General Update

More of just a general update this time, actual caravan progress has been minor as a result of the cold weather. Overnight most nights the temperature is dropping down below the minimum temperature for the Titebond 3 glue and given that the sections being glued at the moment give most of the strength to the structure we want to make sure that everything sets to full strength.

First off, Bandsaw.

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This was purchased a couple of months ago for use on the caravan project, specifically for when it came time to cut the ribs for the rear hatch, whilst this could have been done with a jigsaw the benefit of the bandsaw for the price was hard to pass on. When I purchased the saw the seller advised that the motor was potentially too small for the saw as the saw bogged down when cutting. Given that it was a 3/4 hp motor however I couldn’t see this being the case and sure enough all the issue turned out being was a stretched and therefore slipping belt.

This fixed it was time to turn it on for the first time (for me) and make some sawdust. This lasted all of about 30 seconds before the blade jumped off the wheels hitting the front guard giving me a hell of a fright.

Turned out this issue was the tires, they were decently old and made of rubber and with the glue being of similar vintage they had stretched from being spun properly for once and so had caught the blade and thrown it off.

A replacement set of Urethane tires was sourced from Amazon which arrived mid last week and so the process of fitting them began.

First step was to clean up the wheels removing the old glue and rubber, from this…

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To this…

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After that the tires had to be softened in warm water and dish washing liquid in order to stretch a 12 inch diameter tire onto a 14 inch wheel. 5 minutes at 40 degrees did the trick.

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I don’t have any photos of the actual fitting as it required both hands but basically you clamp the tire on at one point and then hold the tire on the wheel a further 90 degrees around in one direction. You then work around the wheel in the other direction levering the tire onto the wheel. The supplier of the tires actually included a special tool for this, a piece of 20mm dowel approx 100mm long with a 100mm nail stuck in one end with some plastic tubing on it. Primitive but exactly what was needed. Once the tire was on I ran this around the wheel (between the tire and the wheel) to even it all out.

Process complete for the top wheel

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and then for the bottom wheel

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Final job required to get the bandsaw running was to make some new throat plates as the original ones were missing. a few quick measurements resulted in a 3D model which was then printed on the i3. One advantage of using a glass bed is that you get an almost glassy smooth finish on the bottom of the part.

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The part is basically two concentric circles (here printed upside down). Only the top circle is actually needed but the bottom step gives extra strength to the part.

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Almost mirror finish which will help in work not getting caught on the part.

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Part installed and just needing the slot cut in it to make it a true hero clearance insert.

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On the Caravan front the only progress has been gluing on one of the side walls. Both the cabinets were removed before everything was masked up (left hand wall being glued here).

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The wall was then removed and wax paper installed between the wooden base and the trailer frame. This is to hopefully prevent parts that shouldn’t be glued being glued accidentally.

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Decent amounts of polyurethane glue was then added before the wall being reinstalled and screwed to the base with a total of 13 stainless steel screws along the length of the wall. The next job was to reinstall the front cabinet with again a decent amount of glue before spending a further half hour dealing with squeeze out.

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In all this seems to have done the trick, giving the wall a shake shows that its stuck pretty well to the floor, hopefully when the rest of the gluing between the cabinets and walls is complete the structure should be solid enough.

Final work recently has been on the ML7. The drip tray still hasn’t been installed because some rider blocks were needed to raise the lathe above the tray sufficiently. These were cut from a length of aluminium stock before being faced and drilled on the ML7.

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The lathe was then unbolted from the bench which required the removal of the change gear quadrant, headstock lead screw bracket, tailstock lead screw bracket and finally the lead screw itself. I now need to work out how to lift the lathe off the bench enough to get the tray, blocks and rubber isolating washers all installed before lowering the lathe back down. I suspect this will end up being some overhead gantry contraption to lift the lathe the 100 odd mm required.

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