Wednesday, February 27, 2008
This is the loop d' loop close up. It has 10 loops in a row. There will be more then 10 loops total, but the last section is not build and added yet. This phase of building is fun and challenging. Even though things get to go wherever I want them, that doesnt mean that it is easy to decide where everything should go...
Monday, February 25, 2008
This is a closeup of the track. I still need to brush off the welds spots to clean them. When a sculpture has more than one track I always make and install all of the necessary track splitters and then go from there. The third switch will have fewest marbles.
Want to see how it moves so far? Watch this short movie.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I finished with the first phase of my current project. The first phase is the frame and lift, and the second phase is the track and elements. The ring is 6ft diameter, made from walnut, and has 8 holes for picking up the marbles. The next step for me tomorrow will be to make the lever that will push the balls out at the top, and the track where the balls will be picked up from the bottom. I'll post another picture tomorrow with details of how the marbles will be pushed out.
Finally, this is how the drive roller is mounted to the frame. I have a C clamp holding it on until I get to the hardware store and purchase the 1/4-28 nuts I need. Good enough for now. To keep the steel from twisting I added the support "kicker" under the motor. Since the wheel is almost 10 inches from the wall there is quite a bit of torque applied to the 1/2" steel tubing. I'll have a movie posted soon.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
It's been fascinating to learn how to use these machines properly. : )
Friday, February 15, 2008
This was a very complicated process for the beginner machinist, like me. I won't bore you with the details of construction. This drive wheel will be mounted at the bottom of the frame to support and turn the wood ring lift that Gene built for me. I didn't build the wood ring because I don't work with wood, just metal. Besides the motor and thrust bearngs, everything you see here was made from scratch with a Lathe and Mill. I learned a lot! I wish I could say that I knew what I was doing and just did it, but the reality is that Bill helped me the whole way. I did do all of the work but Bill helped me with the process and what tools to use when, and why. I will probably get Bill's lathe, as he is 80 years old, but I would be much happier with a few more years of experience under him. Bill told me today that if I had to take this design to a machinist he would charge me $3000 to $4000 to complete everything you see in the photo above. Ouch. That wouldn't be a problem if your customer is going to pay for it, but how do you get a quote on something you are not sure of how to make yourself? My answer is to do it yourself. Piece by piece. To be fair I used several tools I had no idea existed, let alone how to use them. But now that I know....well...knowing is half the battle...
This is the wood ring that will lift the marbles to the top. The drive wheel runs clockwise, so this wood ring will rotate counter-clockwise. There is a small groove inside each of the holes to keep the marble from rolling out. I will need to make a mechanical lever that pushes the marbles out when they reach the top. The steel frame is made from 1/2" stainless steel square tubing ($80 per 20 ft) which is cut at 15 degrees. (30 degree total)
I bought a book "507 mechanical movements" very informative. With it I will be able to find just the right movement to get the marbles out. I will put a pin in the inside of the ring to actuate the arm that will push the marbles out, but first things first. This is the mock-up of what the frame will look like. Actually it is missing one more circle that will go to the left and intersect the other two rings, the last circle being smaller by at least half. This will give me framing to connect the two idler rollers to as well as the supports needed for the track and elements.
4 tracks total, should be very nice. Josh, the buyer, wants it to be elegant and quiet. I will have to pay special attention to the tipping arms, and anything else that makes noise.
I will post again soon as I get more done. Back to the shop!