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Friday, January 30, 2009

Pressing On

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Finally I'm doing the final mock up, after all those late nights trying to rig the darn thing in the computer. Only to encounter what I feared at one point: setting the die to follow a perfect vertical line will render the whole thing useless. I was stumped hitting a wall at full speed. I didn't bother to do my simulations and assumed it was a perfect design that I failed to pay attention to function. I was already set back with the previous diameter/radius issue, and now this. Now It's back to the drawing board and a good simulation is in order.

The brute is friggin' heavy. As in insanely heavy. The seriousness of the situation of handling it made itself known to me when the hydraulic base swung down on my thumb knuckle and it swelled immediately, opening a gaping cut. Be careless with this thing and you'll be sorry. I was.

Taking notes on what was wrong with it and kicking myself in the head as I went along, I found three. Wow. There were hundreds of measurements in this thing and out of all those I made only three mistakes. In this case, a booboo costs money, some thousands but not that filthy, to correct. Yet it's the not the goal but the journey that's important. I have learned so many things while I was doing the design, and now lots more that I've encountered its flaws. Move this in, make that longer, angle this a bit.. yes costly, but priceless none the less.

And still it costs less than spending $$ on a post order bender from the states. Make one of my own is my rule. Even the notcher is now on the roll. WSC prides itself in BUILDING things, not ordering overseas or job outs to other builders and claiming it as my own. I embrace failure, it is my greatest teacher.

Quick cash shops will eventually hit a wall, and without seasoned knowledge and experience stemming from personal learning, because they have their products done outside, they are in essence, hollow inside. No substance.

Tomorrow, after redoing my measurements tonight, will inch me closer to perfecting it. I remade the clamp supports from scratch again using new measurements and it further strengthened the load capacity of the part. Lengthened it vertically so as to give a greater area for welding. The Clamp holds the tube in place while its being driven down by the jack and die, so this area is critical than most parts.

This is the culprit. I was short by 1 and a half inches, based on the right angle of the die for a good send off. The simulations went great. I wonder what made me skip this step before? I must be going senile. Could've saved me downtime and money, but.. I managed to salvage what I can from the design to save me from purchasing more meat. Reduced my casualties to just two new pieces I need. Hopefully this gets done by Monday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Things Aren't Always What We Expect

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Lots of things were in my list of to do's this day. But I ended up doing what wasn't in it. For starters, I ended up scoring the needed metal for the screwed up die, and the much begotten notcher. I had a blast watching the process though. And I finally found the schedule 40 I was looking for. Still I am in a fit whether to use 40 or 80. I'd have to take into consideration a solid frame against a heavy frame with this.

After heaving everything in the van, its off to the screw shop to acquire some hard to find screw sizes. This supplier I have down south has ALL the screws you can possibly ask for. No kidding. Even the hard-to-find ones and the what-the-eff kinds. Then its back to mocking up the bender before final assembly and welding. I have to say it is one beautiful piece of metal art. It's near done and I can't stop looking at it. (Of course I had to some time soon..) Here's a reject that I kept as a memento (or a possible paper weight) of the process.

And in contrast, there were some things I ended up doing at the end of the day which was NOT in my to-do list. Drink a glass of Pepsi for example.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Treasures On The Shores

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I thought I was going to complete the bender by tomorrow. My mind was already set and the gears were already rolling to countdown but I was dismayed to find out I'd be pushed back by 3 days just because the steel supplier couldn't differentiate between radius and diameter. I hate missing a goal most especially if it's due to another person's negligence.

Anyway, tomorrow instead will see me going to a better supplier. I just saw a sample of their cuts and they know how to set the acetylene just right to make nice clean, sharp cuts compared to those previous eggnogs who just fire away and let the sides of the metal candle drip all over the place. I asked for a plate with a 4.5" radius to be used for the die and I ended up getting a shaft with a 4.5" diameter - less even because the cuts ate into the measurements. It was supposed to end up as 9 inches across but I only got a 2.25" radius instead. Next time I'd ask for a size with a bit of leeway to make sure I can trim down without losing my sizes. Oh, and they don't understand decimals too - .625 inches is calculus to them. Say ten sixteenth instead.

I DO have my fault in this: in that I assumed they knew what the science of measurements were, since they were in the business of cutting up steel for so long now, I didn't bother checking the sizes when they dumped it in the back of the van. That guy I talked to at the table was busy blasting orders to his mute workers I thought he had his numbers right.

A P4,500 mistake. Lesson learned.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


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Been doing some, ok a lot, of reading and research about, er.. metallurgy and investments. Might not whet your appetite for inquiries but those two do mix in a way much like anchovies and ice cream. What? No?

Ok lemme give you a hint. What's the difference between a rich guy and a poor or middle class guy? The rich guy buys the ice cream last, while the poor and middle class buys the ice cream first.. and most probably eats the anchovies with it.

And if still doesn't make sense, hey you can always ask me - right dear Schwaka? ;> Finally, to do justice to the real purpose of this blog, some good wiring space presents itself.

Till the next inauguration :)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Head Notes

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Visited my machinist yesterday and delivered the last few pieces of meat for the tube bender, which is taking shape real nicely. Now that I can see it mocked up I could not believe how big and heavy the sucker is. All that remains is to stick the 18-ton hydraulic in there and boom, I'm bending metal at will.

Currently in the works is the notcher. This one I'm doing in-house. The original idea I had was to build the tools from scratch, instead of buying them. I saved much too much as opposed to buying 'em commercially. It also reinforces WSC as a bare-bones, pure-grit custom lab for everything sicko. Any one can buy, not everyone can build.

Altering something is not the same as building it from scratch.



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