Sunday, April 22, 2012

500 Yard Gong

So, I still have several plow disks laying around, and needed another project.  How about a gong to be rung at 500 yards with a rifle!  Should be a hoot, and very simple to build.

Started with the frame.  Cut my pieces of 1/2 inch black pipe to the length I wanted, then welded pipe fittings onto the ends in order to make a frame.  Basically, I did both ends at a time.  I set one on the floor at each end of the pipe, then laid the pipe on top of them and tack welded them.  By doing so, it gave me a pretty good assurance that both ends were parallel.  So, I completed one set before doing the off-set set.  

The offset angle is just whatever happened when I laid the pipe on the second set of pipe fittings and let the first set rest on the ground.  No real science to this.

Closed up the hole on the front of the disk with a piece of scrap 1/4 inch steel plate.

Finally, welded bolts to the back side of the disk, then pushed them through holes I drilled into a piece of belting material folded in half (Very very tough stuff).  So, it gave me a nice loop at the top for hanging on the frame.

Now to learn my bullet trajectory chart well enough to start hitting it!  It should provide a nice clang as a confirmation of impact.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wire wheel on the cheap

Now that I've purchased a welder, I have a lot more need for a wire-wheel to clean things up.  So, here's how I built mine very cheaply.
Motor:  1/4 HP electric motor from a garage sale for $5.
Arbor:  about $3 at a hardware store.
Wire wheel:  I don't remember the cost, but if it was over $10, I'd be shocked.
Base:  Made from a 20-inch disk off a plow.  $0
Vertical shaft:  I bought a bunch of 1/4 inch thick square tubing from a machine that had been cut apart at work. Not sure how much I got, but the whole shooting match only cost me $1.  This was a small piece of it.

In the end, I have a very functional little portable unit, and it'll hold me for a few years, anyway.

Child-Proof floor lamp

A while ago, we bought a set of matching lamps.  They were relatively plain, dark metal, with fairly standard dimensions....then the baby started to crawl...then walk...and then...  Well, then we didn't have a lamp anymore.  Apparently the lamp section threads were not designed for flexing, or stress due to impact.  After a tip-over, the lamp really wasn't straight and was never going to be.

Fast forward a few weeks and 1 welder later.  I obtained a used 20-inch disk from a farming implement.  It was quite rusty, but I set my 9-year-old to work on it with an orbital sander, and after about an hour and 3 breaks later, he had it pretty well cleaned up.

After the base had been cleaned, I welded a flange into the center from the bottom.  The flange is threaded to receive 1/2 inch black pipe.  As shown in the picture, whle the bottom doesn't look great, the top (only part visible), it looks fine.
I had a theory about drilling a hole in the base to allow the cord to pass through.  This turned out to be an educational experience, as I maimed the drill bit attempting to even scratch the surface of the disk.  Good point to note:  Disks are hardened steel, and they are really really really hard.  It quickly became clear that I could not drill through the disk, so I cut a notch in the edge with my grinder in stead.  Works fine.

The pipe was cut to allow for a 5'7" overall height for the lamp.  The lamp is actually much taller than most, but we decided that's what we wanted, so the length of the pipe was cut to 4'7".  5'7" - 2 inches for the base height, and 10 inches for the height of the lamp shade holder.

Shown above, the paint drying.  I tried to take a movie, but it seemed to lack plot.  Basically, I put it together for painting.  I also had to make sure and clean and paint the bottom side in order to protect the carpet.

For the lamp innards, I purchased a lamp building kit for about $8 at a local hardware store.  It had pretty much everything I needed, plus instructions.  There were numerous kits to choose from, technically, I bought two.  One, I bought for the 3-way socket included.  Another had some nice spacers that worked as mounts for the top end of the lamp.  They made it a very secure press fit, so there was no need for me to weld something on the top end of the lamp to accept the lamp making pieces.  

So we wired it all up (had to take it apart first), plugged it in and viola!  Finished Product: