Balancing Act: BBQ Post 4

Posted: October 26, 2010 in BBQ Project, Garage projects, Machining projects, Welding projects
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When I decided to use a center mounted scissor jack to support the cross beam for the rotisserie support I figured I may run into a balancing issue. The cross beam would teeder on the jack and then bind when the scissor jack was used to raise or lower it. I had made guide tubes, in the end frame assemblies, hoping that would have controlled the situation. It turned out the guides weren’t enough. I needed to fix it my balance issue. I had set certain criteria for the solution. It needed to be inexpensive, simple, not look obtrusive, and preferably be unique. After some brainstorming I came up with an equalizing cable set up.

I spun some aluminum pulleys out of 2″ aluminum stock to fit 3/32″ aircraft cable. I plasma torched pulley mounting brackets out of 1 1/2″ x .250″ flat bar. For the pulley axles I used standard grade 3/8″ bolts that I drilled out lengthwise on the lathe, and then cross drilled, tapped, and installed grease zerks in order to lube the pulleys. The cable ends are going to be secured to the cross beam using cross drilled 10mm Allen head bolts which will pinch the cable once the nuts are tight.

The cable tension and adjustment will be handled by a set of purchased turnbuckles. The adjustment will not only take up slack in the system but it will also allow for leveling of the crossbeam.

Once the pulley brackets were welded in and the cables strung, tensioning and leveling was performed. The initial test runs proved positive. The cross beam no longer rocks and feels as solid as though it was welded. The guides now work smoothly for the height adjustment and the binding is no longer evident.

The total cost for the repair was less than $14.00, not including the steel stock I had lying around. 

All that remains is cleaning up of the welds and trimming up the bolts. Once that is done I can move onto finishing up the main frame then start on the rotisserie set up.



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