Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dan's Chariot #5 - A "test" run!

I've been working on the bike trailer off and on over the summer, but have neglected to post much of it here so it's time for an update!

So I got kicked out of my shop for the summer so they could redo the floors. Over the last couple of weeks I've been working on pulling things back out and setting the shop back up.
The next step is seat mounting and seat belt mounting. I drilled a couple of holes for the seat and got it set in place. Did some measuring and bending and came up with this:

It goes around behind the seat and gives me a spot to mount 4 of the 5 points on the harness.

Marked some angles, cut it down, and tacked it on.

With the seat attached...

I would have liked it to be a little closer to the seat, but this should work great. Still need to finish weld, and I've got an idea for some gussets at the joint that can double as fender mounts.

I set it all up, climbed up and sat in it, then had my 9 year old try and lift the tongue- he lifted it easily. This is with me laying totally back. Dan's a bit lighter than me so I'm not sure how that will translate to tongue weight- almost think since theres less of him to counterbalance there might be MORE tongue weight. Guess we'll see.

I'm pretty happy that the balance seems to have worked out- that was one of my main concerns. So far the frame is still super light too. Have a few gussets to add and still need paint, leg holder, windshield (?), fenders, and a few other odds and ends but its starting to shape up.

Started going through the scraps I picked up at a local machine shop- scored a perfect chunk for a new axle so I began re-making it.

Makin' some HOT chips...

Also made some gussets for the seat belt frame out of more of the scraps.

And welded 'em on.

Spent the doing some "detail" work- little odds and ends that suck up the time.

Made another set of gusset plates for the frame.

Tacked 'em on,

And welded them solid. Will probably make one more set of gussets to go up on the sharp bend at the end of the big loop coming from the hitch.

Started figuring how to mount the seat belt.

What you don't really see here is I also made some brackets for the rear seat mounts and tacked them in place. 

Been hemming and hawing about how to attach the seat belts. At first I thought I would just drill some holes through the frame but decided that holes will probably weaken it, so I made up a few brackets.

Tacked 'em in,

Welded them and then cleaned everything up with the wire wheel.

 Test fitting the harness.

Yeah, I think that'll do nicely!

Did some figuring,

Laid it out,

and made a mock up of the foot pan.

Still thinking about options for this. Would be cool to build a framework and then lace it with straps, but I will probably build the pan out of aluminum and have some steel framework underneath for reinforcement.

Fender ideas...

Dan's coming over for a test fitting.  That will help me know where the leg pan needs to go, whether or not I need to shorten the tongue, and also if I need to bring the fenders down on the outside of the wheel to keep fingers out.

Hope they like it so far! 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pluggin' away...

The first week of school has come and gone, and things are going pretty well.  Aside from having NO internet access and being unable to put grades / attendance in with any regularity, the year didn't start out as rough as I thought it was going to.

Couple of rambling thoughts I've had bouncing around in my head as I introduced a new batch of students to the IGSBEP (design process... see last post) and had parents in for a back to school night:

Failing to succeed, OR- Failing, TO succeed.   There is a billboard here in town that has random quotes on it.  One of the more recent ones was "The road to success is paved with failures" or something along those lines.  Seems like students get conditioned to doing things one way, and if it doesn't work out just the way it's supposed to they get frustrated and give up.  I know I was that way in school, particularly when it came to math.  If I did it the way I was shown and it didn't work- so what.  Move on to the next problem and hope the teacher explains it again tomorrow!  I hope in my classes to get the kids to be able to realize that there is more than one way to skin a cat (wow, both my cats just got up and left the room...).  The way I show them how to do something is the way that works for me, but it might not necessarily be the way that works the best for them.

The most important part of that lesson- and this took me a long time to figure out- is that you WILL fail.  You'll get a wrong answer, things won't come out quite the way you had planned.  And thats okay!  Adapt, be flexible, try it again from a different angle.  Thomas Edison came up with something like 3,000 different ways to (re)invent the light bulb- I think only two of them worked well enough for him to use them.  I don't know that I'm that patient.  No, I *know* I'm not that patient.

Anyways, enough random thoughts.  So many things going on right now.  I feel a mass-unloading of projects / junk in the near future.  On the other hand, I have been managing to get a lot done.  Even managed to fire up the TIG welder and get a little practice in on aluminum.  Still have a long ways to go.

Had a nice faculty meeting, in which I stayed awake, paid very close attention, and came up with the nifty sketch too!  It was pretty interesting, we got to have a short little lesson taught to us in Romanian to give us an idea of what ELL students go through.  Kind of an eye opener.  Also got a few items checked off on Dan's chariot, more coming on that in a few days.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"VACANT" experiments.

My principle asked me if I could come up with some sort of system to let people know if one of our handicapped bathrooms was occupied.  I kicked around a few ideas and came up with this.  

Been awhile since I've used the printer so I fired it up...

Dang, the MM 2.0 is just tooooo fast. Let me slow that down a bit.

These were supposed to be test prints checking for size, but I decided they were plenty good enough, even running at 121% of maximum speed!

Here's the rest of the sign for the bathroom... Left goes on the outside, right on the inside.

Bar will go through a hole in the door, then the covers go over the dials and are screwed to the door. That way, you can tell from inside the bathroom what it says outside.



Little rough for a print, but again, I was running pretty darn fast.

Cleaned them up a bit with an acetone fuming,

Slapped some paint on the disks,

and gathered up all the parts.

Tried gluing in a clear piece of plastic to prevent kids from sticking a pencil in there and turning it from the outside... We'll see how long that lasts.

Drill a hole in a perfectly good door,

Put the bar in the front disk and slide it through,

and screw the cover on over top.

On the back:

Put the knob on,

and screw it's cover on.

There you go!

Guess we'll see if it works or not.  Thats the best part about the printer-  I can make changes and run off a new copy in just a few minutes.  Glad that I've been able to use the printer around the school for more than just student projects!