The Contraption 2010

Postby Bounce530 » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:41 pm

Holy Monkey! thats going to have one looong drivshaft!! :shock:
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Postby Elliot » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:31 pm

:D
No, I plan to move the engine back, so the driveshaft will actually be shorter than originally.
:D
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Postby gyre » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:54 pm

Mid-engine, woohoo!

That'll work on the drifts.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm

ZOOKS!!

Elliot, I do believe you are more of a glutton for throwing yourself at projects than I am. I thought the piano project was big enough, but damn. “Hey, it’s only May… let’s build a giant mutant vehicle by stretching an automobile twenty feet“.

My hat is off to you.

Lots of work been happening on this end. I’ll try to get some decent pics in the next day or so. Several things I want to get finished up first.
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Postby Elliot » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:50 pm

:D
To be safe, keep your hat on until you see the Bigger Boat actually sailing across the Playa. But I don't see why it won't work. I've started stripping the engine of burned wiring and plumbing. Whatta mess! The two boats and the Mazda just kind'a happened within a couple of days, so I'm running with it!

Still looking for a garden tractor or similar to put the Baby Grand Piano on. Of course, I could build a chassis around the Honda CB750F Super Sport motorcycle that I just scored. But a couple of people have told me the F is a valuable model. As with the Mazda, I guess I ought to find out if the engine will run before I commit myself. Heck, I might wind up with the Honda engine in the Mazda chassis! Whatever will go, without spending much money! :lol:
:D
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Postby Tiahaar » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:50 pm

Yowsa! 2 amazing projects here, I'm loving the new diesel Contraption and the 40' mazda BiggerBoat! You guys are keeping it going and keeping me dreaming while all my projects are on hold for a big move...shifting all stuff from studio, workyard, 2 storage garages, and vehicle lot into one new location.

So are we looking at a hardpack playa year after this rainy winter? crossing fingers for good biking/contraption rolling.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu May 06, 2010 8:02 pm

Elliot, I love the Bigger Boat project. And I hope your move goes as smoothly as possible, Tiahaar. Lots has happened in the past days. I’ll give a quick update on things and then some photos, sparing you the longwinded stuff for later.

Here’s the list:

* Painted the Aluminum cooling tank and it’s corresponding Aluminum engine plate to mimic rusty steel.

* Completed the copper cover for the cooling tank.

* Fabricated a fuel tank more fitting of the style, beat it up, fixed the holes from beating it up, then painted it all a nice antique-looking olive green.

* Completed the guard for the lower pulley.

* Finished and installed a gauge mount.

* Machined up a new banjo bolt to accept a fitting for an oil pressure gauge.

* Did some trouble shooting on the clutch linkage and added some length to it.

* Painted the engine a nice red color.

* Antiqued everything newly painted with a wash of thinned down black paint (Thanks BBSue!!) and it worked very well.

* Sewed up canvas covers for the rubber hoses out of an old pair of work pants.

* And I’m sure there’s a few more things I’m missing at the moment.




Here’s a pic showing the engine and all it’s accompanying parts. I think the engine is starting to get a sort of WWI feel to it, which is actually fine with me:


Image



And here’s the copper cover for the cooling tank, including a sloppily brazed patch. Note the lid that covers the open top to direct the steam off to the side rather than up into the engineer’s face.


Image



And a pic showing how the lid opens to allow checking/adding water:


Image
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu May 06, 2010 8:07 pm

Oh, and I had some test-run issues with the transmission and have had to dive into a bit of a redesign for part of it. However, this must wait to be documented later. Hopefully over the weekend.
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Postby Elliot » Thu May 06, 2010 8:21 pm

:D
You are certainly becoming a master of the art of "antiquing"! The only thing that seems to be missing is a few blasts of birdshot -- like I've heard they do with wooden furniture. And then there is woodgrain painting, where one craftsman told me the secret ingredient in the paint was Coca Cola. :lol:

The canvas hose covers are a nice touch!

I have no idea yet how Bigger Boat is going to turn out. I'll concentrate on making it function, and then -- as you or somebody said -- as for decor, we'll see what it "wants to be".
:D
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Postby unjonharley » Fri May 07, 2010 7:43 am

la Black Cat,

That is truely a wounderful pile of junk you have assembled.. As a child,were you ever punished for making a mess like that??
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri May 07, 2010 9:33 pm

I made plenty of junk-piles in my youth. Never punished for it though, thankfully. The old farm had been there long before my family and had a reasonable supply of stuff to work with. In fact my grandfather, who was a primary influence upon me, encouraged it more than anything. I made huts in the woods with fallen branches. Explored lots of rock formations and deep dark hollers.

Wow, I just remembered something very cool that had been tucked away in my memory since I was probably ten or twelve. There was an upright piano in the log barn on the place where I grew up. It had come out of the farm house and been placed there for storage by the previous occupants. Several floods took their toll on the old thing and it was decided at some point by one of the adults (likely my grandfather) that the fun and proper thing to do would be to drag it out into the field and set it on fire.

I guess I've been doing these sort of things longer than I had remembered.
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Postby wraith » Sat May 08, 2010 1:30 am

Looking good, Black Cat! Loving the dent pattern on that cooling tank cover, definitely looks like it's been down the road and back a few thousand times!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Mon May 10, 2010 8:43 pm

Thanks wraith! I ran it underneath the planishing hammer to give it a nice hail-storm look. Being copper, it should age nicely too. I’ve just got to get some rust on that new portion of the flywheel cover.





You know, making something from the ground up can be a tiresome task sometimes. As much figuring as you put into it, there is still an enormous amount of trial and error, especially so when the project is basically your hobby and not your day to day field of expertise.

There was an issue with the transmission during an actual test run, (meaning forward powered motion for short bursts). I noticed that it started having lots of trouble shifting back into first gear and stopped to investigate, finding that the entire sprocket seemed to be very tight on the shaft where it before freewheeled nicely. This meant it had to be disassembled and gone through to find the issue. Below is what I found:


Image




This is a picture of the transmission shaft right where first gear rides. If you look you can see a small indented outline in the shape of the sliding key. I had worried about this happening with the shaft not being heat treated, but with no tool steel handy, I took my chances. The torque of the engine bearing down on such a small area pulled the key into the wall of the keyway and the shaft had to push out because of this, displacing steel into the way of the spinning sprocket. The binding situation caused some galling that you can see on the shaft as well.

So this meant back to the drawing board where I reverted to another idea from Elliot, that being using premade couplings (the kind used to connect motor shafts to other items). The space I had to work with was limited so these particular items could not be used… but the same idea could. So I thought it out and came up with a sliding coupling that uses four dogs rather than one small key, effectively spreading the load over more surface area. The sliding coupling is locked to the shaft at all times with a long ¼â€
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Postby Elliot » Tue May 11, 2010 11:55 am

:D
Nice work, Cat!

Same part(s) from a Formula 1 race car of a few decades ago. Thinner, larger diameter, more "dogs", but same concept:

Image
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Postby Elliot » Tue May 11, 2010 12:01 pm

:D
Went to a local car show Saturday. This trend is still not dead:

Image
:D
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue May 11, 2010 6:14 pm

Great old rusty pile. I guess I'm crazy, but I so see the potential in it.

Wait... by "trend" do you mean this is something you acquired?
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Postby Elliot » Tue May 11, 2010 6:37 pm

:D

No, no.... Wrong on both counts. The owner considers that car FINISHED!

It actually runs. He took great care to preserve the dry rust when he assembled it. The frame has radical modifications to get the cab down on the ground.

They call them rat rods.
:D
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 11, 2010 6:51 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Nice work, Cat!

Same part(s) from a Formula 1 race car of a few decades ago. Thinner, larger diameter, more "dogs", but same concept:


come on, Elliot. You know there's no dogs on the playa.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Tue May 11, 2010 7:31 pm

Cats and Dogs!!

Har Har

When I rode, though I had a chopper, I always was intrigued by the rat bikes. Bet you’d have never guessed it, huh? I once saw a guy on a busted-ass old knucklehead that looked like it was about to fall apart. But as he kicked it over, it ran like a top.
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Postby Elliot » Tue May 11, 2010 7:35 pm

:D
Some of these guys "antique" the edges of new gaskets so the engine looks like it has never been apart.
:D
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Tue May 11, 2010 11:04 pm

Ah, Le Chat! The Conniption continues to amaze and astound! Love all of the new work and your incredible machining is a sight to behold! Definitely don't want to miss out on a ride this year!!!
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Postby LeChatNoir » Wed May 12, 2010 6:24 pm

Thanks, doggy!

By the standards of my Tool & Die roots, the surface finishes are a bit rough in places, but the numbers that need to be there are there. Good enough for something that the playa will rust up in one week
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu May 13, 2010 9:13 pm

This evening I received a very high compliment from an artist who lives across the road. He’s been around these parts for about four years or so, but has only lived directly across the road for a couple of those. Since moving here with his family, they’ve all begun to make a home in our small rural community. His early work has focused primarily on abstract expressionism, with circles and spiraling ellipses being the predominant form in the composition, however recently he has been making a move towards realism while still utilizing the skills developed with the abstract work, This might seem an odd thing for some in the Art World™, but for this fellow it seems to fit.

So after seeing The Contraption for the first time the other day, he seemed quite interested and enjoyed examining the workings of it, even sitting in the drivers seat, but I did not realize how much of an impression the experience had made until an item was delivered to me tonight as I was machining up a part for the reverse mechanism. Below is a photograph of the object of my story, a first rate piece of art that has immediately become a part of our permanent collection:
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Postby LeChatNoir » Thu May 13, 2010 9:13 pm

...









Image



That’s either me or Karine to the right. No long curly hair so it could be me, but there’s no goatee either, so it could be Karine. Regardless I noticed he made sure to include a leather apron (including pocket). And I’m particularly fond of what appears to be a big fire-blastin’ tailpipe.
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Postby karine » Thu May 13, 2010 9:17 pm

I totally gave him a "high five" for that one!
What a drawing !
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Postby ibdave » Thu May 13, 2010 9:32 pm

LeChatNoir wrote:This evening I received a very high compliment from an artist who lives across the road. He’s been around these parts for about four years or so, but has only lived directly across the road for a couple of those. Since moving here with his family, they’ve all begun to make a home in our small rural community. His early work has focused primarily on abstract expressionism, with circles and spiraling ellipses being the predominant form in the composition, however recently he has been making a move towards realism while still utilizing the skills developed with the abstract work, This might seem an odd thing for some in the Art World™, but for this fellow it seems to fit.

So after seeing The Contraption for the first time the other day, he seemed quite interested and enjoyed examining the workings of it, even sitting in the drivers seat, but I did not realize how much of an impression the experience had made until an item was delivered to me tonight as I was machining up a part for the reverse mechanism. Below is a photograph of the object of my story, a first rate piece of art that has immediately become a part of our permanent collection:



Such a Great Story and You Tell It So Well..... 8) 8) 8)
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 14, 2010 9:39 am

Just be really careful about standing behind that fire blasting tail pipe.
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri May 14, 2010 9:57 am

Since the smokestack/flame effect isn't currently mounted, I guess he took some artistic liberty in his vision of the placement.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 14, 2010 10:04 am

Those artists. always with the interpretation...
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri May 14, 2010 5:10 pm

Quick post tonight…

You may remember a post a while back detailing the rough layout of the reverse gearing. Here is the reverse gear mechanism, almost ready to be bolted on and tested out:

Image
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