Saturday, April 15, 2017

Joint bars

I guess the above picture could be titled before the railroad the kids could only play with logs.  Soon they will have options.
But to have those options we need parts.  The first part is track.  Ties, Rails, Spikes, and joint bolts were all on hand.  But we needed to have joint bars.  Nancy picked up two lengths of 1/8th by 1/2" aluminum.  And I cut it to length with the bandsaw.  Then I Made a drilling fixture.  As I made the 18 sets of joint bars I refined the fixture.  It stared out just as two 3/16th plywood attached to a piece of 3/4" plywood.  I clamped the board to the drill press, then held the plate in place to drill.  I got tired of that so I added another 3/16th and a cross piece to hold the bar in place.  Then I only needed to shove the bar in and hold against the stop.  Then I added a relief at the end of the slot for the chips to fall out of the way of the bar.  Last I added two tall screws to catch any large spiraling chips so they did not hit my hand.  Making all the joint bars went quickly.
I used a tool with a hooked end to pull the finished joint bar out and into a large tub set on the floor.  The drilling order was all of hole one, then all of hole four, then back to two and last three.  This let the part cool between drilling for the sake of my finger.

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