Posts Tagged ‘welding project’

My previous blog post featured a clock I built from recycled material. Turns out I am still feeling the re-use theme and decided to carry it through to the next project. This time it is a rustic kitchen table built from old pallets.

Our household has been in need of a kitchen table upgrade for years. We had gone shopping for plank style tables previously and found things we liked but still had yet to take the plunge. I am not much of a wood worker however I figured that since the theme was “rustic” it would open things up to not have to be perfect.

I liked the idea of basically using garbage to make something cool. I had access to plenty of pallets and although the wood is of the lowest quality you can get I could see some potential. I was up for the challenge of creating something that one would never suspect was build from junk.

The tooling required to handle this size of wood project was beyond what I was equipped to deal with so I needed to improvise. The idea was to build a plank style table in small sections. I wanted to incorporate some metal into the design so I planned to separate the smaller sections of wood using aluminium accents.

The design, and process, is not over complicated however it did turn out to be very time consuming. Prepping pallets into useable pieces of lumber is not a quick task. In the end everything came together and I have picture to prove it. So I’ll stop typing and let the show begin.

The project started by collecting an unknown amount of pallets and breaking them apart. I estimated a couple of truck loads should do it. Turns out I ended up with approximately 20% extra.

The garage floor turned into a war zone as I was de-nailing all the wood, sorting through usable pieces and trimming off bad sections of the pallet wood

I laid out the usable wood to get an idea of how much I was going to need. This is where I required my second truck load.

All the wood then got run through the thickness planer. I varied the thicknesses depending on how much thickness I had to work with. I wanted to mix things up with the look of the table.

After hours of planing I ended up with good, usable, neat stacks of wood organized by thickness. The 2 garbage cans are only half of the shavings I collects from planing.

Next I moved onto the table saw to trim all the boards to just over 3 inches wide.

The idea was to build 5 plank sections. Here I started to jigsaw puzzle the wood together in order to come up with a pattern and sections that would equal 8.25″ wide.

Next came the gluing and clamping of each section.

I only had a limited number of clamps so I was required to wait until each section dried before moving onto the next.

A picture that is lacking for this post is the one where I ran all the glued section back through the thickness planer in order to achieve an even 3″ thickness. As you can see I edged the 2 sides of the table with cedar. Since all the sections are going to get bolted together I cross drilled every plank assembly. The end sections received countersunk holes in order to accept the 1/2″ nuts.

Here everything gets bolted together using threaded rod. In order to add an extra dimension I sandwiched 1/4″ 6061 brushed aluminum flat bar between each plank section.

The idea was to built a rustic table top and not a china cabinet so with the slab complete I proceeded to distress the wood using the pictured weapons.

Time to cover things up. The top received a total of 3 coats of dark ebony stain before being topped with 2 coats of a polyurethane clear coat.

This is what the countersunk threaded rod holes looked like. They obviously required some cover up.

I machined aluminum press in plugs to cover up the hardware and also tie in the aluminum flat bar with the sides of the table.

With the table top complete it was time to move onto the base.

The table base was going to be constructed of metal and was also going to have some curves applied to it. Here I pulled out the homemade metal bender and curved up some .250″ x 4″ mild steel sections.

Using 2″ x 4″ rectangular tube for the base I created some visual lines. I marked the floor so that I could build two assemblies to the same dimensions.

Trying to incorporate different materials and sizes I decided to implement some curved 5/8″ rod. Using a different bender I radius-ed the stock.

Mocking things up it is starting to look like my vision may have some potential.

I drilled holes through my 4″ flat bar in order to thread the 5/8″ round bar through it. The assembly then got jigged up on the bench and ready for welding.

This is what the welded up base looks like. Time to clean up the welds.

With both based fabricated I built some cross supports to help with stability. Everything was made to bolt together.

Since I am limited by the size of my oven for the things I powdercoat in house I was forced to send the table base out to a local company. They did a fantastic job.

Final shots of the completed table set in place.

155 Title turbo

With the CB160 project complete I find myself floating between universes with no clear direction. I have more of my own project ideas that I would like to pursue but also find myself in idle mode. There is never a shortage of tasks to complete for others and although I have got better at managing the “request” list I figured I would take on a quick and simple project.

The Porsche dealership in the city was in need of some tool room organization and they required some way to store some large equipment items. The dealership is required to purchase, and needs, certain special tools that are available from the manufacturer. One of these special tools includes multiple large metal engine table lift adapters. Basically they are comprised of metal channel configured to adapt to different models of Porsche engines. The cradles sit upon a hydraulic engine scissor lift table and allows for removal of power train units for various models Porsche produces.

The cradle adapters are big, bulky, heavy, and awkward to store and to move. The have leaned up against a wall for years and all the related adapters just get thrown in a pile. Since the dealership is moving into a brand new facility they didn’t what to transfer the “tool pile” into the new tool room. Some means to organize, store, and move the tooling was required.

155 Cayenne cradle

The cradles, and adapters, that require storage are used on top of an engine lift table. Here is a picture of a Cayenne engine and transmission sitting on the cradle that is perched on top of the lifting table. The adapter is the gold colored contraption. Porsche has multiple of these adapted including Panamera, Carrera GT, and Cayenne.

I had offered to weld up an A-frame style cart that would allow the larger cradles to hang. The idea would be to fabricate shelving for all the extra adapters. The only request on the dealerships part was that the cart was painted red. I basically was allowed to fabricate the cart any way I saw fit as long as it held all the necessary tooling.

So I lugged all the engine cradles and adapters home and started to measure and configure in order to come up with a plan. The engineering was far from complicated and the main focus was to make the entire unit as compact as possible.

It seems like it has been awhile since I have posted just some basic fabrication that I do in the shop. To some of you the pictures may be boring. For me I like seeing how others complete some of the most basic tasks and so this is what I have tried to show. It is cool how many different ways there are to go about accomplishing the same thing. The following shows you my way.

155 setting for circles

Setting up my plasma circle guide to do some radius cuts on 8″ mild steel. The radius gets set to 4 inches.

155 spittin sparks

I love watching sparks fly. Some people have a horsepower and torque addiction. For me it’s all about molten metal.

155 rough cur 8 inches

This is the top tray and support for the structure built from 8″ wide by 3/8″ thick mild steel. I wanted to give the tray come nice lines therefore curves are in order.

155 bending edges

The top tray support needs some sides in order to prevent stored hardware from getting away. The sides were bent from 2″ x .125″ flat bar.

155 clamped 4 welding

The flat bar sides were bent in two sections then clamped to the base and welded.

155 top tray

Here is the top tray support completed.

155 cut 2 length

With the top completed it was time to move onto the base. The stock was cut to size. The base was plasma cut out of 10 gauge and the perimeter is 2×4 steel tubing.

155 lower tray

Not a lot of fancy engineering going on here. The base is fairly basic. Just needed to be clamped in place and welded. The base measured 24″ x 60″.

155 caster spacing

I hate drilling for casters. It is boring and time consuming so I decided to make a jig to speed things up. I dialed in the caster bolt spacing into the milling machined DRO.

155 caster template

With the DRO programmed I drilled a template with my caster bolt spacing.

155 drilling 4 wheels

Now that I had a jig with perfect bolt hole spacing I was able to quickly drill all 4 corners of the base for fitting of the casters.

155 base done

Base complete. Nothing great to look at at but it’s functional.

155 clamping uprights

Time to connect the upper tray to the lower base. Lots of clamping and measuring before things got tack welded into place.

155 3D roughed

Here the upper and lower got final welded. Everything measured out square. The Germans would be proud of me.

155 test fit b4 continuing

Before going on I wanted to ensure the cradles would hang properly on the rack. Clearances worked out great.

155 pegs clear

The peg clearance wasn’t left to chance, I calculated it all out before welding on the hooks.

155 middle tray

Last tray to complete. I planned to put a middle tray in to allow for more storage. This one was built from 10 gauge and featured a similar design to the top tray.

155 middle tray test

Test fitting the middle tray before moving on. In this picture you can see the hooks I fabricated to allow for hanging of the engine cradles.

155 middle tray sides

Bending more sides for the middle tray.

155 midle sides tacked

Clamped and TIG welded.

155 fab complete

Completed support. All it needs now is some color.

155 underbelly red

I gave the option of sending out the rack for powder coating or I could just Tremclad it as a cheap option. They opted for Tremclad so although the finish prevents the final product from looking completely pro it was not in the budget. They requested red for visibility so the Fire Engine red got brushed on.

155 Fire Engine red

155 trays

155 Finished cart

Title tools

So I have been lugging my way through the 65 Revive project and things have been going well but it was finally time to take a break. I find that if I get too involved in a project for too long I start to lose focus. Sometimes it is necessary to step back for a few moments and regroup. Well opportunity came knocking and when I heard the call I answered the door.

1 of 2 monitors

Not too long ago I built a monitor stand out of pure necessity. The stand was built from an old brake rotor and was build purely to serve a purpose. It did not need to look pretty and only needed to be functional. Well it turns out that the brake rotor monitor stand theme was catching on and this time I had a request to build another one. The difference with the new one is that it needed to have a bit of “wow” factor built into it.

PCCB rotor

The “goddess” of brake systems

Rotor quote 001

The request came from a friend of mine who is a service advisor for the local Porsche dealership in town. I was given very little direction as to what the stand was supposed to look like once it was built. My instructions were “you decide…I trust you”. The problem is that trust does not always equate to a satisfactory product however I am always pleased to accommodate my own design and not have to incorporate details that have been supplied to me.

Damaged PCCB rotor

Chipped PCCB rotor

The only bit of the project that I needed to make sure I included was the supplied brake rotor that my friend gave me. The rotor that I was supplied was no ordinary brake rotor. This particular rotor was taken off of a Porsche 911 equipped with PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes). For those unfamiliar with Porsche PCCB brakes the highlight is that they are ceramic. So what you say? Well as much as many think the ceramic composite lends itself well to increased braking capabilities because of the heat resistance the benefit is actually more in the handling of the vehicle. The PCCB rotors are incredibly light compared to conventional cast rotors. The weight factor plays a huge role in the vehicles unsprung weight and, in turn, contributes to huge gains in the vehicles handling characteristics.

Monitor arm template

The hinge brackets were first cut from 1/8″ MDF to use as a template to ensure consistant results among the 4 I required.

For myself I am not sure what is more impressive, the performance gains of the PCCB rotor or the price tag associated with them. I had the Porsche parts department quote me on the replacement value of the single rotor that was supplied to me. It was a mere $7185.62 CDN. That’s right… for 1 rotor. It turns out that the only reason my friend has the rotor was that it had slight accident damage and therefore was replaced. The outer edge had a slight chip taken out of it therefore it was no longer considered safe to use.

Hinge bushings

Machining hinge bushings out of 6061 aluminum. Test fit shows I measured right!

So away I went with the rotor and a head full of project ideas that I needed to sort through. A few sleepless nights allowed me to organize my thoughts and come up with a starting game plan. The only criteria I had was that the monitor stand needed to accommodate a dual monitor set up and 1 monitor had to pivot around in order to accommodate customer viewing. No problem…minor details. I enjoy building off the top of my head. I find that if I try and stick to a specific design, or game plan, the project doesn’t always work out. I have learned to allow for a certain “fly by the seat of my pants” design whenever I build. I find that as soon as I can get a visual on one component it will provide inspiration for the next one.

Threading set screw

I am building caps for the hinges to conseal the threads. Here I needed to drill and tap for a set screw which will secure the cap onto the hinge pin.

So I sat down and tried to gain some insight into the Porsche way of thinking in order to build a basis for the design. Well it turns out that Porsche, being a German company, appears to like things straight and square, who woulda thunk? Porsche has very specific guidelines set in place that describe what their marketing visuals and showroom layout are to look like. As I looked at much of their promotional and marketing displays it became quite evident that I needed to think “inside the box”. So my initial ideas of building some bends and curves into the stand were abandoned and the “straight and square” philosophy was adopted.

Monitor hinge components

Here are my built hinge components.

Hinge concept

This is one of the hinges set up to show what I am trying to accomplish. Pay no attention to the large hole drilled in the center, it will come into play later.

So I developed a fairly good mental picture of what I was going for however I will let creativity run its course, as long as the course is straight with no curves. I decided to start with the mechanics of the stand in which everything else will be built around. That being the pivot system for the monitors. My friend told me that only one monitor had to pivot but I cannot cope without building the stand symmetrically so I opted to allow both monitors to pivot in the same manner.

Mocked up monitor hinge

Mocking up monitor bracket

Getting ready to tack the brackets together so that I can test fit things.

I stepped into the garage, pulled out some fine looking metal specimens, and started to cut. The pivot hinges are going to be fully custom built. I find that custom building the hinges allow them to be more of a show piece rather them a necessity. I like to build hinges, I do not know why. Perhaps it is because there are so many different ways to do it. In my case I try and give them a clean look that will be pleasing to look at.

Bracket to monitor

Looks like things are going to work out…so far.

I am not going to run you through the build details. Lately I have been letting the pictures do the story telling and it seems to be working. If it isn’t then will someone please let me know? I suspect this build may take up the next 3, or so, blog postings. What I like about stretching a build over a few postings is that I get to see the project transform from raw materials into a finished project. I could fill you in on what my end result is going to look like but sometimes it is more fun to just watch it happen. So here you go…the beginning steps to my Porsche PCCB dual monitor stand.

Monitor stand layout

Here I am doing a bit of “work bench AutoCAD”. Using the two tacked up montior brackets I drew out the dimensions on the work bench for the remaining stand components.

Title belt sander

I feel like I need to state the obvious, this kick stand project is dragging on. I can make excuses but what’s the point? The only person that is affected by the lack of progress is myself. I have collected many parts that are tempting me to switch gears to a different fabricating aspect on the bike my head is telling me to get through the kickstand and reach completion before moving on.

Milled for mounting

Mounts TIG welded

Although the main support shaft looks to be built from 1 solid piece it is actually a hollow section with the two ends welded on. My main concern was to keep the weight low.

I had previously worked at getting all the angles figured out. I do not possess the skills to be able to create a 3D working model in a CAD program and so I needed to rely on old school methods and just had to puzzle it out. The project was at the point where the previously built components required welding and the addition of known components had to be built and the stand cleaned up.

Pivot stop

Pivot parts joined

So I started to tack components together so that I could do some preliminary test fitting. The kick stand itself went together nicely however the mechanical aspect of the over centering spring had yet to be determined. I had plenty of hours into trying to make things work. The pictures I have included in this blogs posting do not tell the whole story. There was plenty of trial and even more error.

Stand stop

Stand cleaned up

This extra tab is the stop for when the kick stand is in the lowered position.

I had initially planned on building the over centering aspect based on the millions of other kick stand designs. What was the point in trying to reinvent the wheel? Well it turns out that I positioned the pivot point of the spring in the wrong location. The kick stand would snap down into the lower position but it would not stay in the retracted position. I know why it didn’t work however trying to change it so it would function was not easy.

Stand test fit

2 inch foot plate

Building the kick stand “foot” using 2″ solid round bar.

I was very cramped for space. I am trying to build the kick stand as cleanly, inconspicuous, and self contained as possible. I struggled with finding a solution to position my pivot points correctly. It was time for a total re-think. A new approach was needed and thinking outside of the box had to come into play. In order to make room for the over center pivot point I was going to have to abandon the conventional methods. Typically an expansion spring is used which requires the over center pivot to be placed above the kick stand pivot. In my case I decided to explore the idea of using a compression spring and therefore I would be able to place the over centering pivot below the kick stand pivot where I would have more room.

Stand alone set up

Bike lean

I am unsure what is standard as far as bike lean goes. My stand allowed for just under 5 degrees. It looks right and hopefully it will be enough so that a wind gust won’t knock the Honda over.

So as I played with this idea the plan finally came into clear view. It was about time! I was able to track down a short version of the typical hydraulic struts used on automotive hoods as the hood props. I found a short version that is used on Porsche Cayenne SUVs that return the park brake pedal to rest position. The length was perfect and the tension felt adequate.

Machined ball

Hydraulic and balls

So off to the lathe I went to machine up the pivot balls required for the mini strut to snap onto. After lots of fitting and mocking up I was able to determine where my pivot points had to be and proceeded to build the brackets. Knowing I may have to scrap the whole idea if it doesn’t work I tack welded everything together and proceeded to perform a full function test. Awesome! The pivot point turned out to be perfect. The kick stand both lowers and rises into its rest position on both ends of the scale. It is secure and safe.

Drilling the stand

So finally I have reached a point of satisfaction. Not only is the kick stand fully functional but I think it also looks fantastic. The strut is hidden in behind the rest of the stand and the complete assembly tucks up out of the way. Nothing is obtrusive or ugly and having the strut on the stand gives it a super cool “trick” look to it all.

Ball fitted

So for now I am going to check this on off my list. The stand still requires powder coating however I am holding off until the exhaust is complete. There is a chance I may need to weld a support for the exhaust to the stand. The difficult part is complete I can finally move forward with more exciting aspects of the project.

Completed kick stand 2

The completed kick stand in the retracted position. Nice and clean.

Completed kick stand 1