I want to build another machine, but I'm not sure what it should be. I have dreams of a flying saucer shaped hovercraft and also of a tracked adult-sized big wheel. I sort of like the big wheel idea since it will probably end up as a smaller project than my skid loader did. Any ideas from the group? The big wheel would likely be human powered...with a possible upgrade to a powered machine.
So I found a smaller project for now. I'm building a roll bender so I can build other things...curved things. I had a bunch of the parts around so this was more about making it all work together. It will be three rollers of 1-15/16 stainless 304 riding on 1.5" pillow blocks for the fixed rollers and a pair of take up bearings on rails pushed by 1.5-8 screws. I just welded up one of the two frames that the rollers span between. I'll weld the next one when I get some more time in the shop. Then I just need to cut the top piece of box beam that spans between them to connect the frames. I'll upload some pictures and the plans I put together for it. I made the frame out of 2"x3"x1/4" wall rectangular tubing. I was going to mount the nuts to the bottom of the upper frame pieces with a little locking device, but then realized they fit pretty nicely inside the 2"x3" tubing so I just slid the nut inside and the beam walls hold it from spinning. I'm bridging the two screws with some #60 chain to keep them turning in synch. I have 17 tooth sprockets on each screw so I can make reasonably fine adjustments from screw to screw to keep them level. I turned one end of each screw down and cut a keyway and the other end I turned down to fit the take up bearings and cut a snap ring groove to hold it all together. For the guide rails (gibs sort of) I put three set screw holes in each one so I can adjust the angle for when I weld the beams crooked...I did pretty well on the first frame so hopefully I don't actually need to use that adjustment.
I think I'll be able roll some fairly heavy stock and my rollers should allow for 8" wide stock (sheet really at that width) so it should prove useful. It can help me make the big circular frame for my flying saucer one of these days.
Thanks guys. I think without any dies on I figured out it will be able to go as tight as a 9" diameter. I did finally finish welding up the frame. My wife has already order a yoga ball stand from my "we build your ideas for free because you're my wife store". I had a slight bit too much movement on one side of the frame so I need to fly cut the one guide rail down a few thousandths. Time to set up the milling attachment on the lathe again. One of these days when I make some room it would be nice to have a milling machine, but the lathe does pretty well in the meantime. Looks like my latest photos are too big to upload but I'll post some more as I finish up the last few details and make some curvy parts.
Last edited by UsedSpacecraft; 09/13/202007:17 PM.
Thanks Sonny. I have learned it on my own with just a handful of tips from others. I'm not sure if it was your old signature or maybe Jim's, but I always remember and sort of took to heart someone on here who signed their posts with "If you can't weld well, weld lots" or something to that effect. I should probably take a real course one of these days, maybe pick up an actual IWS cert, but I never want to make the time since it cuts into doing this stuff.
Interestingly I find that with TIG I like to mostly just fuse base metal and use minimal filler rod so I typically don't grind bevels or j-groove my joints. It means I take some extra time to get the puddle nice a flowy and put some real heat into it. Hopefully it is getting good penetration, and I think it is based on the color near the joint as well as spots where I can see the back side of the joint.
In any case, it's nice to hear the welds look good since I've come a long way since I first started welding up my little skid loader about 10 years back.
Last edited by UsedSpacecraft; 09/13/202011:17 PM.