I also indicated I would upload some plans. It seems there was a lot of interest in the article, so I figured I should get a plan up. I'll start with the smallest plan I have.

Most people are familiar with "Model Engineer" the British magazine that has been around since 1896 (yes 1896 and still going strong). It contains many metalworking plans and projects covering shop tools, live steam and various other model making topics. One of the plans I have found circulating on the web is an edited version of a plan for a small bending roll from Oct. 1976 Model Engineer. Its a nice plan but the pictures are all dark and not very useful.

I have a large collection of Model Engineer mags. on my shelf. Great deal I got from a retired Brit at a flea market in Thunder Bay, many years ago. On a hunch I checked them, and sure enough I had the two issues the bending roll was published in.

So without further ado here is the original plan from "Model Engineer" magazine. First picture is the cover of the bi-weekly containing Part 1 of the plan for the bending roll.

This is a well designed good quality plan, difficulty leans toward advanced, and a metal lathe is required. I have easier larger plans, but the quality here is hard to beat.

So I got a couple of days to make my property presentable and then it's time to enjoy some summer, but I think it was Arnie who said "aawl be back".


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'' off 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.


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.