The Contraption 2.0

Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Jan 11, 2008 10:41 pm

OH!!!

And Fishy…

Yesterday it hit me. TIG welding would be a very good way to go for you to weld. No slag flying around and its very controlled. You can weld pretty thick stuff to very tiny, I mean TINY stuff with TIG. I used to know a guy who did repairs on molds and dies. He would weld under a microscope and could put a drop of weld on the head of a pin. No kidding… I saw it with my own eyes. Granted he had very specialized equipment, but still… all decent entry level TIG welders on the market today will weld thin sheet metal to 1/4" plate without much problem.

And, And…

Using a TIG would be not unlike making glass beads. It’s a similar hand/eye coordination type of thing using a small “torch“ in one hand a small metal "filler rod" in the other. You basically heat the area to be welded with the torch, then dip the filler rod into the molten puddle as you go along. Like stitching up a seam or something. It’s a very cool welding process and you could do it really well I suspect.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:30 am

Interesting








*wink*
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sat Jan 12, 2008 12:40 am

TIG is a great way to weld. I learned how to TIG while building stainless steel tanks for the wine and micro brew industries. It was my first job out of high school. TIG welding of aluminum is very difficult with a low power machine such as the one that I have. It does quite well on stainless and mild steel. With enough practice the welds take on a beauty that is very rewarding to see.
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Postby Toolmaker » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:47 am

Don't forget to brush up here..

viewtopic.php?t=17123

And feel free to add ANYTHING you find. :twisted:
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:38 am

Good God, man...

I'd forgotten all about that thread. Now I'm impressed all over again.

Good resources
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Postby MozyBonz » Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:16 pm

Image
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Postby The CO » Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:12 pm

Toolmaker, I just started my ARC class yesterday and have been loving those links for the last couple weeks. Merci for posting them.
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Postby BAS » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:14 pm

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I would like someone to tell me where to go. er, that didn't come out right! :oops:

What I meant to say/ask was, where can I go to find out if there is anyone nearby who does stuff with art bikes/kinetic sculptures? I've been doodling with an idea for a three wheeled one (which might actually work as daily transportation which, given fuel costs, might be a big plus), but don't have anywhere to work on it, nor do I have confidence in my (lack of) skills.

(I could have sworn that there was a thread on this, but I couldn't find the one I thought I remembered when I did a search.)

Thanks.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:36 pm

Oh man…

Don’t’ sweat it. Hijack away.

I’d bet there are a few of the kinetic race folk hanging around here that would know something. Have you searched tribe.net as well? Just a thought.

Anybody got any ideas?

Where are you BAS? Even if just a general area.
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Postby Kinetik V » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:36 pm

Thread Hijack #2: I'm going to be in the market before long for a small plasma cutter. I'm thinking of going with Miller...I have one of their small MIG units right now that I absolutely love. This is the unit I have in mind...

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/pla ... ctrum_375/

I'd like to ask if anyone has used any of Miller's plasma cutters and if so would they recommend it to anyone else? Or are there other units out there that I should take a look at? Price needs to be kept to $1500, and I want to be able to power it from my 5000 watt generator if needed.

I highly value word of mouth opinions, and those from people building art for BRC more than others.

Thanks!
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Postby CapSmashy » Mon Jan 14, 2008 5:37 pm

Le Chat, I am sooooooo looking forward to seeing what you bring this year. :D.
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Postby BAS » Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:36 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Oh man…

Don’t’ sweat it. Hijack away.

I’d bet there are a few of the kinetic race folk hanging around here that would know something. Have you searched tribe.net as well? Just a thought.

Anybody got any ideas?

Where are you BAS? Even if just a general area.



Quite a ways from you, IIRC, Le Chat. (If I were close, I would probably have talked myself into looking you up and spying on the Contraption by now! Missing getting to see it was one of my disappointments for 2007, honestly.)

I am in the Madison, Wisconsin area. (Which just received another light dusting of snow! The snow this year is one reason I am considering something with more than two wheels, actually, and an enclosed, or semi-enclosed body.) I might have to pester the Milwaukee folks into having another Meet and Greet here in the Mad City and try'n get someone to take names and contact info this time around. (Maybe even myself, although I really doubt my organizing skills.)

I did find one or two kinetic sculpture/art bike websites, but no luck finding a link to anything (active) in the Madison area. (I found a link to website of a defunct group-- with no contact info on the remaining pages. Not even any names under the pictures which were still up.)


Any help would be appreciated.
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Postby Toolmaker » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:22 pm

Kinetic V wrote:Thread Hijack #2: I'm going to be in the market before long for a small plasma cutter. I'm thinking of going with Miller...I have one of their small MIG units right now that I absolutely love. This is the unit I have in mind...

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/pla ... ctrum_375/

I'd like to ask if anyone has used any of Miller's plasma cutters and if so would they recommend it to anyone else? Or are there other units out there that I should take a look at? Price needs to be kept to $1500, and I want to be able to power it from my 5000 watt generator if needed.

I highly value word of mouth opinions, and those from people building art for BRC more than others.

Thanks!


As you may already know Kinetic you will be limited in plate thickness to about 3/8 to 1/2 if memory serves. Once ya get into the thicker stuff you need like 8000-15000 watts. Personally I have never used a Miller plasma but their welders are the best in my opinion. I really can't see them making anything that isn't good, though new models screwups with the new model happen to every company so make sure you get a "tried and true" model. When it comes to tools and equipment I have always put alot of faith in certain brand names.. this has worked out great long term. By getting a quality built tool you will spend a little more but have something worth handing down and less prone to breakdown. Lincoln isn't too shabby either.. as well as ESAB.. whatever you do don't go with that harbor freight crap.

Should I add a bunch of plasma cutting stuff to the welding thread? I can't remember if I put anything there about cutting. I figure most of us can handle and figure out how to cut and take apart shit. Its gettin the stuff back together that can be trying at times. :twisted:
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:31 pm

Kinetic V wrote:Thread Hijack #2: I'm going to be in the market before long for a small plasma cutter. I'm thinking of going with Miller...I have one of their small MIG units right now that I absolutely love. This is the unit I have in mind...

http://www.millerwelds.com/products/pla ... ctrum_375/

I'd like to ask if anyone has used any of Miller's plasma cutters and if so would they recommend it to anyone else? Or are there other units out there that I should take a look at? Price needs to be kept to $1500, and I want to be able to power it from my 5000 watt generator if needed.

I highly value word of mouth opinions, and those from people building art for BRC more than others.

Thanks!


I use a hyperthermia plasma cutter in the shop. I’m very pleased with it. The model I have, the Powermax 380, has apparently been discontinued. Too bad since it’ll cut ½â€
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:37 pm

BAS wrote:
LeChatNoir wrote:Oh man…

Don’t’ sweat it. Hijack away.

I’d bet there are a few of the kinetic race folk hanging around here that would know something. Have you searched tribe.net as well? Just a thought.

Anybody got any ideas?

Where are you BAS? Even if just a general area.



Quite a ways from you, IIRC, Le Chat. (If I were close, I would probably have talked myself into looking you up and spying on the Contraption by now! Missing getting to see it was one of my disappointments for 2007, honestly.)

I am in the Madison, Wisconsin area. (Which just received another light dusting of snow! The snow this year is one reason I am considering something with more than two wheels, actually, and an enclosed, or semi-enclosed body.) I might have to pester the Milwaukee folks into having another Meet and Greet here in the Mad City and try'n get someone to take names and contact info this time around. (Maybe even myself, although I really doubt my organizing skills.)

I did find one or two kinetic sculpture/art bike websites, but no luck finding a link to anything (active) in the Madison area. (I found a link to website of a defunct group-- with no contact info on the remaining pages. Not even any names under the pictures which were still up.)


Any help would be appreciated.


That’s right!! I remember that now, because we talked about the radio station up there once.

In Milwaukee, there’s a group called “The Hard Times Bike Clubâ€
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:40 pm

Toolmaker wrote: whatever you do don't go with that harbor freight crap.


Very good advice...

Damn, Kinetic... Now see what you've done? Get a bunch of metal-mongers talking shop and you'll never get us to stop.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:45 pm

OPP!! I forgot one...

Five things to consider!!

5) Every so often, take the covers off your machine (after unpugging it of course) and blow it out very well using your air compressor. This will help insure that your machine runs for a long time. I saw one pop loudly once and fry up in a cloud of smoke due to metal dust building up in it and shorting it out. This is good advice for your welder and all other electric motors and tools in your shop as well.
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Postby BAS » Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:57 pm

[quote="LeChatNoir"]

That’s right!! I remember that now, because we talked about the radio station up there once.

In Milwaukee, there’s a group called “The Hard Times Bike Clubâ€
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Postby Kinetik V » Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:31 pm

I don't want to take away from LeChat's project but at the same time...could you ask for a better group to run this question by?

The air compressor I use can handle 9.5 cfm at 90 psi so I'm not worried about that part. The key for me is portability. I don't have a shop space or fixed base of operations these days...so I need to be able to haul my gear out of storage, work on my mobile project stuff, then put it away when I'm done. It also needs to fit in the back of a small pickup...so it's a matter of compromise on size / weight. I also have a need to work on center point sprinklers so there's also the matter of taking the equipment out to them....

The curses of living in rural America and not having a permanent place....anyway back on topic.
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Postby TJ » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:23 am

Thread Hijack #3: This seems to be *the* place to ask so I hope I'm not too far OT.

Image

I'm considering building a four person, four wheeled pedal car. More 3D computer model screen shots & wood mock-up picts are online here:
http://www.thirstybeachlandscaping.com/quadbike

1) First blush, do these materials seem adequate for the build?
For main structure - mild steel 1" x 1" square x .065" wall tubing; for spring, shock, etc. brackets - mild steel .12" or .18" plate. For spokes - 1/2" x .12" wall tubing welded to golf cart rims.

2) Which welder / type of welding would you recommend?
MIG - Lincoln Electric 140T or similar, 20% duty cycle, 30 - 140 amp output
TIG - Thermal Arc Dragster 85 (or similar?), 25% duty cycle, 85 amp output

Both appear to be able to handle the project, although at the max of their advertised capabilities, and the prices are right. I'm looking to keep equipment costs down, need something that will run on regular household current and, don't really have any plans for the welder other than this project. I have a little experience with MIG sticking bike pieces and parts together but have also done research on TIG. Not afraid to jump in over my head and fail but, I'd like to stack the odds in my favor as much as possible.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed Jan 16, 2008 10:12 pm

Hi TJ!!!

What a great thing you’re building there! I love it.

I’d say that 1x1 tubing will do the job. If I were building it, I’d probably step up to 11 ga (around 0.120 wall thickness), but that’s just me. Bike frames are thinner than 11 ga and work out fine, though. And it looks like you’re getting your frame geometry worked out fine. There’s plenty of triangles, so I’d bet you’ll be ok.

As to the welder…

The only experience I’ve had with welders than run on 120V has been very disappointing. But that could only be my own personal experience and not speak for the majority of people who use them. Either way, it will probably weld 0.065 wall tube just fine.

Here’s the catch…

Even though they run on 120v, they usually require a 20 amp circuit. Unfortunately, a lot of places only have 15 amp circuits. This is something to keep in mind.

If you can spend the extra few $$ for one that runs on 220, you might find it more versatile in the future… and you know this won’t be the last thing like this you build.

Please hang around and keep us posted n your pedal car. I really like the looks of it.

Edited To Add:

I'd go with the MIG, too. Less finicky than TIG if you're new to welding.
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Postby Tiahaar » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:07 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:Hi TJ!!!
What a great thing you’re building there! I love it.
I'd go with the MIG, too. Less finicky than TIG if you're new to welding.

Hi LCN and new project poster TJ!
I will third LeChatNoir's excellent advice, flux core MIG welding is super for mild steel tubing (and yes, all my stuff is done with a finicky HF cheepee model that takes occasional twiddling...I seem to thrive on making lo-tech stuff work :roll: )
Brace the pedal crank towers well, they will take hell at some point.

LCN how's the steam engine design and building coming along?

P.S. to add...TJ: DAMN! Just looked at your link and saw that the wood 'mockup' you have is like full scale!!! OK there's now no question that you are a serious builder, best wishes for your project hope to see it on-playa!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:55 am

The wood mock-up impressed me as well.

The steam engine progress is mostly in my head for the moment. Lots of daytime work to keep me busy until spring or so. But I’ve gotten plenty of thinking done on it and think I’ve finally scum a scheme. With the exception of the flywheel and a few specific parts, this entire project has made use of things that would otherwise have been discarded. And the flywheel was made only because time was running out and nothing could be scavenged that fit the bill.

I’ve been thinking about building a steam engine from scratch, as you know, and I’ve also thought of converting an air compressor pump. I was gifted a really cool looking old compressor a while back. It was given to me by another blacksmith I know in the area after he and I talked about The Contraption and the steam upgrade. He told me he thought he had one and after we went climbing through the back room of his shop, sure enough, there it was… a dirty, greasy four cylinder v-type pump buried way back in the corner.

I broke it apart to check it out and it turns as smooth as silk. So after long deliberation, I’m feeling that its more appropriate, and fitting of the piece, to use the old compressor motor. I still plan on machining out a brand new steam engine, but just not yet. So I’m currently researching and planning on how the valves will need to work. There’ll still be a good bit of creative machine work to do to get it to run as an engine, but I think it’s certainly doable.

So baring some un-foreseen thing, that looks like the current plan.

I’ll post some pics sometime soon.
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Postby TJ » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:41 am

Thanks for the input, I'll keep you posted on progress.
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:16 pm

TJ,
Your design and mock up are amazing! The drain pipe for wheels is a fantastic thing that I first saw on the armored carp. The wheels alone blew my mind.
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Postby TJ » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:56 pm

The wheels on the Armored Carp are amazing. The first place I saw drainage pipe used like that was on the Department of Spontaneous Combustion's "Trike of Death" at Burning Man '06. Just like the Carp, another great piece. Soon after Bman '06 I found, and was able to get... after asking nicely, a few scrap 36" dia. pieces from construction near were I work. I've basically been trying to figure out how to use them since.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Sat Jan 19, 2008 1:21 am

The Trike of Death is a beautiful thing. They‘ve made a few more of them, I believe, as well. Starting on a fleet or something.

A thing by Jim Mason called "The Vegamatic of the Apocalypse" was a big influence on building The Contraption.

Nice that you could scrounge stuff to use, TJ.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Jan 25, 2008 10:46 pm

Contraption Update!!!

I had to break free tonight and think about the engine upgrade a bit and felt I should take some pictures for Tinkering Show and Tell.

Below you will find photos of the previously mentioned air compressor pump that a friend gifted me. I removed one of the heads to see what was inside and get a feel for how I should go about giving it a steam switch-a-roo. Below you can see it in this condition for reference. The bore is 1.500â€
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Postby CLARKcon » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:00 pm

LeChat, you are truly inspiring :D My mechanic skills are a tad on the weak side, but from what you've described, I'd say both for steam driven power. Would be alittle much drive if going light, but, would have enough drive if loaded (transporting) or if throughout the week the weather/dust began to wear somehow on the output. Love it up! Keep updated on progress and the eventual ribbon-cutting ceremony!!
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Postby Tiahaar » Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:19 am

Solid looking compressor. I too vote for full steam conversion; hopefully the two sides are 90 degrees apart, you'd have a real smooth 1-2-3-4 power stroke and need less steam pressure than a 2 cylinder system for the same power. You could have a little belt-driven aux-compressor if needed for air pressure...and go around gifting air to folk's flat bike tires : )
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