Sunday, July 25, 2010

Drive train and mounting rungs

This week was a bit disappointing as not one but two shop trips failed to get the keyways cut for the sprockets. My hopes are high for another one this coming Saturday. If that one fails I'm going to have to put out an open plea on the local metal hobbyist list. I'm starting to feel the time pressure, despite still having a full month and really being fairly close to finishing. There are just several other things I need to work on before Burning Man as well as the Kalamazoo, such as the higher power Laser Medusa Helmet upgrade, or converting the old Self-Adjusting Electromechanical Goggles into a more comfortable leather goggle format. Busy, expensive month ahead!

There was still plenty of work done this weekend, though. Despite not having the keyways cut, I assembled the full drive train for the first time, including the drive wheel chains.

Took some time to adjust the differential shaft mounting to get proper tension on the drive wheel chains. This made the crankshaft chain too slack, but I'm going to add a simple idler for it. I need to order a selection of 1/2" sprockets anyway, as I'm quite sure I'm going to want to adjust the gearing ratio, and there is a very convenient set of mounting bolts available. Easy.

Yeah, I just love how this looks.

After the test of the platform elevated on all four wheels last week, I started thinking about how to make the Kalamazoo easier to use. It rolled around so easily that mounting it was a bit tricky. I'll probably add some kind of parking brake, but I decided it would also be nice to have a stair at either end so you don't need to make such a big dramatic step to get up on the deck. I spent about an hour with the forge tonight and ended up with a pair of rather handsome, if simple, 1/2" mounting rungs.

I couldn't resist adding a pretty little twist in the center, where it shouldn't get in the way. I'll bolt them on tomorrow. Which means I'll finally have the 4x4s on the ends removed and can fix the mounting of the decorative 2x4 end plates, which are currently bolted into T-nuts and just aren't very stable. That will be pleasing.

I'm starting to think about lighting for nighttime use. I don't think I want to put el-wire up the pump arm struts, it would just look too tacky during the day. After cruising the lawn lighting section at Lowe's, I'm pondering adding some wrought iron mounting hooks for solar-powered lanterns. Maybe one at each corner, and then one hanging under each pump arm tripod. Not very flashy, but it would go with the look a lot better. I'd still probably put a perimeter loop or two of el-wire around the platform, though, just for safety.

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