« Archives in March, 2005

Tool run!

Went to Harbor Freight in Lomita. Harbor Freight is insanely cool. I was Charlie Bucket in the Wonka factory while they were getting my stuff out of the warehouse. They got EVERYTHING a mechanically inclined mad scientist could ever want or need. So many dangerous and wonderful things to pour money over. Thankfully, the lawyers haven’t litigated hardware stores into the ground like they did with GA, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to walk out of there with half the stuff they’ve got.
But my 2 main purchases were the 34″ radial drill press and 12″ bandsaw. I didn’t shoot a lot of pix, because the drill press was slathered in machine oil and I didn’t want to grime up the camera too much. But here’s the basics:

the drill press in the box. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s metal. w00t!

here’s the table assembly. Sort of. This thing is a copy/close relative of the Grizzly/Shop Fox/Craftsman version, probably all made in the same Chinese sweatshop. Table angles 0-90 both ways and rotates 360.

And this is the finished product. This freakin’ thing is HEAVY. The instructions for assembly are less than clear, but if you’re buying one of these, it’s probably safe to assume that you can solve a puzzle or two. The motor is only 1/3 hp, but it had absolutely no trouble going through a 1/8″ steel shelf bracket, and it bored through aluminum angle stock like a laser cannon. The slick thing about it is that it’s got like 17″ of reach, swings 180degrees, and the head can tilt 45 one way and 20 the other or something like that, so there’s not too many parts I can think of that I can’t put a drill to at the proper angle. Let the fabrication begin!

Here’s the bandsaw in its box. I think I saw this on somebody else’s RV site, and I liked the fact that it has a 12″ throat and that it’s very, very cheap. Although in the store it was $20 more than on the Internet, it was still worth it. Having said that though, this thing is one of the most poorly made pieces of gear I’ve ever bought. The manufacturing quality is right up there with die-cast metal toys. The paint is already flaking off the metal table, and the fit of the parts is crap.

Still though, once this was assembled, I was able to manufacture a stiffener like the previous ones in about six minutes, because crap as this saw is, it goes through thin aluminum like a blowtorch through lard.

Pics from last time.

I promised you some photos, and here they are. Not very interesting, but it sure is fun for me!

Picture of the grinder with the wobbly scotchbrite wheel.

Here’s the C-Frame dimpler with the 3/32 dimple die installed, Not that you can see it, but it makes this:

A drilled, deburred, and now dimpled stiffener.

This is what happens when you put your finger over the flash to keep from blowing out the image.

And this is a closer look, with no flash. You can see the dimpling. It’s amazing how the proper tools can make something look like it was manufactured instead of hacked together in a garage.

Here are both stiffeners, dimpled.

This is what happens to a lowly wood planer when you try to use it to shave down a scotchbrite wheel so it balances. You get a ruined planer and a slightly less wobbly scotchbrite wheel.

After installing the home theatre stuff properly, I was able to liberate this shelf from indoors. The missus hates it, and it no longer supports the video projector, so now I’m throwing tools and some non-RV related crap on it until I can build the shelving system of my dreams. Such as they are.

more practice kit fun.

My shipments from AC Spruce, USATCO, pan-american tool co, and others are trickling in. I now have the scotchbrite wheel, 3/32 and 1/8 dimple dies, the c-frame dimpler, the right countersinks, and some cleco clamps. The Scotch-brite wheel is freakin’ magic, it makes sharp edges silky nice. Unfortunately, it’s not all that well balanced, so running it makes the grinder try to walk off the edge of the bench. I realize that you’re supposed to bolt the grinder down, but if I do that, it’s just going to shake the shit out of everything on the bench. I read somewhere, maybe it was Checkoway’s site, that you need to take an old coarse file and file off enough of the wheel to smooth the vibration, like balancing a tire. Waste of good scotchbrite, but whatever. I tried doing it with a planer ($9 from HD a long time ago) but all I ended up with is a useless planer. Gotta do what you gotta do.
I haven’t shot any pictures today, since it was all about cleaning up the space, but then something took hold of me and I drilled, deburred, and dimpled the two stiffeners I’d made last time. Then I drilled and countersunk one of the rib sides. ARe ya supposed to drill or countersink ribs and spars? Well, I don’t have a squeezer, and I couldn’t get a good angle on the rib flange with the c-frame, so I countersunk ’em. Maybe this is bad, I dunno. I’ll tell you one thing, though, deburring both sides of the holes down in the skinny end of the rib where the flanges run together is a beeyotch. I also found out that a dremel (black and decker rotary tool, to be specific) does a half decent deburr job with a pointy stone bit in there, but if it gets loose and chatters, look out.. I think i’ll stick with the countersink-bit-in-the-cordless-screwdriver gambit.
The other ‘doh!’ I had was when dimpling the stiffeners, I dimpled the first two holes the wrong way. I didn’t see this covered in the Handbook but I don’t remember anything about what to do when you seriously arse up something this fundamental. What I wound up doing was pounding it flat with a flush set/die and redimpling it in the proper direction. Probably a no-no right up there with dating your sister, but it seems to accept a flush 3/32 AN426 rivet just fine.
I’m going to go back out there and shoot some pix, then post them later.

Here’s a new entray

empennage, empennage, empennage.