Thursday, August 30, 2018

Made Up The Wiring Harness

So I spent the afternoon putting together most of the wiring harness. The first picture is the winch controllers. I decided to join them together, so they are both at hand when moving around. I first removed the old screws and drilled through both controllers to take two 2 3/4" X 3/16" fine thread bolts and nuts. I made up a hook to hang the controllers when not in use and installed it in a filed slot between the controllers before assembling. I then removed the old fittings and installed new connectors to connect with the rest of the harness. To finish I wrapped the exposed wiring with loom and a well lapped layer of electrical tape.

This is most of the rest of the harness, except for the cable feed from the battery box to the connection box. You will notice one set of cables has the rubber caps on opposing color wires. This is not a mistake, they are to remind me to reverse the connection at the winch to get the rotation to match the desired direction indicated on the controller. 

Over the years I have salvaged half a dozen connection boxes, this is one of the nicer ones I have. I still need to drill a few more holes to accommodate all the connections. The large red key is a battery isolation switch. When not in use I can isolate  the batteries to prevent battery drain. The green indicator light is a reminder the switch is closed.

Just a little warning about the security of the type of locks used in things like tool boxes and applications like this connection box. When I salvaged the box the key did not come with it (lol). However I keep a ring in the shop where I keep found keys and keys from various locks I have had over the years. I tried a number of keys till I found one that opened it. I didn't try it but I think this one came from my red 6 drawer toolbox.

So we'll try to get this all connected up tomorrow.

Completed Battery Box

So didn't do much yesterday, completed the battery box and spent the rest of the day finalizing the plans for the electrical, made a trip into town to get some supplies, mainly a battery isolation switch. First thing today, put both batteries on charge, to equalize the level of charge, before connecting them up in parallel. Hopefully make some headway on the electrical this afternoon.

In the first picture are the two nuts I welded to the inside of the battery box, to secure the lid. Beside the box is the completed lid and a salvaged metal shelf that I cut the lid from. The lid is drilled for attachment knobs and two edges are turned to match the two salvaged bends. It's light but it will not be supporting any weight (beyond a cup of coffee, ha, ha), and it's main purpose is to keep the weather out.

Here it is closed up with two knobs to secure it in place. It will look better when the paint is all matched up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Battery Box

So I started on the battery box today. I wanted to avoid cutting into a 4' X 6' X 1/8" sheet of steel I am saving for another project, but to make the battery box I would have had to stitch together many smaller pieces, and all the less than square problems that would bring, so I dragged out my big sheet. Cuts were all made with hand grinder, extra thin, cut-off discs.  For thinner material this has become my favourite method. I have a new cutting torch outfit but never bothered to get tanks and I have been on the verge of purchasing a plasma cutter more than once, but the price keeps putting me off (cheap, lol). Careful marking and clamping of straight edges, will produce better quality cuts, with the cut-off discs, than the two other methods, and discs are relatively inexpensive.

All done, just requires a light pass with the grinder to clean up the swarf.

Here it has been carefully marked out for the bends and using a straight edge and the grinder grooved to make the bends easier. 

Here the bends are complete and the mating corner welded.

The bottom cut out ready to weld.

The bottom welded. I tacked the corners and ran 1" welds every 2 1/2" to prevent warping and since a tight air seal is not wanted. I drilled the four corners 7/16" for ventilation and to drain any moisture that might find its way in. 

So after drilling a 1" hole in the end, for the electrical access, I welded the box to the sawmill frame. I got both batteries and checked the fit, perfect.

Here is another view. Next job is to make the top. It's not supporting any weight so I will go with a lighter material.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Saw Scale And A Couple Corrections

So back at it this morning, the first job was the saw scale. This was a fairly simple assembly. I made a frame out of 1 1/2" angle iron and bolted a aluminum, 1 meter, straight edge to it. Canadian Tire had these on sale for $1.99 many years ago, I got a dozen of them. I then welded the frame to the head frame.

Here's a closer look. The indicator arm is shaped and bent 1/16" steel. It is attached to the back of the slide wheel guard with a wing nut and fender washer, the nut is welded to the inside of the wheel guard. The indicator has a 2 1/2" long slot for adjustment.

That was easy, next is a couple of problems that cropped up. The first is symmetry, the lac of it bugs me, lol. One wheel guard is 16" wide the other is 18" wide to accommodate the tension assembly. This makes the guards look a little lopsided. The other problem is much of the sawdust in my little test missed the guard and dust chute. I came up with a little idea to solve both problems. I cut a strip of 2 1/4" X 22" 1/16" steel to weld to the door and enlarge it's size, but first I hammered out a half moon to center on the blade and increase the amount of sawdust that is channeled into the sawdust chute.

Here finished and cleaned up, its turned on edge to show the degree of deformation.

Aw, thats better, looks a little more balanced now ha, ha.

Here's a picture of the sawdust catcher.

And a closer look here. Should direct most of the sawdust to the chute, we shall see.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

"Getting The Most Out Of Your Lathe"

So last week I completed the upload of  "Wood Turning Visualized". Here is a popular little book that focuses more on the machine, in addition to wood turning you will also find instruction for metal turning, and metal spinning on the lathe. "Getting The Most Out Of Your Lathe" is another Delta publication, in keeping with the rest of Delta's "Getting The Most Out Of Your ..." series.

This is a short book, but like the rest of the books in this series , it is packed with information. Metal spinning is one of those activities that has been called a "lost art". Modern methods have largely made metal spinning obsolete, but it is still used to produce one of's and specialty work. For the home hobbyist, this is an interesting use of the lathe, that will let you produce shapes that are normally produced on large expensive press equipment. 

Lindsey published an interesting little book on metal spinning that I will scan and upload next week.

So to download "Getting The Most Out Of Your Lathe" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 58 - 14 MB - pdf.

Front Dogs And "Shipyard Outside Machinist"

So I got out to the shop for a few hrs. yesterday afternoon and completed the 4 front dogs. I will probably make more, in different lengths and configurations, in the future, but these four should get me started.

So to beef up this short post, here is a book that may attract limited interest to the subject matter, but the shipbuilding enthusiast, and heavy work machinist, will find much information here to hold his interest. This was published by the Department Of Public Instruction, Harrisburg, in 1942. This was in the middle of WWII, ships were being sunk as fast as they could build them, so this was meant to instruct many of the new metalworkers, required to build these ships.

At 315 pages it is not short, much of the info, has wide application beyond shipbuilding work, correct use of tools and measuring equipment has universal interests.

To download "Shipyard Outside Machinist" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 57 - 16 MB - pdf.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Figured Out The Front Clamp Dogs

So I spent yesterday doing a little more trimming on the blade guides and set them up for a close fit to the blade. I also made up two more sets of rear dogs to accommodate different size logs.In the picture is a 11" set, a 8", and the previously built 6" with the built in knife edges for troublesome clamp jobs. This should do it for the back stops.

So here is my rough scribble when I was figuring out the front dogs. The front dogs need to be adjustable in three directions, the length of the bunk for different diameter logs, height adjustable for the same reason, and clamp adjustment to clamp the log or lumber to the back stops. The last two are easy enough, the bunk clamp required a little more thought. When I made this sketch I figured I could cut some 2 1/2" angle and 1 1/2" angle to make the bunk clamp. Turned out I didn't have any 2 1/2" angle.

After thinking about it for a while, 2 1/2" heavy wall tubing came to mind and it turned out to be much less work. Here I have cut two 2" lengths and then cut them lengthwise to make four bunk clamps. The piece of 5/8" thick steel will be used as a bending guide on the vise.

So here I clamped the fitting and the bend guide in the vise and using my trusty 5 lb. hammer bent it over. I then turned the fitting and guide upside down in the vise and closed the vise to complete the bend. Don't try this with a Chinese import vise, I have broken two doing this kind of work. My two tough older imports that I have mounted on stands just keep taking it.

Next I drilled it 7/16" and welded a 3/8" nut to it. Took a 2 1/2" X 3/8" bolt and welded a T handle to it. Done.

Here clamped to the bunk. The small bottom bend is important to keep the clamp from turning out when pressure is applied. 

So thats one direction, Now for the vertical. I welded a 2" long piece of 2" tubing to the bunk clamp and drilled and welded a nut for a 5/16" wing nut. In the picture with a long vertical piece in place. Not a lot of press required here so wing nut is fine.

In this picture is a short vertical piece in place. 

So here is the completed short piece. The third direction of movement is a 5/8" X 8" piece of ready rod operating through a nut welded to the top of the vertical piece, to provide clamping pressure.

Here the long vertical piece has been completed in a similar manner, except that the end of the clamp screw has been ground to a point. In the picture is also the short vertical fitting with its clamp screw. The long vertical with pointed screw is meant for clamping the raw log to the back dog. The point insures a good bite into the log to prevent rolling or movement. The short vertical has half a nut welded to the end and rounded on the disk grinder, to clamp squared logs or lumber to the back dogs, without damaging sawed surfaces, like the ground point would.

So here they are in use. You can see how low the short clamp can be set here. The bottom of the screw clamp face is actually half below the bottom of the wood.

Poor picture but you can see the bite the pointed clamp will get into a raw log. You wouldn't use this on a sawed surface

So three more to go, probably tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Houston We Have Lift Off

So there is a lot of work and refinement left before I could call this project finished, But I have reached the point where I can test out proof of concept. So this morning I tightened the wheels to their shafts installed the blade. The blade guides are going to need further work along with the rear carriage dogs for proper clearance, so I set the guides close but not as close as I would normally run.

I installed the engine, checked all accessible nuts and bolts for snugness, added 10W30 oil, checked the air filter and fueled the tank. Strapped a battery to the top of the blade guard and connected up the engine and two winches. I had planned on a battery box on the frame but this location is another option, we'll see how the winch handles all this extra weight.

So when hydro connected me up 17 years ago I got the old pole they replaced at the road. These creosote soaked poles last for ever, I used most of it in a construction years ago, but I have had a 4' section kicking around, can't burn it, ha, ha. I set it up on the carriage, no front dogs yet so I wedged it against the back dogs with a 1 X 4. Good sign, the engine started on the first try. Here are some pictures.

So without front dogs yet this is the made do set-up.

This picture, after turning over and making the second cut. I really can't call this a test, but it is proof of concept. I say not a test because it went through this short log like a hot knife through butter. Its a small diameter and very dry cedar, but boy it felt like sawing through air, no resistance what so ever in the winch feed or how hard the engine was working.

The make-do set up for the remaining two sides.

All done, took minutes even with the make-do set-ups. Wouldn't have made a difference if the log was 8' long.

So here are a couple of pictures of the finish, one with flash, one without. Not great, but not bad either, considering I didn't do a close set-up on the guides. A couple light passes on the jointer and planer and you couldn't buy better.  

I set up a bucket under the dust fitting, I had a good breeze flowing through the shop and much of the light, very dry sawdust ended up on the floor as well as in the bucket.

So this little run highlighted a few things that need more refinement, but by enlarge confirmed the ease of operation of this mill, the log loader tested earlier and the operation of the winch drives simplify some of the more physical aspects of running a mill. I have run the winches three days now on the same battery as it came from the retailer, with no noticeable loss of power. A full day of sawing should not present a problem for the two batteries and engine charging system.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Completed The Blade And Wheel Guards

So I started with the blade guard this morning. I had a long L section that had been cut from the spine of the Delta saw when I dismantled it. I cut a 38" long section from it, trimmed and shaped it to fit. However the L section needs to be a channel section to guard the front top and back of the blade. At 38" long and 1/16" thick, it is to long and heavy for my 24" brake, what to do.

I first scored the inside of the bend line half the thickness with a straight edge and my disc grinder. I pulled out a 7 foot long RR rail section, I still have left after the anvil build. I clamped the L section tightly to the rail and using a 5 lb. hammer slowly worked the bend over.

I then removed the clamps and turned the section to straighten the edge on the top rail surface. It doesn't have the sharp bends of a heavy brake but certainly does the job.

So I clamped it to the wheel guards, and joined the three assemblies with a few weld beads.

Here is another view.

Next I completed and welded the drive side door to the wheel guard. I was really scrounging to find a piece large enough for the door. I ended up using the motor compartment access door from the old Delta. Took a little bit of work  to adapt it, but it's got a built in plastic handle for opening it. I locked it with a similar knob as the other guard.

So heres a picture of the completed guards.

Not a great picture here, but this is the look from the backside.