Everyone always wonders how I manage to find time to do some of my project
tasks. My secret is trying to do small parts of the tasks whenever I get a
small piece of free time. For instance I ordered a truss for my rear axle
from Ballistic Fabrication with the intention of modifying it to make it look a
little more unique. I took the truss parts in with me to work and over 5
days I managed to cut a bunch of 1" holes in the front and rear panels, cut some
1" tubes to go in the 1" holes and tacked the truss together using our TIG
welder. If I got to work a bit early I would work on this task and I would use
half my lunch hour and by the end of the week I had one less thing to do on the
weekend. This is my first attempt at welding steel with our TIG and I had a hard
time getting all the oil off the parts so I had some contamination of the welds.
I am also still learning to control the temperature of the arc, a task that take
Back at home our summer is in full swing and the garage always seems to be
hovering near 100 degrees.
In an effort to cool things down in the garage I am trying out this industrial
spot cooler. It's a 22000 btu cooling unit that requires some venting in
order to work in a small, closed room.
I went to Home depot to get some materials to vent the top of the unit to the
outside of my garage. The upper vent is 10" dia but the biggest flexible ducting
I could find was 8" dia. From there the best I could do to mate the 8"
conduit to the existing vent in my garage was this setup which necks down to 6"
before expanding again into the rectangular flange. Because the hole in my wall
was slightly bigger I needed to come up with an adapter flange.
Out came the plasma cutter and in about 20 minutes I had a bigger flange riveted
to the upper ductwork.
Here's the duct installed in my garages upper vent.
Unfortunately after hooking up the flexible ducting I discovered the unit would
shut down after 5-6 minutes of running. Removing the ducting allowed the
unit to run continuously but since it was now dumping hot air into the same room
it was cooling the room temperature still wasn't dropping. I am going to round
up some 10" dia parts and give it another go next week.
On Thursday I made a run to Advanced Metal Sales and picked up an assortment of
tubing. I have to say the prices there beat the nearest competitor by
almost half so give them a shot if you are in need of tubing. I picked up
the following tubing:
5 sticks of 1.62 x. 120 wall DOM - way more than I need but I will sell whatever
I don't use. I had planned on buying just 2 sticks of this for the upper
and middle hoops, then using cheaper HREW for the internal braces but Advanced
didn't have any HREW in that size. They ended up giving me the DOM for a
really good price so I just got 5 sticks of it.
1 stick of 1.37 x .120 DOM for sleeve material and internal non-load bearing
2 stick of 1.50 x .095 HREW for new cross braces behind the seats.
1 stick of 1.00 x .095 HREW for seat/cooler/fuel cell mounts
1 stick of pipe that had an ID really close to 1.625. This is for chassis
repairs, I will cut it in strips and plate any dented places I didn't brace the
first go around that are now dented on the underside of the rig.
It was now time to bend the first tube. Right off the bat I noticed my
bender wasn't sitting level and since it was on casters there wasn't an easy way
to get it level as is. The old bending handle proved useful one last time,
I trimmed down and bolted it to the front side of the bender frame. Next I
drilled a hole in the center of the old handle and welded a large nut that fit a
small leveling foot I had in my parts bin. Leveling the bender is now as
easy as rolling it into position and then lowering the leveling foot.
I also ended up adding some oil to my ram as it was not maxxing out the stroke
and stopping once about half the shaft was exposed. Once I adjust the oil
level it went to about 89 degrees but then I discovered I could not get it to
retract. I drained a little oil and tried it again, this time getting 80
degrees of bend before I have to re-pin the die while still being able to
retract the cylinder. I do need to find a heavier return spring, the one I
am using now is not strong enough to pull the ram back when done bending and I
have to help it along. Checking for spring back isn't a problem as the
tube will pull the ram back once you release the pressure valve.
The first tube tacked into place. I checked the fit of the seat and have
several inches to each side when the seat is 12 inches from the existing cross
braces. The new tube extends approximately 50.5" from the old B and kicks
up slightly just behind the rear seat.