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Stories and Fiction • Re: Diving in head first….sort of.

March 26, 2017 DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE 0
rebnavy1862 wrote:
Too back Aunt Bee isn’t still on the forum to give you advice.
Reb
Hint, hint Aunt Bee, in case you are lurking

Seems Aunt Bee’s last post was right before I joined back in Nov….Too bad.

I didn’t think I’d get much of a reply here as I requested writer help on a prepper forum but it was worth a shot….I got some good info to start with online elsewhere but was interested to have a preppers outlook from a writing perspective. Self-education 101 here I come….

Thank you though for chiming in here Reb. I’ll make sure let you guys tear me apart with something I write after I think it’s worthy enough to post in prepper fiction….lol

Happy Sunday Reb. :thumbup:

Statistics: Posted by DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE — Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:32 am


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Stories and Fiction • Diving in head first….sort of.

March 25, 2017 DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE 0

So….I’ve been told over and over that I should become a writer. I think I’ve finally hit that point in my life where I’m going to give this a go.

I’ve adamantly been reading fiction all my life(2-4 books a month) and understand the draw it has for me. I know I’ll be writing fiction in a PAW/techno thriller/sci-fi type genre…that seems to be my personal passion and I do know I have the imagination for it.

I’ve already studied the financial/publication side of things and publication will not be an issue now with the advent of EBook’s to gauge reader feedback.

So, being the research NUTJOB that I am I’m studying plot and character development now but don’t want to do what I usually do in these situations and just dive right in…from what I have studied so far the number 1 rule is to just WRITE…Every day, Write.

This is going to be [url]for personal gratification[/url]primarily but I will be attempting to monetize it at some point for additional income stream/self-reliance.

3 questions for anyone here with experience writing please….

1…any quick start advice? anything you would avoid doing if you had to start out for your first time all over again?

2…do you agree that L.O.C.K. drives the [url]majority[/url] of a commercial plot novels that connects with the reader?

3…have you ever ghost written for others?

Thanks in advance….

(hat tip to Cast Iron here…your recent submission has kicked me in my A$$ to stop thinking about it and just do it…down the rabbit hole I go :thumbup: )

Statistics: Posted by DR1VENbyKNOWLEDGE — Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:14 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 14, 2017 rj5156 0

Solid modeling, 3D drawing, the latest generation of computer aided drawing is here to stay. Link gives an overview and more. The applications range from personal to architectural, gaming and virtual reality, industrial, mechanical, artistic and much more I am sure. It is free to start and even develop some level of real proficiency. Worth a look at job markets and projected growth in various fields but these are skills that have value in the job market.

Very good review of types of programs on the site linked below, what each does best and many are free especially at the beginner level. Lot of free tutorials out there too. If you are looking for a job change it might be for you? Even if you can take a course someplace a solid background going in that door means a lot more education for your money. Start simple. Build on that. Most folks can do this if taken one step at a time. Here’s the link:

https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/finding-the-right-3d-modeling-software-for-you

A field trip through conventional CAD drawing at some point would be a good idea for anyone who finds interest in this. I would be downloading at least basic free versions if I had kids of any age and making a game of learning to use it.

Not my area of interest or expertise, just sharing about jobs I am seeing people doing.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:56 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 14, 2017 rj5156 0

I really appreciate the tips Handyman! We are just a couple fabricators who did not have sense enough to say no to this. It went remarkably well but the next one will go much better using your suggestions. Thank you.

Hubby is the welder. I can do it but not like that!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:53 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 13, 2017 handyman777 0

Just a thought:::on your drilling and tapping–I use crisco (cheap and goes a long way), not cutting oil or tapping fluid, not as messy works great and extends the life of the tap. Drilling – koolmist deluded w/water just enough so your parts don’t rust. As I’m sure you know—I start the tap in reverse in the hole so it finds center and then put it forward and tap the hole, also I counter sink or chamfer the hole (first before I tap) so the tap can find home and there is no burr when the tap comes out.
If I have many holes to do I use a cordless drill and a chamfering tool to do this-You can get these in high speed steel or carbide $$$ which works good on stainless.
Who ever is doing the welding, Nice Work, It looks real neat and professional.
just my 2 cents.

Statistics: Posted by handyman777 — Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:55 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 13, 2017 rj5156 0

Our herb wine experiment did not work as planned. Looks like we should have added the sugar in small amounts over time. Been doing some research. Need to know how much sugar and alcohol we do have. (Already checked the pH and we are well in the safe range.) We can get the alcohol percentage with what we have. Sugar level was a bit more of a challenge. Found help here:

https://www.education.com/science-fair/ … r-in-soda/

Close is good enough for this. Once we know what we have I may join one of the wine making sites and ask questions. No point in doing that until we have all the info.

We tried adding a yeast culture and putting it back in the airlocked jugs. Nope. Might do better running a second primary ferment? (Dump it in a bucket add yeast and throw a towel over it so it can get air.)

Hmmm. At some point starting over will be the sensible answer. Don’t think we are there yet?

May try a small batch with the ginger bug and see what it does. The wine tests about right for a strong beer now. We were going for a higher alcohol percentage so we can do an extract of the same medicinal herbs the wine was made with and do some comparative analysis testing on the results.

The question being can we make shelf-stable medicinal herb extracts that have a comparable quantity of the medicinal plant constituents to commercial products. Be a lower alcohol percentage than commercial alcohol based extracts and I wonder if that mattters in the end product.

Note that it is also entirely possible that the antifungal chemicals in the herbs are just killing the yeast. We knew this going into it. Another round or two of experiments will sort this out if we fail to progress with this one.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:38 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

I want to talk about one of my new friends. It has been many years since I had the privilege of working with a black person. Think about that for a minute. There have been no women and no blacks in my work world for most of my life. Couple exceptions in the military that proved the rule.

I always ask people what it is like for them to be different. I generally ask louder than they are comfortable with and my questions make EVERYONE uncomfortable. Naturally I asked this gentleman. He was good enough to share the best of his life story with me, I understood that much was edited out because I know exactly how people behave.

I asked him particularly if he believed that the world would be better for his grandkids than it has been for him. He just shook his head… Just broke my heart because while I DO know we are killing black men and harassing them and putting more of them in prison because – let us do be honest here – we prefer that to giving them real opportunities in the job market, I hoped it was getting better.

I have obtained interest – and considerable excitement – from the wonderful folks we are working with, to bring our children to see what building processes look like, from start to finish. I am going to try to schedule this adventure with the black gentleman’s grandkids. I think a good dose of hope and something to aspire to might really help them deal with the everyday unfairness the just live with because they look different. I know what it did for me and I’ll touch on that later.

I hope that the kids who REALLY want to see what we are doing, the ones who are excited about it and believe in dreams rub off some on kids who have learned that dreams are for other people, not them. I know I can’t do a whole lot about the social injustices in our culture. I learned this by trying. I cannot even get a reply when I write my paid representatives and ask that police be given cameras to record what happens when they are interacting with citizens.

I also know that we have 5.8 million unfilled skilled-labor jobs in our country TODAY. With a population growth rate under 1 percent we do not just need people like us, doing the things we do. We need to be reaching out to kids and finding the ones who have the gift of mechanical inclination and nurturing them like the rare treasures they are. We need to get them started learning and doing in ways that are fun and rewarding to them. We need to raise them and the time to start doing it is passing quickly. Remember our skilled work force is now in their 50s or working well beyond retirement age.

I do know I can teach the children. I plan to ask my friend how he thinks we can involve HIS grandkids. I need to believe it can be a better place for us all or I will just go work at a fast food joint. If it can get better for me – and it sure has – I think I can believe enough for all of us?

Pray for us. We dare to dream really big. We still think we can…

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:34 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Think I am going to take a little break from re-living a bunch of hard work and talk about what it is like to be doing it.

I have a lot of apprehension about working in my field. I particularly do NOT like to let the public into my shop, or even folks we need for business purposes, like that jerk that picked up an assembly some time ago who argued with me about whether he could stand in our shop watching Brian weld without any protection. I like leaving our shops even less. I have resisted going to Louisville to work because of a long history of very bad treatment professionally.

Brian promised me it would be fine. That everyone would not gather around and stare at me as I worked and talk about “the girl doing _____…” like I was not even a person who was present. He’s been working on me a long time and I am sure he has been working FOR me on the other end too.

I am glad I went. Everyone was very nice, trotted out their best manners even when they obviously had a little trouble getting their head around me just being there doing what I do. Of COURSE people stared, they cannot seem to help it, but they had the grace to do it unobtrusively and never gathered in a group to talk about me in my presence.

I am aware that WHAT I was doing was every bit as astonishing to most folks present as was the fact that I was doing it of course. More about that later.

It took a few days to get past good manners – and I very much appreciated the good manners! Folks started asking questions about the process, and ya’ll know how I just love to talk about process! There was so much happening around me that I wanted to know about too, I’d never seen electricians wiring one of our builds, or talked to people who installed them, or seen the larger assemblies going together. I had a lot of questions myself and process people just love to talk about processes!

I was not the only female in the work area. This has only happened a couple times over my life. A VERY talented German lady does the 3-D cad drawings and extrapolates the drawings we need to work with from them. I am pretty interested in that, and in what she thinks about the refugee situation in her country and what she thinks about our culture as compared to her own. She grew up in East Berlin and we talked about when the wall came down. We took off like a freight train and I don’t think we’ll slow down!

By the second week I heard the first profanity. Big thud, and bad words came out. I’ve heard all that before and been known to say it too. Trying to keep my potty mouth cleaned up for the sake of the cockatoo who repeats those words immediately! They were getting used to me;)

By the third week I was just one of the guys. We were all getting to know each other and I like everyone I met very much.

Then someone walked in the shop to make a delivery or consult on something. He was visibly shocked to see me. But there was a layer of professionals between him and me. He did not have an opportunity to bring his shock over to make me uncomfortable. He did stare. But he kept his distance and he kept his mouth shut.

I can live with that.

Better yet, our kids are welcome! We can bring our youngest friends in to see how it all works. We are always building on more than one level and this is the most important one to me. The associations we can help our young friends make are how to change the world and this is the REASON we do this. Building opportunity, building our future.

Brian has had a key to the place pressed on him. It always happens eventually. We resist because we know what comes next but perhaps this round it will be a good thing. Remember one of the benefits I have never enjoyed working in my field is using the company shop time? Once I am signed off to the owner’s satisfaction on various processes, weekend and evening projects using some pretty darned spiffy equipment are suddenly available to me.

Wow. I had kind of set those things aside in pursuit of a far greater goal. Comes around and goes around again on many levels it seems.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:17 pm


:wave:

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

We are always building at more than one level. There are now FIFTEEN full-time jobs at the start-up company in Kentucky that we are building with, featuring nice benefits, that pay well above what most available jobs are paying. Not counting three full-time independent contractors (we count as one) and a nice handful of part-time jobs that suit the folks doing them. We did not do this alone but it could not have happened without us either. We know this for sure because we do the rework for other places that have tried. Sigh.

There are also at least 2-4 new jobs in OUR state, at a couple fab shops that understand and comply with Equal Opportunity laws. Not in our tax base but at least they are in our state.

We have invested years of our lives, sometimes worked for free, and moved much of our shop to Kentucky to do it. We’ve worked longer hours than you would believe for as much as a year straight without a break. We have put this first because we believe it is needed so badly. This is why our home remains unfinished, our shops are about as collected as a soup sandwich and we often live in a state of barely contained chaos. It is worth it.

We have tried to bring this to our tax base. We might have had to make some hard choices if we had succeeded there first. Fortunately other local business owners and our politicians in Indiana have made the choice for us so we have just focused on what we could do.

We are growing it now. There WILL be more jobs to come. The folks investing sweat equity in this get the first shot at the jobs. That’s how it works in real life.

We are all very proud of this. Everyone involved is heavily invested, works a lot of hours when needed, brings their own tools and equipment to work and shares it.

I hear a lot of talk about building our economy and making our nation great but I don’t hear much talk about the folks building it. We work with some absolutely amazing people. Together we ARE building economy. We are sure proud to be part of it.

Edit to add:

The machines we are building may lose some dangerous jobs. Recall people can be killed putting whiskey barrels together. I do not count those jobs as a loss. These machines also CREATE some higher paying jobs. Believe me the jobs operating these machines do not pay minimum wage. There are also new jobs maintaining the machines that pay quite well. More jobs for people to install the machines. The ripple effect is not something I can measure but it is real and I know it is happening.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:14 pm


:wave:

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Rambo waited a long time for spot to return. He knows we are doing it. He begs us for it. Smokey did not forget spot either. She was still watching the next morning.

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I humored her of course.

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She is SURE she can get it!

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We spend a fair amount of time entertaining our critters. We play broom, chase, stalk and bounce, catch and toss and lots of other fun games with them. Smoky just hadn’t played this game before. Everyone else had though and they ALL love it!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:44 am


:wave:

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Now Smokey hangs out watching for spot.

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Cleo is helping Smoky watch for spot. A beloved spring toy is dead to them since spot showed up.

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Rambo ADORES spot! He can hear it click on from the other end of the house and comes racing to chase it. Sometimes have to remind him to share spot with his cats. He’s trying to bite it off the floor here.

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Smokey has a plan. Since spot always goes under the cabinet, she is ready to pounce it when it retreats!

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:39 am


:wave:

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian realized Smoky had never played spot so he got a laser toy. Smoky loves it! Brian runs it under the old metal cabinet by our stove when he is tired of it. Now Smoky thinks it lives there and is keeping all the pet hair cleaned out for us. We cannot figure how she gets under a 4 3/4 inch tall cabinet.

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Looks like we could use a mop here. Maybe we could wet Smoky down and she’d take care of that too?

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Bear is helping Smoky watch for Spot.

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Drat! Lost it again.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:34 am


:wave:

Stories and Fiction • Welding Fixtures

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

We spend a lot of time doing setup for batches of parts. Small runs are not worth building permanent fixtures. Building something often requires building a setup first.

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Just a few parts don’t rate building a permanent fixture. Sometimes that cannot be avoided but in this case stacking and clamping got the job done.

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I took him some coffee. He obviously needed it! Another view of the temporary fixture in the background.

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Pile of finished parts, uniformity assured!

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:26 am


:wave:

Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Still old news. Below is a post from February 23rd. I used Facebook to keep enough notes that I would remember the details when I got time to edit, resize and upload all the photos to share here.

You guys come after feeding and clothing ourselves, and sleep, but before pretty much everything else by the way. I really do get updates posted here as soon as it is reasonably possible. Housework beyond the minimum necessary level will wait. Brian and I both have decided it is very important to share about what we are doing and why we are doing it. As usual, the what comes first, and then we talk about why. We might be halfway there now? Got another whole batch of pictures to edit, resize and upload. See how far I get today.

It is an honor and a privilege to do the level of work we have been sharing here. We labored for many years to get to this point and it was one of our shared goals to do exactly this. We have only just begun. We still have goals for education and economic opportunity. We needed to have this level of work first and we definitely are there now.

I am exhausted and sore and still running a low-grade fever but I feel pretty good about what Brian and I have already accomplished toward our long-term goals by working together. I think this was the hard part. I expect the rest of our goals to be far easier to reach. It will take time and sweat but we still think we can.

I would still love to be able to send some of the work we are involved in to shops in our community, our tax base. This is a big part of what we were working for. If anyone knows any local fab shop owners that understand and comply with Equal Opportunity laws I would like to speak with them. At this point they are going to need to reach out to me about this. My public facebook page is a good place for them to do this. Everyone who has been with us for any length of time and knows the background understands why. I would be interested in taking any local fab shop owner to lunch to discuss this in a public place.

Brian may still be too angry about past problems with how I have been treated to participate at this point. He is a big guy though and with a little time and some good experiences he will get completely over it. General fabrication work is being sent as far as South Carolina for some of the work we have been sharing about. There has been far more work than we want or can do with BOTH of our shops running flat-out and we do not want or have time for that. We prefer to diversify the work we bring to our shops.

If anyone knows of ANY fab shop that might like to bid on work as needed for the builds we are working on that is in compliance with Equal Opportunity laws I would love to hear about them?

Edit to add. We are doing the gnarly stuff. Just decent tolerance general fab work is all that is needed. Getting it done right and on time is what matters.

We DID get one shop referral from this post! Not needed them yet but I filed that back and saved it.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:18 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Pallets of parts are all lined up. Five separate builds and one re-build on a very old machine going on, in various stages. Some of this will go to a museum at a local distillery. I’ll share details on that when I get them.

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The machine I wish I was using to do all this drilling and tapping. Not enough open floor space to get the tubes through. Pity.

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Remember Checkers, the shop cat at Stamler? He has his routine down now. He makes his rounds getting handouts from everyone. Brian is treating him for ear mites. Checkers is NOT grateful. More on that later.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:01 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian is clamping his end. I am sighting down the edge where the skirt meets the blade on my square. Due to the hemming process the metal is not entirely flat. Often Brian held my end down as I clamped it. All hands required and it is good that we like each other very much for this kind of work.

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All tucked in at the end of the day. Ya’ll have seen the drill and tap routine already.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:50 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Using a real center punch. Place point in little divot made by transfer punch. Smack this one HARD with a hammer. It is frowned upon to beat on the transfer punch. Good point to keep in mind if using a borrowed transfer punch! Better one if using your own.

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Rare series – and maybe ONLY pics of Brian and I working together. Thanks Jake!!! Usually it is just us. No one present to take pics of us both.

Here we are roughly aligning a skirt section. I LOVE my double-layer, “relaxed fit” logger jeans! Very comfy. Much easier to work in since we spend a fair amount of time crawling around and contorting into position.

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Getting Brian’s end dead-on. I am holding that second square against my end so it is very close too.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:46 am


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Layout

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Three lengths of “skirt” go on the side of each tube, end to end. These are safety guards. This is a nice trick. A square is held against the side of a squared object. Pencil placed at the end of the ruler blade. With just a little practice the whole thing can be held together as it slides down the length. Puts a line at a pre-set measurement.

A second square (both shown in next pic) was then placed on the other side of the tube and carefully adjusted so the blade touched the first one. Now we have a way to measure exactly from both sides of our tube.

The tubes have notes written on them so we don’t put the skirts on the wrong side. Good practice at any age. Better one at ours!

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First skirt section is placed on the lines and clamped down. Like sewing silk. It creeps.

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The skirts have holes in them. We need matching holes in the tube – and of course the holes need threads so bolts can go through the skirt, into the threaded hole in the tube. Using a transfer punch to lightly mark the hole centers here. The punch has a point in the center. Tap it with a hammer to make a divot in the metal. Skirt metal is a bit thin for this but it works fine with practice – on a non-critical hole.

If it was critical tolerance we could put a drilled block with the same size hole, over the hole in the skirt. Line both holes up with a round stick of metal that is flat on the end and then transfer punch it through the block AND the skirt. It would then be perfect, or close to it.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:40 am


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Continued

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

A random shot. What it really looks like! You can see the “skirts” for the next step on the table. 5 feet long or so? 6 of them total.

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Three of the “skirts” stacked. Next pic clarifies further.

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1/8 inch thick with a half inch hem. Just like sewing! Makes the material stiffer.

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Recall the tubes have been welded together. Taking them back apart here.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:36 am


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Continued

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Putting the drill bit in the chuck.

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Drilling it out. Tapped the hole. Took out 99 bolts. Removed the second rail.

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Brian is knocking off any sharp burrs before we left it to go to lunch here. Keeping everyone safe. I do not love the grinder. Brian makes it look small but it is pretty big for me and he got the model with extra power. I like my little grinders. Appropriately sized tools are safest. Naturally they are not at Stamler where I need them. Story of our lives with tools strung all the way from Louisville, through Salem and nearly to Brownstown where we live…

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:31 am


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Continued

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Turning the corner took a couple hours. Even with all the labor saving tricks, it takes time to move EVERYTHING around. Prep and setup time is always time well-spent. I worked hard for safety, taped my electric cord to the floor so no one could trip over it. I keep everything totally CLEAN. Metal chips get slick and crud up the base of the mag drill, compromising accuracy. I tweaked the drill around on it’s base to get a bigger contact are for the magnet. Should help spread out over problem areas and improve accuracy. I can drill just a little faster too with more magnet to push against.

We bid this at 15 minutes per hole. If I have every single item, chuck key, transfer punch, drill bit, tap, bolts, ratchet, rubber mallet, vacuum, air hose and rags oriented exactly the same all the time I get one done in 5 1/2 minutes. I have a true gift for repetitive work and bid jobs are usually my dream world!

Had to un-tuck my shirt. I was getting drill chips in my socks. Yes. Really!

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There is a burr at the bottom of this hole on the right. Sometimes when a drill bit breaks through a hole it forms a round chip the size of the bit and often it hangs on by a little bit of metal. On a bad day this burr catches on the bit, rides up the spiral flute on the bit and jams sideways in the hole. I did not get a shot of that one, or the tool I used to remove it, note to self to take pic of deburring tool.

I figured out this had happened when my tap (a threading tool used so a bolt can screw in the hole) failed to start in a hole under its’ own steam. Removed tap put drill bit back in, re-drilled the hole. Removed drill bit and tried tap again. No go. VERY tempting to force the tap at this point. Great way to break off a tap. I took the tap out. Got a light. Saw the burr jammed in the hole. Removed the burr. Drilled the hole again.

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Tried the tap again. It slid right through.

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Last hole for the rails. Walking the mag drill in place. Transfer punch in the drill to line everything up perfectly before locking the drill down. Pays to check it is still lined up after locking it down too.

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I also broke a drill bit today. Felt it go with a little “ting”. Can’t HEAR with ear plugs in. It is all feeling through a hole I cannot see. Since I have broken drill bits before I knew what it meant and stopped, blew out the hole, replaced the bit and went on. There is much that must be learned the hard way. I was not abusing the drill bit. Who knows how or why it broke. Note to self to get pic of broken bit.

We have always allowed our young friends to break drill bits using a hand drill. It’s gonna happen. That is how I learned. Cheap lesson. I started out tapping by hand. I had never power tapped before this job. Dad did that and I did stuff he did not enjoy. Brian and I do this too. Just being around it is often enough.

I knew from seeing and doing many times to wipe the shank of tools to keep metal chips out of the drill chuck. To watch the tool a moment before starting it into a blind hole so I know it is running true. To ease pressure as a drill bit breaks through a hole. To clean chips out of a hole before tapping it. To allow the tap to pull through the hole rather than pushing it, especially under power. To support the drill handle as the tap is reversed out, ready the instant it clears the hole to pull it out so it does not damage the newly created threads.

A hundred little things no one thinks to tell a beginner, and telling does not help nearly so much as doing it demonstrates. It might look like a simple repetitive task but there is a lot of experience behind a simple job here. Another one would be DO NOT TRY THIS WITH JUST ANY TAP!!! Use a spiral point tap, intended for power tapping!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:21 am


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Accuracy Issues

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Bit out of order here. Had a LOT of trouble holding accuracy yesterday. Here I am using a heavy straight edge to check the tube before moving the drill forward. Trying to show the cup in the tube surface.

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Rectangular tube is NOT perfect. The long sides are generally bowed out, the entire length often runs on a twist, tolerances are pretty lenient due to limitations of the manufacturing process. It starts it’s life as ROUND tubing and is squished and forced into the rectangle (or square). This process is not noted for producing consistent results. We are using one tube as a base for the drill as we work on the second tube.

I hit a hump on the tube I had the drill on. ALL of the holes were landing such that the bolts were nearly touching one side of the generously oversized holes in the rail. I did not have three thousandths to spare and if it had gotten any tighter we would have faced MAJOR problems. Should have gotten pics but I was sweating it and focused on making a bad situation work. We double checked everything and it was definitely the tube humping. I squeezed every step of the process for accuracy, gritted my teeth and pressed on.

I COULD have compensated and sent the slop another direction but decided it was better to keep it all going the same direction. With ALL the tight bolts against the same side of the holes in the rail, the entire rail could be nudged a few thousandths to the east to spare us a big ugly job if it got too tight to get a bolt in. If any of them was off the other direction this would not have worked. The difficult section was fairly short. Here I am past it.

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The accuracy issues I described are far bigger than MY challenges. Someone made these rails and they had a tolerance they could work within too. We have seen that a pile of parts, all within specified tolerances, might not go together at all.

If one rail is + five thousandths and another is – five thousandths, they will NOT be interchangeable! So we stamp them for the installation crew. We KNOW the parts will fit when they have to go together in the field. The folks who put the machines together in place are in and out working on things so we do get a chance to talk to them. They know we care about their problems. We can get good feedback from them when it matters – BEFORE we do something that might cause them problems later.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:11 am


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Alignment Process

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Back to the drill and tap series.

All done with the first rail! Taking out 99 bolts to get it out of the way.

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Holes deburred on the first side. Both rail sections in place on the second one. Three bolts in each section for alignment.

Machinist’s gauge block at each end, against the side of the rail. Mig welding wire pulled very tight on the side of the blocks.

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This was all lined up at the very beginning, and one hole was drilled and tapped at each end and in the middle. Here we are using those holes to get started. Once the wire is stretched over the blocks we have something we can measure! Once it is dead-on perfect the bolts are torqued down.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:38 am


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Stories and Fiction • BIG torque wrench

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

2,250 pounds of torque. Almost as long as I am tall! I will try to get pics of someone using it. That will not be me! Obviously all I ever do is take pictures;)

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My hand for scale.

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Brian holding the 1/2 inch socket used to adjust the torque.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:04 am


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Stories and Fiction • Really cool build series! 5

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

A quarter inch goes IN the tube.

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Tacked. Weld cannot stick up past the top of the outside tube. Another tube goes over the inside piece and bolts in through that hole we needed to line up and it needs to sit square and flush.

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It is crucial to be supported and stable for this level of welding. It helps a good deal in ANY welding situation to be completely comfortable. Brian’s coffee cup happens to be a good height here.

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Completed weld.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:50 am


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Stories and Fiction • Really cool build series! 4

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

After welding the crack.

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All spiffed up!

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We need to find the center of the near end in this shot. This is a staged shot. Took all of our combined hands to hold everything perfectly in place. Once we got a scribed line on the top we transferred it down the inside. There is a hole in the part that fits inside here, and it has to line up.

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This the part that fits inside. It also needs to sit up a quarter inch or so. How we got it dead-on right and also got hold of it. Make more sense in the next pics. A groove was machined for the weld to sit in.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:15 am


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Stories and Fiction • Really cool build series! 3

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Perspective shot. The rail project I have been doing is behind the welding screen.

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If you are going to abuse V-blocks, might as well abuse magnetic V-blocks! No V-blocks were injured in this process;)

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Another view.

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Weld detail.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:05 am


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Stories and Fiction • Really cool build series! 2

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Tacked together here.

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Checking before finish welding.

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Where the parts go. One is shown near the bottom right on this machine. (It puts hoops on barrels.) I posted a link to an article about this particular build some time back.

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Preview of the pile of finished parts. Lefts and rights. Little out of order, this happened over a couple days.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:59 am


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Stories and Fiction • Really cool build series!

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

I am still going back and forth, riding the mag drill in the background, in between all the other stuff I’m posting about now. It took a very long time to do all those holes. We’ll get back to that but this was a specially neat job.

As usual getting it all lined up and holding it there is the hard part.

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The triangle part has to be put on before it is welded.

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Just because metal CAN be bent to a super-tight radius does not mean it should be… Need an after pic of the mend.

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Picola (sp?) Manufacturing in Sheperdsville Ky has some NICE equipment! This is 1/2 inch plate! They make some complex formed stuff with heavy material, we have seen 8 foot long bends in 5/8 plate. They do very nice work.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:48 am


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Stories and Fiction • Finding center of existing hole

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Needed a center for an existing hole to scribe a larger circle outside it. (This larger circle aligns a cylinder on the plate.) Since the part is square it is clamped to the corner of the bench. You can kind of squint out the layout lines on the table the part was lined up with. There were multiple parts so it paid to lay it out. Then we could just line it up with the lines on the table, with the center lines (the + in the middle of the circle) that we also measured and laid out on the table.

The center of the + has been center punched, leaving a little divot for the divider point to sit in. Clamp a larger piece of metal to the table first if you don’t want center punch divots in your table. Cardboard and tape works too for really light stuff.

There are ways to do this if the part is not square and / or has no edges to line up on too, we will show that again when we get another one.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:33 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Tweaking it in place usually involves hammers.

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This one took less than an hour. Loaded up

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and on it’s way!

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Some version of this setup is useful for woodworking too.

Bending metal is an art form. This series is not about bad work. We’re looking at 3/8 and 1/2 inch plate here. It takes a lot of tonnage to move this much metal. Metal is not consistent. There are softer and harder spots, and metal wants more than anything to creep too. Even on light material long bends often vary along the length. they want to bow out in the middle. Some love with a hammer while they are clamped firmly in the brake (the machine used to bend metal) can help lighter metal into alignment. The heavy stuff needs different treatment.

I would LOVE to see the machines used to form these parts! Might get to. It is being done locally.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:01 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Lot of stuff does not start out square. There is about a 1/16 inch gap on the right hand flange where it was bent just a little too far. One way to deal with that.

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Got it pulled down here.

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Better shot of the setup. The left side is done like the right one.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:51 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Random build shots. These go out for secondary machining. Boring inside of the hole to exact size, think the outside dimension gets turned or ground or something too. Gets a hole drilled cross-ways.

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We have no idea what they are for. Things come through pretty fast and the title on the print is not necessarily any help. It’s probably either part of the huge machine that is painted white or the other huge machine that is painted blue? Just another cool little job in our world.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:44 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 11, 2017 rj5156 0

Back. It’s been fun – and a great deal of hard work. Thought I was going to get caught here up yesterday but weather and signal did not cooperate. Perhaps I needed a down day to do some catch-up around the house and decompress from all the activity?

Still trying to keep it all roughly in order. It doesn’t happen in order of course. I drill and tap a while, measure and hold some, fetch stuff, work on something entirely different. Do my best with it.

Tried on Brian’s new welding helmet. Had to borrow his welding beanie too. Note to self, need beanies in gear bag. I like it. Room to wear a respirator in it. Lightweight. Good field of vision. People might have trouble telling us apart if we wear matching helmets though?

I have a lot of trouble finding gear to fit me. Most welding helmets sit up so high that I can’t even use my bifocals. I could use cheater lenses in the helmet or on my glasses but find this limiting. The distance range I am working in changes often and it slows me down and cramps my style to have to keep changing to accommodate this. I have found that helmets with a taller vision field are helpful to me.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:39 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 6, 2017 rj5156 0

Another perspective shot.

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End view of the machined, hardened rail the bolts go through.

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One rail done. Cleaned burrs off so no one would run a hand down it and get hurt. That might be me…

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The tubes are welded together. Working with the mag drill on one tube to drill holes in the other tube. This has some interesting results, more about that later.

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This was not the only thing I did of course, it just felt like it! I am enjoying it tremendously, hope it is fun for you too.

Got corned beef on with potatoes, cabbage, carrots and parsnips. Miles to go. I will get all our cool pics posted, the end is in sight on this particular project and they do NOT get to keep me. Remind me of that when…

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:32 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 6, 2017 rj5156 0

Why we need two of the mag drills. One is borrowed from a friend. We do share tools around a small network of trusted friends and this works out great for all of us. The other was purchased by the company we are contracting for. They try hard to play nicely.

We would have chosen a model with a morse taper instead of a chuck on the drill head if we had gotten it ourselves – but we would likely have shopped for a portable milling machine on a magnetic base instead. Nothing like being helped but it should be very useful for the folks who did buy it. They are kind of squeamish about borrowing our friends tools, can’t blame them for that.

They’ll be very happy with it. We got it all tweaked in right for them with this job. We are kind of looking for a used model of the portable milling machine but have not had any time to put into that lately.

We are NOT taking any drill presses out of the shop. Remind me I said this later when we end up hauling one down there. The mag drill is a lot more useful for much of what is needed at the moment. Brian and I have been doing different things for a couple weeks now, working pretty close together so we can help each other as needed.

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Aligning the drill roughly with the next hole location. I use a little rubber hammer to do the fine adjustments. Takes the magnet a moment to release. Bet I look funny hugging the drill, waiting for it to release. I hold it against my body when I push the top over to help release the magnetic force that lingers. Do not want to shove it over even if it does have a safety.

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A scale shot. The rectangular tubes are over twenty feet long, 1/2 inch thick walls (what I am drilling through), 6 inches wide, 14 inches tall.

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Remember Checkers? He is doing well, supervising everything and everyone. He has many people fully trained to bring his favorite cat treats. He sits and waits while they go get them too. Have to offer something pretty wonderful now, Checkers has too many choices to eat anything second-rate!

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:30 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 6, 2017 rj5156 0

Tighten the bolt down as much as I can. Just holding it together here, it has to come back apart for the next step. All 198 bolts.

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Little out of order here but this is a shot of the transfer punch used to align the drill with the holes each time. It is intended to reach down into holes and make a very accurate center punch divot to mark a hole. More about that later. Yeah, we’re abusing it some but not badly! We have a spare too. Just in case.

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You can see the little divot the transfer punch made in the hole here.

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Turn the speed up to full. Wipe everything down to get all metal shavings cleared. Release the magnet on the drill. Move everything down two inches. Start over.

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We bid the job at fifteen minutes a hole. Knew it wouldn’t take that long for each hole but if anything went wrong as things have so much potential to do in this process, we hoped it would cover that. No one else came in on a bid with the same number of zeros. Astronomical bids to do this one. If they even would bid on it. We figured they MEANT to bid themselves out of the running.

If I have every single item, chuck key, transfer punch, drill bit, tap, rag, wrench, air hose, vacuum, in the same place every time, I can do it in five and a half minutes. I have a gift for this kind of work and do not need to hurry to get really fast really quickly. This is my bid dream job. If it goes well.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:14 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

March 5, 2017 rj5156 0

Going to have to come back to this, later today I hope. Got a load of concrete slugs to unload and stack, need groceries and birdseed – and there is a little welding job waiting at the shop. Take longer to get there than it will to do the job so it isn’t going to be too bad.

GORGEOUS weather here today! Nice day for a short outing:)

Note to self, ready for drilli.

I copy links to pic series as I upload them and save that in a document so I can make posts without fighting photobucket. Some days it is almost a lost cause, trying to use that site.

I got lots of useful process shots to share. Won’t begin to get them all done today. More of the same to do yet and it’s long, hard days. Weekdays we use all that food we have stored frozen so we get good meals and do well to get enough sleep.

I’ll edit this out when I get back to the series. Hope ya’ll get out to enjoy the day today!

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:30 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Series

March 5, 2017 rj5156 0

Note I am using a safety for the work, overhead shop crane to catch the mag drill if I forget to engage the magnet. It isn’t just expensive, if it lands on my foot as most things do when I drop them, It is HEAVY! We did not use it for the first photo series. We got over that later.

Removed transfer punch from drill chuck. Putting drill bit in chuck. Metric bolts, fine thread, roughly equivalent to 1/2 inch fine thread bolts. The bit is sized for the tap, that cuts the threads. We got plenty of drill bits and a couple extra taps ahead of time.

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Checking the bit in the hole before turning the drill on. Every time.

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Turn the drill on and watch the bit. Make sure it is running true BEFORE it goes in the hole. Every time. Drill the hole.

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Vacuum up chips. Every time. Stray chips can get under the magnet that holds the drill and destroy accuracy.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:03 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Drill and Tap with Mag Drill Series

March 5, 2017 rj5156 0

The reason I finally broke down and got a gear bag is I am not willing to take any basic equipment out of either shop. I need a welding helmet on the welder. I need my gloves on top of it, and my safety gear right there too. If I take a helmet from here and gloves from there I cannot do ANYTHING at either shop without running back and forth. Not going there.

Here we go. This is going to be long. The process is useful.

This entire process is repeated for each hole. 198 of them in this particular round. More to come. The reason we got this particular job is that no one else wanted it. I find that interesting. I enjoy this kind of work and I can do it all day. Machinists and fabricator alike are HORRIFIED by the process. I will get in to the economics later but it does pay out handsomely to do this.

I am chucking up a transfer punch in the mag drill. I use this to align the drill with each hole. It fits almost exactly in the holes.

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A wider view of the setup. Love the longer handles and chuck key!!! Much easier for a smaller person.

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Getting into rough position.

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Just getting the punch in the hole is not close enough. Each hole has a little center punch divot in it that the transfer punch center needs to hit. If it is off even a couple thousandths I can feel the punch rub the wall of the hole in the rail (top piece). Once it is perfect, I lock the drill magnet down and check it again. Sometimes the surface the magnet is sitting on pulls the drill out of alignment. This would be a huge problem if I did not check every time before drilling.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Sun Mar 05, 2017 1:52 pm