Thursday, 30 December 2010

I got bored of tidying up....

So I decided to make something. A couple of hours spent cutting

...and welding

I ended up with a two legged welding table.

...I ran out of 2 inch box section at this point and the place I buy my steel from didn't answer the phone so I assume they're shut until new year.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Mushroom Shed...Pigsty more like

Now that I've sent the frame off for powder coating I've not got much to do in the Mushroom Shed, which has led me to notice just how untidy I've let it become. So this week I'll be tidying and sorting in preparation for getting the frame back.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Forging ahead.

Yesterday I spent time re-organising the workshop to give me more space. This meant I didn't do any work on the bike. However I did play with my shed-built forge a bit.

I connected the blow side of my shop vac to the forge and checked that that worked.

Even if it's a rubbish forge at least I'll have a ping pong ball levitator...

We'd given a lift to the workshop to some of my OH's friends who were visiting the pottery a couple of units down. They brought some coal with them which I used to build a small fire on the grid of the forge. It took a while to get burning (and a shed load of BBQ fluid) but eventually it lit, switching the shop-vac on made the coals glow nicely...

And allowed me to heat some bar up to red hot.

At this point I was a bit limited by the lack of a suitable anvil, even red hot the breeze block gave way before the rod but I did manage to bend it.

Here is a shot of me being all blacksmithy..

As a proof of concept I think it worked pretty good, but I think there were problems with the choice of fuel. The donated coal was smokeless which I think may have contributed to it being hard to light. I've got some charcoal lying about the place somewhere so I'll try with that at some point.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Who needs oxy gear?

One of the things I've often wished I had in the workshop is oxy-propane gear, cheaper than oxy acetlyene and still good for heating and cutting. However I still can't justify paying rent on an oxy bottle I'd only use a few times a year. So when it came to cutting some steel plate I just used my jigsaw.

I then drilled some holes so I could bolt it to an old brake disc (off a car or possibly van) before sticking it in the lathe, machining the plate into a more round shape and sticking a 38mm holesaw through the middle.
Some more holesaw action on some 38mm pipe and working on an old toast grid gave me this.
The idea is to weld the pieces of pipe together, then weld the pipe to the plate bolted to the disc. That should give me a usable forge for heating stuff up. Total cost 3 quid from the scrappy (and I got some bar and strap at the same time).

I got the idea from Blackjack, you can see his in action here.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Blimey, over a month since my last blog....

... I just wish it was due to a flurry of workshop activity. I don't really know where the time has gone, but it has.

I've started a side project to build a foundry to sand cast parts in aluminium. The logic behind this is that in the long run it will save time as I will be able to sand cast items like my rear brake hanger rather than building cutting, filing, grinding and bolting up from sheets of aluminium. I'm not entirely sure if this argument holds water but what the hell, building a foundry is a cool project and I reckon casting aluminium will be a good way to keep warm in winter evenings.

This is as far as I've got....

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Next step is to line it with refractory, which means finding a reasonably priced supply of fireclay. Oh and I'll be needing some kind of crucible, current plan is 4" pipe capped with either a screw on cap (preferred option) or with some plate welded on.

Oh and I sold my house two days ago which means I need to find space for all the crap I had been storing in my old garage. It also means I now have some disposible income so hopefully progress will not be held up while I save for parts/materials/tools.

Friday, 21 May 2010

New lathe tool

I spent a couple of hours playing with my new diamond tool holder in the lathe producing these (and a load of swarf) the idea is to use them as spacers for the swingarm.

While I was in the workshop I mounted the centres and mops on grinder/polisher. Here is how the swingarm clamps look after 10 minutes with the coarse soap (unpolished clamp included for reference)

The other thing I've been up to is trying to fix my FJ1200. A couple of months ago someone tried to steal it and did this to the ignition lock.

In order to change the ignition lock I had to remove the top yoke, which meant removing the fairing etc. Which is why the FJ looks a bit sorry for itself.

Plan is to get it back together and use it over the summer as there is no way the TriBSA will be finished while the summer is here.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Lack of funds is hindering progress on the TriBSA so I'm planning to use my time on the cheaper tasks of building shop equipment. Spent tuesday night knocking up a stand to mount a bench grinder I'm going to use as a polisher.

First of all I made up a base.....

Centre piece was just there to space things out, once I had the base welded up I welded an upright in place and then welded a couple of pieces of angle to the top of it.

A couple of pieces of strap drilled and welded to the angle gave me something to bolt the grinder to

Finally I removed the grinding wheels and guards to reveal the shafts I'll be mounting the polishing centres on.

You might be able to see that I had to grind off the nut on the LHS. I tried everything to undo it culminating with my rattle gun on max but it wouldn't budge. In the end I attacked it with an angle grinder. I still couldn't get the back plate off as it had been crushed into place so I used the mini air cut off tool on that.

It was only yesterday that I discovered the reason why it had been so reluctant to shift and the mountings had been crushed is because some twat had used a rattle gun running anticlockwise to undo a LH thread.....

I bought a kit of parts to build a blasting cabinet at the Bristol Classic show back in February and I intend to start work on that next. As money is tighter than usual I'm thinking of spraying the frame rather than getting it powder coated and I'll probably be polishing any ally parts for the same reason.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Been busy...

Been busy in the workshop over the last couple of weeks (too busy to update this blog). Boring stuff first, extended the ring main to give me a double socket every six feet or so, so no more extension leads everywhere.

Been doing more work on the lift, added crush tubes to the pair of legs that didn't have them and welded cross bracing into the top section.

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Not much more to go now. I've got some 3mm ally treadplate to go on the top. I'm not sure if this will be up to the job so I'll probably put some 1/2 inch ply underneath it to be on the safe side.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

More work on the bench lift

Started work on the other pair of legs. Installed the crush tubes and welded in the cross piece.

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Drilled and welded two bits of box that will hold the lifting bar in place then cut the lifting bar and crossed drilled it. For cross drilling I used a trick I got from the internet to check if the drill was on the centre line. I used a small rule that I held in place with the drill bit, when its level your on the centre line. Funny thing is I've used this method to set lathe tools to centre but never thought about using it for cross drilling.

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Cut a piece of box section to go over the lifting bar and that was pretty much job done for the lifting mechanism.

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Here it is assembled

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I threw everything together to see how it looked (metal for the crush tube hasn't arrived so everything is a bit sloppy at this stage).

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I'm slightly disapointed by the max height available using the cheap jack I have which is why I've lifted it up on planks in the picture above. I might experiment with moving the lifting mechanism (or rather having a couple of positions I can have it).

Sunday, 14 March 2010

More on the bike lift...

Swingarm hasn't shown up but I have done some more work on the bike lift.

I already had the parts cut and drilled for the base I just needed to weld them together. I figured that what was important was that the holes that form the pivot were straight and parallel so I used the 5/8" tube that I will be using for crush tubes and a length of 16mm black round to get everything lined up.

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I then held everything together with clamps...

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... and welded one end up.

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Once I measured the other end I realise it had closed up by about a quarter of an inch, which is why I should have tacked everything together before welding. I managed to pull the ends apart by the quarter inch they had closed up and clamp everything together so it all came out in the wash.

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I then installed the crush tubes in the base and two of the legs. At this point I realised that I didn't have enough tube but ebay will sort that out.

The next step was to weld one of the pairs of legs together. I measured the distance between the crush tubes in the base and cut a piece of box section to suit. I also cut opposite corners off the box I'll be using for the legs. This proved to be a bit of a problem on my bandsaw as when cutting at 45 degrees the clamp on the saw cannot hold the work that well and the sawing acrion tends to move the work into the saw which causes the blade to jump off. I did manage to cut them in the end but I had to put the blade on several times. If I have to do more cutting at an angle I'll probably work out a better way of holding the workpiece.

Now all I needed to do was get everything set up for welding. As I had installed the crush tubes I used some 12mm round to hold everything parallel.

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I used the cross piece to check the distance between the two legs at each end then put it in place and tacked everything up. I then checked that nothing had moved while tacking up and did the final welds.

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So as a result of this weekends time in the garage I now have the base and one of the pairs of legs fabricated.

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I'm hoping to get the bench finished before the swingarm arrives... unfortunately I don't think I'm setting myself a tight deadline.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Workshop time.

I've just started a new job so I'm short of time but I managed to spend a day in the workshop yesterday.

On Saturday I brought the old record vice I bought some time last year back from my old workshop in Bristol. I thought that there was a problem with it and that was why it was cheap on the bay. When I first got it I found that it wouldn't tighten past a certain point, it was ok to hold stuff for filing etc but not to use as a press. When I had stripped it down I found nothing obviously wrong so I cleaned and re-greased everything....

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... and put it back together. Now it was a lot smoother but the original problem remained, however while I was dis-assembling it I noticed the ratchet mechanism on the quick release mechanism. This mechanism is preloaded with a spring the tension of which is increased by turning the nut visible in the picture above. A couple of turns of this nut and I was able to clamp anything as hard as I would like. If I had known how this feature of this vice worked I probably wouldn't have bothered but now it operates a lot smoother than before.

As I've mentioned before I'm building a bike lift/ramp and I spent the remainder of my time in the workshop drilling the 16mm holes in the bottom frame and 'legs'. My first problem was holding the (rather long) pieces of 50mmm box section on the drill press, some coach bolts and steel from my offcuts box sorted that out....

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I then tried various methods to drill the holes. First of all I tried drilling a 6mm pilot hole and working up to 16mm in 2mm increments. This too a while and meant raising and lowering the drill table to accomodate the different lengths of drill, which is why there's a bottlejack underneath the drill table in this shot.
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In the end I found the best way was to use a 16mm holesaw cutting through the top and bottom of the box section in one go to ensure the holes were square to each other. I was surprised at how well this worked out.
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Saturday, 20 February 2010

Blast It

Just spent the day at the Bristol Classic Bike show. Bought a kit to build a sand blaster cabinet. That's what I'm going to be working on when I've finished the bike ramp. I would work on the bike but guess what.....JMC still haven't done my swinging arm.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Moving workshops sucks.

I'm still sorting out my workshop. Bought a whole load of stuff up from Bristol at the weekend. The workshop doesn't look so tidy now and I can't find the stickers I had made up for the tank or my jigsaw. Oh and there's no room to build my bike lift.

JMC are promising that my swingarm will be welded and ready this week so I'll be ringing them again next monday to see if they're good to their word.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Haven't been able to make much progress on the bike recently, partly through waiting for the swing arm and partly because I've moved into a new workshop (only 15mins away rather than a hour away like my old one was).

Just because I haven't been working on the bike doesn't mean I haven't been busy though. I've been fitting workbenches in my new workshop and have started to build myself a bike lift using
a load of 50x50x3mm box section my mum bought me for Xmas (well she did ask me what I wanted).

Last year I picked up a clarke bandsaw of ebay and this helped a lot in cutting up the box section.


Only problem at this stage was, with the saw set to 45degrees, the roller bracket hit the workpiece stopping the cut


I managed to fix this by spacing the jaws out with some 10mm bar.


I then welded the pieces of box. To be honest I had some difficulties here mostly due to my lack of welding experience. Looking back I'm not sure it was a good idea to cut the corners at 45degres to each other. This 45degree cut has to be spot on for everything to go together properly. I think with my tools and skills it might have been better to cut the box sections at 90degrees and I might do that for the other frame.

I did manage to get the frame welded and after checking with a framing square everything looks reasonably square.

Here's things halfway through welding


It was only after I welded everything up I realised that it would have been a lot easier to drill the holes for the pivots before I welded things. I'm now going to have to try and drill these holes square with a handheld drill as now I can't use my pillar drill as the welded frame won't fit, oh and I blew up my black and decker drill last time I used it and now only have a cheapy cordless drill. I also don't have a 16mm drill which I'm going to need to drill the pivot holes. I'm wondering if a step drill will be up to drilling 3mm steel.