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  #31  
Old Sat 24 January 2009, 22:13
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
In your country I don't know if the stuff on top is hair or snow!

Happy building
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  #32  
Old Sat 24 January 2009, 23:05
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Gerald,
In Texas, I dont think they get much snow. Up here in Canada though, this time of year it will definately be snow.
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  #33  
Old Sat 24 January 2009, 23:29
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Yeah, snow is pretty rare in this part of Texas. I moved from the north to Texas more than 30 years ago and I've seen it snow maybe 4 times. And even then, it's what Heath would call a "light dusting", gone by noon the next day.

Regards,
John
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  #34  
Old Sat 24 January 2009, 23:45
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
John & Bill, it is clear that you didn't need to hit the brakes hard on your journey home with that trail - the bumper on the back of the truck looks un-damaged.

But seriously, for other guys who are still going to carry "sticks" of steel around and are not used to doing it, that stuff slips when you hit the brakes and it has plenty of momentum due to its weight. Strap the load down tight and drive cautiously. (A headboard on the trailer would be the best)
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  #35  
Old Sun 25 January 2009, 00:16
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Gerald,

We knew you wouldn't miss that. The pictures I selected for Post #30 are before we strapped the steel down at the yard and after we removed the straps at my house.

To re-enforce your point, here's a picture of the steel strapped down. We had the same concern that you expressed that one or more of those sticks could break loose and crash into the back of the suburban during braking. With our strapping and traveling about 170 miles, there was no movement.

Steel loaded and tied down, resized.jpg

You give good advice. I know of a trucker hauling pipe who had one piece of pipe break loose, come through the cab and through his body like a spear. The inertia of that kind of concentrated mass can be astounding and dangerous.

Regards,
John
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  #36  
Old Sun 25 January 2009, 13:56
servant74
Just call me: Jack
 
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
They have more hair up top than I have facial hair (full beard). ... I vote to let them get by with it
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  #37  
Old Sun 25 January 2009, 19:42
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Thanks, Jack. You should pull a lot of weight around here among the bearded ones with that full beard.

But, I think I'd have to let my hair grow a bit to match your beard. Haven't had my hair that long since the seventies...you know, the Beatles hair style fad.

Regards,
John
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  #38  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 20:53
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Yesterday I cut the steel into manageable pieces so I could carry them to my backyard where the workshop is. Good thing I got them off the driveway and inside. It's raining today.

Rail ready to cut resize.jpg
Here, I've got the first piece of angle ready to cut-down.

Here's the Mikita Metal Cutting Saw with the jig I made to guide the cut. A little about the saw. It's the Makita 4131. When the discussion about Metal Cutting Saws was raging on the forum and the discussion turned to the Mikita saw, I happened to see it on Amazon for $140 with free shipping. I bought it. I'm afraid it's about twice that now.


I made a wider base. The one it came with was only about 4" wide. I made two guides to attach to the base. The one on the right in the picture is fixed and held with small clamps at 28 mm from the blade. The one on the left has springs between the guide nearest the blade and the fixed piece furthest from the blade. The springs help hold the fixed guide on the right tight against the steel. Good thing I used the springs and not just two fixed guides. The steel width varied nearly 1/8th inch.

The cutting went very well. It only takes about 5 minutes to cut the larger pieces. I cut them at 28.5 mm to allow for clean-up. After cutting them down, I used the belt sander to smooth them. It only took a lite sanding to get them smooth. I only took off less than .25 mm and they were smooth.


I'm sorry these pictures are a little fuzzy. I was trying to show the forum how the Metal Cutting Saw cut. I'm afraid I didn't do too well.

I started the bevel grinding. Here's a picture of the JR grinding skate. You can see that I've added a handle mount. I used the handle that came with the grinder. This grinder doesn't have a top hole for the handle. So, I drilled and tapped a small piece of 3/8's steel to fit the handle. I welded that to another piece that I shaped and drilled to fit on the standard skate. I considered welding it at 45 degrees to the mounting plate, but after trying to see how it would feel, I decided on 90 degrees. It does a good job.


You'll note that I'm using a Skill grinder. My DeWalt was going to require a lot of modification to the standard skate. I found this Skill grinder at Lowes for $29.95. It is almost a perfect fit for the skate. It's 6 amps. I figure if it fails, I can take it back. It's guaranteed for 1 year.

Just a note on equipment casualties...I have an older (maybe 10 years) Skill belt sander. It died during the sanding. I really wasn't pushing it. I think it's time had just come. I hope that's my "right of passage" and I don't have to burn up a grinder. Had to finish up with the Porter Cable sander.

Administrative note: I guess there's a limit of 5 photo's per post. I was trying to show 6 (rail after cutting and before sanding) and strange things started happening. That's okay, the photo was kinda fuzzy. If someone is really interested, I'll try to get a better set of photos to show the effectiveness of the saw.

Regards,
John
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  #39  
Old Mon 26 January 2009, 23:55
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhiggins7 View Post
. . the Makita Metal Cutting Saw with the jig I made to guide the cut. . . . . I made a wider base. The one it came with was only about 4" wide. I made two guides to attach to the base. The one on the right in the picture is fixed and held with small clamps at 28 mm from the blade. The one on the left has springs between the guide nearest the blade and the fixed piece furthest from the blade. The springs help hold the fixed guide on the right tight against the steel. Good thing I used the springs and not just two fixed guides. The steel width varied nearly 1/8th inch..
You learnt a lot from us guinea pigs! I made the mistake of handing the saw and the rails (for 5 big tables) to one of my staff and told him to get on with it. At the end of the day he was wandering off the line. A spring loaded guide would have prevented that.
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  #40  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 07:39
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
To paraphrase Newton, (and this IS a loose paraphrasing), we who follow "stand on the shoulders of giants."

When I read about your experience, I started thinking about how to control the path of the saw. The jig is the result.

Regards,
John
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  #41  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 07:43
J.R. Hatcher
Just call me: J.R. #4
 
Wilmington, North Carolina
United States of America
Send a message via Skype™ to J.R. Hatcher
John the jig is your "right of passage" ......welcome to the group. It needs a name (JR grinding skate)

Last edited by J.R. Hatcher; Tue 27 January 2009 at 07:47..
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  #42  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 08:40
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Thanks JR. You are one of those "giants" the rest of us stand on the shoulders of. I appreciate the welcome.

I like your idea of the saw jig being my right of passage. I rather not have to burn up a grinder...but we'll see.

On the other hand, given the price of the saw, I seriously doubt that the saw jig will ever be popular.

Regards,
John
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  #43  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 12:08
vishnu
Just call me: vishnu
 
Coimbatore(TN)
India
Hi,
Your controller looks good. Good going, from now on you are entering the best part of the show, enjoy every minute. No BBB leave it , its nice to have trim clean faces, but please be a part of us with atleast one Big 'B' . The cutting machine with the Jig looks to do a better job. How long did it take to complete cutting your 1 'X' rail because with our ordinary hand grider with cutting wheel took at least 30 to 45 minutes for 10 feet.

Vishnu

Vishnu
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  #44  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 21:30
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Vishnu,

Thanks for the remarks.

No Beard, no Bike...what's the third B, Beer? I'll have a beer! Honestly, I couldn't find the reference to BBB in the Forum. I have a distant memory of the discussion, but since one can't search the forum on a 3 letter word, I looked around a little bit and gave up. Let me know, what the 3rd B is.

As for cutting down the rails to 28 mm, it took about 5 minutes to cut the longer piece which in my case is 152". It took less than an hour to cut down 40 feet of rail, including using the belt sander to smooth the saw marks. So far, I'm very pleased with the saw. I also used the saw to cut the 2" X 4" rectangular tube for the Gantry. Worked like a charm. I wanted to make sure the end of the tube was square, so I clamped a guide to the tube and held the saw against the guide. The result was square and had no burr.

Regards,
John
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  #45  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 22:04
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Boep I think (beer belly)
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  #46  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 22:15
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Update...finished grinding the rails. Whew, that's a job! Glad it's done! It took roughly 8 hours of grinding. I ground 40' of rail.

First of all, the $29.95 grinder got the job done and is still RUNNING. I had a scare about half way through. I adjusted the bolts to cut deeper and I set the cut too deep. So I was grinding too aggressively. The grinder started to smoke! But, it must NOT have "released the Magic Smoke," because it kept working. I let it cool down, reset the depth and worked with the grinder the rest of the day.

Lesson's learned:

1. Don't be too aggressive on the grinding, it smokes grinders.

2. I found that I got the most controlled grinding by letting the grinding wheel PULL the skate along the rail. My job was to prevent the skate from going too fast and thus skipping a part of the grind and holding the grinder down on the rail. When I pushed the skate against the direction of the grinding wheel, I got more aggressive cutting, but it was NOT uniform...and it was HARD WORK! Just be patient and let the grinding wheel do the hard work.

3. Also, as someone else already mentioned, by letting the grinder move quickly across the rail, everything stays cooler. Don't rock it back and forth. The grinder stays cooler because it's not working as hard. The rail stays cooler because you're not sitting in one place grinding away. Also, I suspect, but don't know, that since you are moving quickly down the rail, the grinder is constantly encountering and throwing off "cooler" chips and just like in other kinds of cutting, bigger, cooler chips are a good thing.

Question: I noticed after finishing the grinding that a light hand sanding of the ground surfaces removed the grinder marks making the rails look more like they had been "machined." I haven't seen any mention of this idea...at least I don't remember it. Is there a problem with lightly hand sanding the rails? I don't think it would change the dimensions at all.

Regards,
John
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  #47  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 22:19
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Thanks, Heath. I think I've got that "B" covered.

Regards,
John
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  #48  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 22:21
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
John,
Yes, me too I fear.
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  #49  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 22:50
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhiggins7 View Post
Question: I noticed after finishing the grinding that a light hand sanding of the ground surfaces removed the grinder marks making the rails look more like they had been "machined." I haven't seen any mention of this idea...at least I don't remember it. Is there a problem with lightly hand sanding the rails? I don't think it would change the dimensions at all.
The light hand sanding is perfect. We sometimes even drag a file across a rail that is roughly milled (draw filing). Strictly, this does change a dimension somewhere, but by such a tiny amount that you won't notice it. Bolting the rails down makes much bigger changes in the dimensions than a bit of sanding. The smoother the rail, the cleaner it stays.

On the BBB nonsense; I don't do bikes or beer. I thought it started as "big blue beast"?
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  #50  
Old Tue 27 January 2009, 23:11
Kobus_Joubert
Just call me: Kobus #6
 
Riversdale Western Cape
South Africa
Send a message via Yahoo to Kobus_Joubert Send a message via Skype™ to Kobus_Joubert
I think my BBB was the first... Big Blue Brakpan.....bike and boep came along after that.

Enjoy
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  #51  
Old Wed 28 January 2009, 07:48
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Thanks, Gerald. I'll finish the rails with a bit of hand sanding.

As for BBB, I must admit that my "beer belly" comes from too much plain ole food, not beer.

Kobus, I think I'll leave the BBB to the "experts" and get back to the MechMate.

Regards,
John
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  #52  
Old Wed 28 January 2009, 19:37
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
And I missed all the fun. Come on guys...share!

But, I did get the Y-clamp strips cut and drilled and the Gantry welded. Also got the Cross Bearers cut to length.

Now for a bit about my personal status. I'm going to have a "trial separation" from my MechMate. About 10 days.

No seriously, my wife and I will be in College Station, Texas, about 100 miles from here, for about 10 days. We're helping our son and daughter-in-law with some re-modeling of their house.

So, since I can't take the MechMate along, I be taking a break from the build

However, I will be checking in with the Forum.


Regards,
John
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  #53  
Old Wed 28 January 2009, 21:20
servant74
Just call me: Jack
 
Nashville (Tennessee)
United States of America
Put a webcam on your 'baby' before you leave, so you can check in. When I was there 3C BBQ had good brisket, and occasionally GREAT BBQ beef ribs.

Enjoy a mess for me!

3C may be gone by now, it was 35 years ago!
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  #54  
Old Wed 28 January 2009, 22:11
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Jack,

Not much to "webcam" yet. A piece here and piece there, but I'll keep that in mind.

As for Barbecue, Rudy's rules now-a-days. Actually the LOML, Dee, does a great job with a brisket...we're taking one along for the occasion.

Regards,
John
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  #55  
Old Thu 29 January 2009, 00:43
HomeMadeCnc
Just call me: Tim
 
Calgary, Alberta
Canada
Hello John,
Great idea for the rails, I'll cut mine that way. One less thing to think about. Enjoy the "Vacation".

Tim
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  #56  
Old Wed 04 February 2009, 03:32
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
John,

I have some questions about your dust collection system that you talked about on Pablo Peu's build site.

That looks like a Harbor Freight dust collector with a Wynn Enviornmental 9L300BL or 9L300NANO filter and a home built drop out box sitting in front of the dust collector.

Which filter are you using? Is that correct about the drop out box (not sure that is the right name for it - ment to collect large pieces). If that is not a drop out box are you having a problem with larger pieces getting caught in the filter.

How long have you been using the dust collector and how does it work.

I am thinking about buying the same system. I like that the filters have a long life and can be cleaned and reused.

Thanks
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  #57  
Old Wed 04 February 2009, 08:39
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
Nils,

Very perceptive. You are very close. It's a Grizzly DC, but their DC is very close to the Harbor Freight DC. I did note that the sheet metal used by the Grizzly model is a little thicker than that used in the Harbor Freight model.

Here's a link where I describe the modifications that I made to the DC based on Phil Thien's "cyclone" baffle. It works great. I recommend it as a "cheap" alternative to a true "Cyclone."

What you see in front of the DC in my picture is a 5" tee. My DC ducts are buried under my workshop slab. The downward pointing part of the tee is connecting to the under-slab DC ducts. The upward pointing part of the tee is actually plugged off and is for a future duct to my 24" thickness sander.

Nils, if you are not planning to build a Bill Pentz cyclone and you are planning to add a Wynn filter to your DC, I would recommend the Wynn 35A as discussed by dbhost in the link above.

I'm happy to provide additional detail if you would like.

Regards,
John
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  #58  
Old Wed 04 February 2009, 13:51
sailfl
Just call me: Nils #12
 
Winter Park, FL
United States of America
John,

When Harbor Frieght puts them on sale, I will get back with you though I think you write up is very good. If this works good enough I won't buy a cyclone.
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  #59  
Old Sat 14 February 2009, 08:18
jhiggins7
Just call me: John #26
 
Hebron, Ohio
United States of America
I'm back in town and working on the MechMate. I've made some progress on the table in the area of cross bearers, main beams and legs.

One picture I want to share with the Forum for anyone considering a metal cutting saw. I got my oxy-acetylene rig all ready to cut the remaining angles on the main beams (I don't have a metal bandsaw). I only had the steel yard make one cut. I was concerned that they would mess up a second cut on each beam, wrong length, wrong direction...something. Plus each angle cut was $12.00.

Well before cutting the beam (it's C8 X 13.75 #) with the oxy-acetylene and doing the inevitable clean-up, I though I'd see if the metal cutting saw was up to the task.

Here's the result:

Metal cutting saw Main Beam.jpg

The beam on the left was cut by the steel yard. The one on the right by the metal cutting saw. I was amazed. The saw depth of cut is 2.5 inches. The beam depth at the web is 2.25 inches.

Regards,
John
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  #60  
Old Sat 14 February 2009, 11:28
kanankeban
Just call me: Hector #89
 
Monterrey
Mexico
Im amazed also...I cant wait to put my hands on one of those, I went to a dealer here in Mexico, but the price here is about 500dlls...a bit to much , Ill wait for a good deal on ebay or amazon maybe...and add this baby to my tool collection
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