Thursday, January 30, 2014

getting screws and drilling

Today I set the Storage Battery Truck upsidedown on the wood top.  Aligned everything square and figured out where the two top braces need to be located at.  Then Anna and I took the truck and drove to Menards to pick out #8 wood screws.

Back home I drilled one of the two top braces with 24 holes.  chamfering them also.  The other strap can wait until Saturday to be drilled.  I will also get the 4 step brackets this weekend also.

After this the last thing to make is the control stick.

Then paint and assembly.

Monday, January 27, 2014

The last cut

Today I found out that not only are my fingers raw, but that the muscles in my arms are fatigued.  There is a little bit of sanding left to do, but it can wait until I feel better.

Today I cut the two straps that will hold the top together.  There are 56 holes to drill and chamfer then the top will be ready.  I plan to have the top with 4 long bolts through the pedestal spacers, that will keep the top in place until I want it removed.

It feels good, and kinda scary to be this close to being done.  I bought wood today to make simple riding cars.  So I do have my next projects to work on already.  I may wait until spring to blast and paint the Storage Battery Truck.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

sanding

Today was a lot of sanding, my fingers are raw.  The bondo is smooth for the most part.  There may be some touchup, that will be after the fingers heal.

Make top braces
Attach wood
Sandblast entire thing
Paint

Stain wood
Make trailing cars
Install throttle lever
Find a headlight
Find a horn or bell system
Get and wire up auxiliary power
Velcro down batteries
Install speed limiter
Install charge port

Install brake wheel to pot
Hook up the electronics

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Remove Sharp Edges

Today I continued to debur everything.  Then I added bondo to the joints.  The first batch I made too large, and most of it hardened before use.  I then filed and sanded, and sanded, and sanded.  And I am not done yet.  My arms are tired.

Debur everythingBondo gaps
Make top braces
Attach wood
Sandblast entire thing
Paint

Stain wood
Make trailing cars
Install throttle lever
Find a headlight
Find a horn or bell system
Get and wire up auxiliary power
Velcro down batteries
Install speed limiter
Install charge port


Install brake wheel to pot
Hook up the electronics

Friday, January 24, 2014

Welding and Cleanup

This week I took the Storage Battery Truck to Samson Manufacturing to have their assistance in welding the 3 trays and the safety chain mounts in place.  $130 of labor that I can not do myself.  

Now I am taking the time to clean up all the sharp corners.  Both with files and with grinding wheels in a dremel.  I think I will add some epoxy to the gaps to further help smooth things out.  This should take me the next few sessions.  

Install safety chain mounts
Install brake wheel to pot
Install throttle lever
Attach wood
Buy speedometer
Install speedometer
Weld in trays
Debur everything
Bondo gaps
Hook up the electronics
Find a headlight
Find a horn or bell system
Get and wire up auxiliary power
Velcro down batteries
Install speed limiter
Install charge port
Sandblast entire thing
Paint
Stain wood
Make trailing cars


I have also started thinking and working on some riding cars.  I have some 1-1/8th thick plywood 47 inches long.  I am going to make several simple flat cars and maybe a gondola and a caboose.  They will all have a Tom Bee style 1x2x1/8" rectangular tube with metal body bolsters.  The plan is to make Nelsons locomotive works style archbar trucks.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Speed Sensor for a Live Steam Train

My fingers hurt too much after the last session last weekend to type up a post.  I used a pin vice to drill a hole by hand in the aluminum motor mount and tapped it with a 6-32 for a place to mount the speed sensor.  I got smart for the second hole.  I wound some embroidery thread around the pin vice and pulled it like a rip cord to activate the drill.  It took close to 25 to 30 time to complete the job.

First step is to wind up the thread.  A handheld drill with an almost dead battery worked wonders to assist.
Next is to set the drill in place.  I used my right hand to steady the back end and apply some pressure.  Too much and it will bind up, too little and no chips will be made.  The left hand pulled out the thread as steady as I could.  Most of the time all I got were small chips, out of the hundreds of 3 foot pulls about 3 or 4 total gave me a nice spiral.  If a spiral did start I would have to turn the drill by hand to break it off before starting the next pull with the thread.

The next step was tapping the hole.  For the outer hole I used a small monkey wrench to drive the tap, but that tool was too big for the hole closer to the motor.  A square notch was cut into the end of a scrap of steel to allow me to make quarter turns of the tap, the back end to the tap steadied with my finger.  Every half turn I spun the tap backwards as far as I could to break the chip.


I used the bench grinder and a lot of fitting to make a plate that contoured around the axle and motor.
Then the sensor for a Bell Dashboard 300 bike computer was zip tied into place.  A small magnet is placed on the wheel, it will be epoxied into place soon.  I am also waiting to set the plates mountings screws tight until after I add some Loctite.

 The computer was on clearance at Target, normal price was $16 I paid $8.  It is set for the wheels actual size, so distance and speed will be actual not scale.  It also has an odometer, max speed, average speed, current trip odometer and some other less useful features, such as estimated calories burned.  I will mount the computer next to the driver, maybe disguised as a lunchpail or something useful for him.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Speed sensor

Today I went out with Nancy and bought a Bell bike computer to use for speed and distance measuring.  I tested it with a drive motor running off from one of the 12 volt batteries.  I got a speed of 6 miles per hour with no load on the wheels and there was no interference from the motor on the speed sensor operation.

Another small task completed today was drilling 8 holes in the battery trays for the safety chain mounts.  I will ask Allen if someone at his shop can weld in the 3 trays and the 4 safety chain mounts at some point.  First I want to double check that everything I need to do is completed.

I also used a pin vice to drill a hole for mounting the sensor.  You can read more about that in the next post.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Die Grinder and Another Dead Dremel

Today I figured out that the motor to shaft connection on my battery powered dremel is loose and bends when I change blades.  I can get it close to straight before turning it on but it is time to start saving up for a replacement.

I also borrowed an air powered die grinder from work, it made quick work of emptying my air compressor.  It also was good at making sharp slivers of metal, if which I managed to impale three of into my hands.  The third thing, and most important thing it was good at is removing metal for the brake potentiometer. I was able to remove 1/8th inch deep by 1 inch by 1 inch of steel from the bottom of my hole.  The die grinder left a pretty smooth finish unless I let it chatter.  Chatter was limited by holding the body of the die grinder against the side frame.  When I was done I cleaned up, deburred, and polished the area with a couple different dremel bits.  The pot now cleanly bolts in place, with room for the wires and battery inside the machine.  Next is to make the brake wheel to pot shaft connection.

The plan is to use the brake wheel and speed stick to control the machine.  Use the speed stick to set the direction, and then release the brakes to roll forward, less brakes equal faster train.  These controls will connect to a nine pin connector same as the hand held control, and eventually the radio control.  So only one of the three will be active at a time.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Dead Dremel

Today's challenge, beside record cold temperatures, is to finish grinding out the cavity for the brake potentiometer.  It is a challenge because the corded dremel has died.  The most likely cause is the motor brushes wearing out.  A new set are on order, due for Friday.

The workaround is to use the battery dremel.  Less than a half hour of cutting and 3 hour charge time per battery.  Good thing I have two.  

Time to look down the to do list and see if there is something else I can do:  

Install safety chain mountsInstall brake wheel
Install throttle lever
Attach wood
Buy speedometer
Install speedometer
Weld in trays
Hook up the electronics
Find a headlight
Find a horn or bell system
Get and wire up auxiliary power
Velcro down batteries
Install speed limiter
Install charge port
Sandblast entire thing
Paint
Stain wood
Make trailing cars

And I did none of them tonight.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Safety

Today I took a slow progress to add 8 holes to mount the safety chain mounts.  Not something I really want to have on the vehicle, but it is club required.

The chain I bought is stainless steel.  I could either weld those in, needing special welding rods, or I can get 4 steel links to have welded in.  I will ask my welder.

The second thing I did today was drill the hole and grind out the backside for mounting of the brake wheel potentiometer.  Not sure if I have it done yet because I chose to use the one with an on-off switch, I may have to remove more of the frame so it fits.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Rounding Over

A few days ago was the first time I did something and did not take a picture or blog about it.  I used my new file to clean up the epoxy around the coupler pocket, it only took a few moments to do.

Today I cleaned up the battery trays, cutting off some of the excess metal and bent over the top inside edge the same way the electronics tray is.  Looking at the hammer marks on the trays I am trying to decide if I should get more metal and redo or stay with this set.  In five years what would I say... except for the center tray they are hidden, only visible when the top and batteries are removed.  


I also rounded the ends of the pedestal caps by hand with the bench grinder.  I used a plastic drill / bolt checker tool I had on hand to test how I was doing... it would have been nice if it was metal as the hot part was starting to melt the plastic if I did not wait to test.  The pedestal caps look good, it may not be prototypical but it looks good.


I also had a panic that I was going to place the controls at the wrong end of the machine so I took the time to look at all the pictures to confirm the controls and rivets are in the proper place.  I notices that a couple pictures showed a low slung chain between the axles on the control side.  If someone wanted to make a Jeffrey Storage Battery Truck with only one motor it is prototypical.


After lunch the task was mounting the circuit breaker.  The 7/16th hole was drilled out with a center drill through two layers of the electronics tray.  It was difficult because it was not held well and i used a two fluted center drill because that was the only drill I have the right diameter.  Second the rectangular hole for the on-off switch was slotted next to the circuit breaker with a Dremel and files.  Both these are tucked under the frame so they are not visible but easy to reach.    The on off switch will be set up so it is easier to turn off the machine than to turn it on.  






Round pedestal caps
Clean up battery trays
Install circuit breaker
Install charge port

Install on off switch
Buy a keyed switch?
Install safety chain mounts

Install brake wheel
Install throttle lever
Attach wood
Buy speedometer
Install speedometer
Weld in trays
Hook up the electronics
Find a headlight
Find a horn or bell system
Get and wire up auxiliary power
Velcro down batteries
Install speed limiter
Sandblast entire thing
Paint
Stain wood
Make trailing cars