Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dangerocity Part II

With only a few days to go before heading out on the road I managed to get a day set aside for Ballista work with Grimm. Those of you awaiting pictures of us firing flaming projectiles at unsuspecting targets will have to wait.

Our fist order of business was actually fixing my welder. While it wasn't exactly broken, the knob that holds the dial controlling how many thousands of volts are used in the welding process was not holding. After dis assembly we found that the hole for the knob was stripped. Grimm pulled out his tap and die set and I got to tap some bolt holes. A first for me.

Wow, I am actually uncomfortable with reading that.

Anyhow, with repairs made we got down to some serious thinking. The design we are using requires two steel plates to be fabricated. Not having actual plates of steel large enough, Grimm prepared to weld a good dozen smaller pieces of steel together to achieve the same thing.

In my opinion this is like making a windshield from several panes of broken glass. Yes, it might work, no I don't want to be there when its in use. Grimm seemed confident in its structural soundness but it would involve a ton of cutting and welding. Instead I searched the internets and found a company that has a water jet. This VERY cool toy will cut 1/4 inch thick plate steel using a jet of high pressure water. Yes, I asked my wife if I could have one, the answer was no. We fired off the specs and decided to work on shortening the axle.

Out comes our old friend the circular saw. Lots of sparks. I made the second cut but did not have the advantage of long sleeves. Lets just say burning arm hair is not a pleasant smell.

With a 1 foot section removed from the middle of the axle we set up the welding rig outside, where it was bitter cold. Grimm did the welding and a fine job it was. When cool, each of us took turns standing on the axle and so far it has held our weight.

Then...more thinking. Grim has two gears for the winding mechanism. These need to be mounted to a shaft, the shaft needs to be held by several bearings and the center of the shaft needs a drum to wind the draw string onto. We also need to add crank handles. This is by far the most complex part of the operation but we worked out the parts we needed and how we would assemble them. Alas, it was getting late and we didn't have all the tools we needed. We called it a day.

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