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Old 10-04-2010, 05:50 PM   #31
kirkster70 OP
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Ok, more pics. I hope I'm not offending anyone. I just have pent up welding ideas that are just now seeing the light of day.

Here is my very first aluminum project. I did it with the spoolgun on the MIG. 1/8" 3003 aluminum cube by 3" square. This sucker kicked my butt. It took a whole day to cut it out with my caveman tools (before the plasma)

The grinder made me look like I knew what I was doing. The welds were ugly before!

I did this to dial in the spoolgun and know what to expect. I had plenty of burn back on the tip and finally got the wire speed set for decent results. There is some porosity, but I think it's from where I didn't clean the aluminum as good as I should have. I do have a dedicated brush for aluminum, so I knew about that from studying my book. Sorry for the huge pic. My pc started to lock up when resizing, so I let it roll.


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Old 10-04-2010, 06:03 PM   #32
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The cube was actually my very first project out of the chute. It gave me the confidence to tackle project #2. I think my table may have been #3. Here is #2...a freakin' huge bashplate.

I bought some decent sized aluminum sheets from a friend at work, so this is the first time buying materials.

I made a mock-up first with some thin cardboard and then went to it. I also cut this out with caveman tools, so it also kicked my rear end. One whole day with a jigsaw running metal blades. What a freakin' nightmare! That's when I knew a plasma cutter was in my future. I used stock mounting holes, and stock hardware. I notched the left for the doohicky adjustment, and notched the bottom for oil drain access. Lots of using a hand file for shaping.



I cut ventilation holes with a 1 1/8" holesaw. I think that's what led to the early demise of my DeWalt's trigger. She got a little too hot. It's already been fixed with a new trigger fround on ebay.

I wanted better protection for the water hoses, hence the huge size. It looked funky at first, but I like it now. I have ideas to make it better, but I have more ideas that I'm already working on, so the lowly bashplate will have to wait. At least it's better than the stock plastic p.o.s.

I ground the outside edges on this too, but I have some heavy fillet welds on the inside corners.

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Old 10-04-2010, 06:13 PM   #33
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My .080 5052 aluminum and bag hardware should be here this week. I will spraybomb my rack tomorrow and let her dry. Speaking of the rack, my estimation of weight is way off. I'd be fired at the circus.



Uh.......holy crap! It weighs in just under 17 lbs. Oh well. It is what it is. It's going on the bike. I knew it was overkill at the onset, but i just had to push ahead due to the KLR cheapness disease. I didn't want to actually go out and buy 1/2" square tube. Now I pay the price of making a heavy bike heavier. I'm good with that.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:14 PM   #34
WhatThaFrig
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Very nice work! Color me jealous!
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:24 PM   #35
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While the paint is drying and I'm waiting on the big brown truck, I have another project waiting in the wings...

A redneck bike lift!!!!

I had an old LTD 440 project bike that I got for free that I traded for this wheelchair lift that the other guy got for free. It was meant to be.

The lift is rated at 750 lbs. and is gear driven. I will gut some of the control boxes and then mount one box on the L and one box on the R. I will extend the base, extend the platform, make some mounting ears, and bolt it to the concrete garage wall and floor. I will figure out some kind of drop down or removeable leaves for lifting ATVs, mowers, etc. I will also make a wheel clamp for bikes. This will happen after the bags are completed, unless I'm still waiting for parts.





I also have another project lurking in the building...and old, abandoned ATV that I was given that will become an offroad wagon for campfire wood gathering operations.

So, see? It's a friggin' sickness. I go to bed, then wake up with more ideas. And somehow, they seem to work out. I had dreams for about 3 weeks telling me to get rid of the DL. No kidding. And yeah, I think I may be a bit psycho in case you couldn't already tell.

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Old 10-04-2010, 06:42 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatThaFrig
Very nice work! Color me jealous!
Thanks!

Hey - you're not the guy from Ghosthunters are you? He says your username all the time.
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:01 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkster70
It took me about 10 hours to put this together and it works great! It's a bit slow since you have to tighten 3) 1/2" nuts for each bend, but it beats spending $1,500 for something made in China. I have maybe $10 in gas and wire in this bad boy.



I like your style.

Seriously though. Great thread, and congrats on a couple of REALLY sweet welders.

I was just about to buy a new Miller Syncroware 200 6 months

ago but I blew most of that $$ on an old Rockwell Lathe. I bought Smiths welding torches with

what was left but I'll snag that Miller eventually.

Again,
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Old 10-05-2010, 05:34 AM   #38
B.Curvin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobthebiker
I have to admit, those realy are some clean looking welds.

The more I look at welding, the more I want to go buy a cheap stick welder to get started with and sort of build up to the expensive stuff eventually. building stuff from scraps and using exceedingly high heat to do it are ALL that is manly.

I went through the exact same process. When I saw the all in price of

a welding class I decided I'd buy a Tig unit and just dive in.

As mentioned in my above post I wound up with these instead.

Made in the US Smiths AW1A airline torches.



A more clear picture.



It actually worked out really well for my plans. When I started picking up

welding books they all said a torch was the best way to learn. Plus I plan to

do a lot of 4130 Chromoly and 4130 as it turns out was designed for

light aircraft frames and was intended to be torch welded. It will weld anything short of

Magnesium and I can cut with it. I learned to stick weld when I was 5 years old

and did some production Mig welding but had only ever cut with a torch. Here's

a few pics of my torch welding from earliest to most recent (a 6 month period).



















Sometimes I get a little crazy.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:48 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Curvin


I like your style.

Seriously though. Great thread, and congrats on a couple of REALLY sweet welders.

I was just about to buy a new Miller Syncroware 200 6 months

ago but I blew most of that $$ on an old Rockwell Lathe. I bought Smiths welding torches with

what was left but I'll snag that Miller eventually.

Again,
Thanks!

That is a very nice torch setup. It looks like you are doing some nice work as well. I've always heard that if you can proficiently work a torch, then TIG is almost second nature. When you do get the welder, you'll already be ahead of the game.

Nice!
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Old 10-05-2010, 01:00 PM   #40
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I painted the rack today, so it's drying, and still no materials. I made good use of my time and tore into the lift.

I gutted the nurse call, the alarm circuit, and everything that wasn't needed.

The high and low limit switches and the EPO button are still operational. I bypassed the keyswitch, but it could still be functional with a new tumbler. I didn't see a need for that.

I mounted controls on the left and the right so I can operate it from either side.

I need to draw up an idea and then start reinforcing the base and making a lift platform with a ramp.

I still need to clean the crud out of the lift, and then put the covers back on.

I also need to wire a 50A plug in the old garage, because my welding setup is in the new garage, and I don't have an 8/3 extension cord. I don't think my 30' spoolgun will reach either, so I guess I will be running 3/4" conduit tomorrow. I can at least make some mounting tabs and prep the cabinet for welding. I'll borrow a hammerdrill from work for setting anchors.


The lift raises to 46", so that should be plenty high enough for working on bikes.

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Old 10-05-2010, 01:10 PM   #41
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A little out of order as far as when it was finished, but here is the Gator completed...




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Old 10-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #42
clintnz
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Aluminium should cut ok with a jigsaw, use a coarser blade than for steel, turn the speed down a bit & spray the underside of your work with cutting oil. A circular saw with a fine tooth TCT blade is also good for the long straight cuts.

Love your work, a bender like your one is now on my list of future projects.

Cheers
Clint


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkster70
The cube was actually my very first project out of the chute. It gave me the confidence to tackle project #2. I think my table may have been #3. Here is #2...a freakin' huge bashplate.

I bought some decent sized aluminum sheets from a friend at work, so this is the first time buying materials.

I made a mock-up first with some thin cardboard and then went to it. I also cut this out with caveman tools, so it also kicked my rear end. One whole day with a jigsaw running metal blades. What a freakin' nightmare! That's when I knew a plasma cutter was in my future. I used stock mounting holes, and stock hardware. I notched the left for the doohicky adjustment, and notched the bottom for oil drain access. Lots of using a hand file for shaping.
.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:52 PM   #43
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Thanks for the tips on blade cutting, Clint. That will help out next time I'm using a blade. I have heard about using different waxes, etc, but never tried.

The brake works well, and I finally had a chance to test it out today...pics to follow...
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:13 PM   #44
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It's been a busy day. I moved the redneck bike lift into the other garage by myself. That sucker is seriously heavy. I moved it to the welder instead of the other way around. It's all cleaned up, put back together, and ready for modding. I knew not to touch it because materials for the panniers would soon be here, and I hate half finished projects lying around.

Racks are dry as well. I need to get longer hardware for mounting.


The mail lady brought my latch hardware today, and the UPS guy brought my aluminum sheet. I'm glad I didn't get carried away with the lift now.

Cut #1 on the sheet with my plasma cutter. Yes, that is a cut. It cuts aluminum better than mild steel.





Above: close up of the cut. A quick pass with a hand file on the backside and it's ready for welding.



Layout for bag #1. I decided on 18" long x 9" wide x 15" deep.



Bend #1 goes into the homemade brake. Let's see if this thing works.



See the bottom of the brake? I told you this was made from scrap, right? Success! It works! Hot dog!



Bend #2 goes under the clamp. Using the 3/4" wrench doesn't take as long as you would think.



Using a protractor to make sure I'm getting enough bend with the springback of the material.



Bend #3.



Bend #4 complete... more pics to follow...

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Old 10-06-2010, 03:27 PM   #45
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Clamping a straight edge to the pannier to plasma cut the excess away.



Again, this IS a cut. If you've never used a plasma before, you would not believe how friggin' awesome these things are.



One shell complete. Whoops! What happened here? The plasma cut flange is narrower than the factory sheared side. I now see the problem - there is 1/8" of gain on my bends. So, the 1st flange is 7/8" instead of 3/4". My plasma cut is 3/4", so it's 1/8" smaller. No worries. I know next time.



And then there were two. Notice I compensated on bag #2 and both flanges are equal.

I noticed a couple very slight imperfections in the bends, and I think one of the gussets under the top clamp must be lower than flush. I'll take a grinder to it tomorrow.

That's all for today, boys and girls. I'm pretty excited that the brake actually worked. Tomorrow I will cut and bend the tops and sides. There should be time to start welding if all goes well.

until next time...

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