Bridge Crane build

Figured it's best to at least try to get a head start on this stuff before I retire. If the shop is ready for retirement, then I can have more fun building things, other than the shop!

One of our kids just graduated from HS this weekend, so it was a pretty busy weekend with family, etc. I did look at the bridge crane some, or at least moved machines out of the way of the gantry beams against the wall. Might start working on that again soon, if car repairs ever end!

For car repair I’m lucky enough that a local friend of the family owns his own shop, does good work, and prices are reasonable. The farm and yard equipment are enough repair and maintenance work that I get my fill. A lift may be in the future if he retires.

Need to start on the elevation survey for the new house. Did get two 8’ saplings and a 15’ tall oak planted yesterday.
Need to start on the elevation survey for the new house. Did get two 8’ saplings and a 15’ tall oak planted yesterday.
When we built, spent a week laying out the property in CAD with google earth image overlay. Looked at the view from all the windows, and even plotted the path of the sun throughout the year. The idea was to maximize the view from each room, maximize sunlight and solar gain in the winter, and reduce the solar gain in the summer. The wife gave me a little grief about overdoing it (mostly in jest, of course).

Most people around here go N-S or E-W orientation with the walls. Ended up turning the house 30 degrees off of that, as it helped maximize the view, light, and solar gain, etc. Solar arcs were the hardest to sort out. Eventually just found an online calculator and found azmuth and elevation for the sun for our location. Used that to generate three points for each month and plotted a big circle in the sky on each set of points. The apparent radius was large enough you could sight down onto the floorplan to see where the sun would hit each window. Nothing overly scientific, but it worked wonders to see exactly how things would look.

I'm sure you've got some thought into this already, but based on useful the CAD was for this project it might be worth trying.
Started working on fabricating the crane trucks.
These are cut out of 3/8" HRS. Two of them clamped and bolted together. I have to shift them around alot on the mill, my table has about 24" of travel in the X direction, these are 34" long. First pass was to mill the saddle top flat and drill two of the four holes on the lower edge. Bolted the two pieces together through those holes before moving the pair down and re-indicating it to work on the end. Still need to tackle the other end. Thinking I'll put them on the 16" rotary table on the K&T 3K vertical to cut the 2.5" holes for the bearing mounts. If only I had the crane to hoist that 16" rotary table!
double nut upright.jpg
bridge beam with truck.jpg
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Broke my mill (grrrr).

Some days just don't go well.

I spent several hours to cancel my AT&T cellular data service for my iPad. Set that up probably 8 years ago when I was traveling a lot for work. It was convenient to have something a bit bigger than a cell phone that almost always had connectivity. Well, they wanted to text a code to my device to confirm my identity on the phone. iPad (data only device) doesn't receive texts. Grr. Finally got that straightened out after a trip to a local AT&T store and then another call to their customer service.

And the parts (a rectifier) to fix the electric motor on my diesel transfer tank pump didn't make it here today despite Amazon promising USPS would deliver today. Not surprising.

But the real frustration: I was milling up some fixture blocks to make the end trucks. Wanted something to clamp everything to in order to get good alignment for welding. Figured a couple of 4.5" x 3" rectangular pieces would work well (that's the inside dimensions on the bright green part in the last picture of the previous post). Milled to size should make for good tolerances. Set everything up and was squaring the block up with the power feed.

Heard the sound of something like a bolt dropping into the bottom tray of the mill. A moment later the X axis power feed froze. Turns out the gib screw for the x axis had broke off.

And without that screw, the table was traveling in the direction for the gib to wedge tighter. It was out about 3", although only shows 1/2" here. You can see the oil smear from where it was.

Can you say "really f**ing tight?". I started with the little hammer and brass punch sitting on the table in the first picture. Then a ball peen hammer. Then a 5 lb hammer and a bigger brass drift. Still wouldn't move after working on it for 15 minutes or so. Leadscrew turned back and forth about .040" before binding. Figure that's play in the leadscrew nut and/or bearings.

I finally had to hit it with the railroad spike sitting in the bottom tray here:

The gib is what is sitting across the vice in the first picture. I dressed up the end a bit on the belt sander, and did a little scraping on it (wear pattern indicated less than .5 square inches of contact across a 14" x 1" (approx) face.

So I guess tomorrow I make a new screw on the lathe. Probably make two, the first one knurled so that I can put it in the mill and use the mill to slot the second one. I was pleasantly surprised it is 20 TPI (checked with a thread gauge) I expected metric, it is a Grizzly mill. Major diameter is .305"

I think the screw backed out enough to bind the gib, which then snapped off the screw head. Need to put some thread locker on these. Any suggestions for something that stays gummy? I have some Permatex aviation form-a-gasket that would be better than nothing.
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I would just use a medium strength Loctite. Generally will tighten but allow you to move it when YOU want, not when it wants.
Some days just don't go well.

Wow! What was it about yesterday? Everything went wrong from the start here!
Measured twice, cut once, set the fence wrong on the table saw! Last piece of material big enough...
Climbing down a ladder my tape measure fell off my pocket, hit the garden faucet inside the garage, and turned the handle on full blast... ... for a second I thought it busted the faucet. Water all over said material on the floor...
Some days it's better to go inside, and crack open a can of something cold to drink.

As for locking that screw head, I had a similar problem on the grizzly mill drill. There was a lot of backlash in the screw to the gib. Solution here was to cut a small "L" shape block with a hole in it. Used that to actually clamp the screw head into the bottom of the counter bore. If I need to adjust it, I loosen the clamp block, and tighten/loosen the gib. Then tighten the clamp block again.

I can send some pictures later, if you can't visualize it...
Got a basic gib screw working. Just needs a slot cut in it. I'll need to make another one to slot since I need to use the mill for slotting saw. I don't have a suitable arbor for the K&T.

Decided to finished my fixture block for the crane before tearing that setup down. This comes out to 3" x 4.5", which is the inside dimensions of the end trucks for the bridge. I'll make a second one once I get the mill squared away. Then I can use these to fixture the end trucks for welding.
Got the new gib adjustment screw made. The original measured .305" major diameter, 20TPI, so I figured it was intended to be a 5/16-20. Not a typical thread, I don't have a tap that size, so took a little head scratching to fixture it for slotting. Drilled a hole in a small scrap and super glued the back side of the head to that block with the thread through the hole, and clamped it in the vice.
Yeah, I could have put a little more time into finishing the face to remove the parting marks. Then I'd have to repaint the mill too. :(
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Celebrated July 4th with fireworks a little early. I think my face mill needs new inserts.
These got destroyed when the gib jammed, should have checked and replaced them then. But it makes for a nice fireworks display.