Finally got this school bus deck installed for my skoolie conversion friends/customers ("Peachy Dreams Skoolie" is the name of their project if you want to look them up). Still needs planks and a few details, but it's going to be pretty cool. It folds up into a transit position while driving.
Most of the stuff I've been working on lately hasn't been particularly noteworthy or picture-worthy, but here's a custom fork being mitered for a recumbent front hub motor conversion. This was my first time building a unicrown fork, and ultimately, it was easier, once I had the fixturing figured out. I mean, duh, segmented forks are going to require two extra miters, with a compound angle I might add, and two extra welds. Four if you count leg-caps.
It's a straight-blade, whereas the original fork was curved. I don't believe there's a significant structural difference between the two, though the pre-yielding involved in bending the legs maybe de-localizes the point of future plastic deformation. I dunno, I'm not an engineer. I'm just going on my best understanding of the forces at work.
It feels slightly scandalous to admit here when I do something other than work on the projects that my customers are patiently waiting for, some having given me money in expectation. That said, my Summer has been pleasantly full of cool things. Canoe trips with new friends, bike trips with old friends. We came out high above Poole Slough near Newport in a semi-bushwhacky quest to connect Beaver Creek Road to South Beach. Behold:
Between Zach's squiggly GPS line, two sources of maps, satellite images and some backtracking, we succeeded in making the cut-through, which beats the heck out of riding on Highway 101 between Ona Beach and Newport.
I wish I'd gotten some better photos of these "caster boards" I made for the new Oregon Trail Brewery to move their new 1,100lb fermenting tanks into the brewery. There are four of them, one for each leg, and they ride 1/2" off the ground.
This project made me wish fervently for a CNC plasma cutter. Cutting plate is hard to do accurately by hand, and grinding to size takes an unfeasibly long time.
Certainly, I could have come up with a better design, that would have been as strong and rigid as these while being easier to manufacture, but I believed that I was under a tight deadline, so I brainstormed this design and got to work.
The rectangular tube sections are stiffeners that transmit load from the center of the caster to gussets welded to the sides of horizontal plane members. Partly this was due to only having a limited stock of suitably thick plate. Also, not having to cut all the members out of 1/2" plate saved a lot of time and effort. I just don't have the powerful tools needed to do a lot of work efficiently with thicker gauges of metal.
It may or may not be an exaggeration to say that I have accumulated a ton of metal. Lots and lots of various sizes and wall-thicknesses of tubing. Some pretty huge stuff too. The larger tubes are barely handleable by one person, some of them weighing upward of 200lb for a 20' stick. Placing one end of the stick on a dolly reduces the handled weight to a half, but that's still no joke.
This was apparently an advertisement published by my great-uncle in a local periodical for his construction business. I wish I knew the year.
It's both endearing in its very dated depiction of an unemployed craftsman, and a good cautionary tale for my fabrication endeavors. I have a weird mental block about charging people money for things, and then sometimes I will actually overcharge someone I should have given a break, and it makes me freak out.
My charging structure is rather loosey-goosey, because the nature of my work is so varied.. Basically, I bid based on the number of hours that I think it will take to complete a project, which is historically about half of the real number of hours I spend on something, and on how pleasant the job is. If I'm going to be grinding on my back underneath someone's trailer for hours in the rain, I'll be more likely to pad my rate upward. But then there are other factors: the neighborly-discount, the elderly-person-discount, the person-I-admire-discount, the friend-discount (that one's awkward, 'cause your friends want to make sure they're not stiffing you, so it's like a tug-of-war of niceness), the crush-discount, the family-discount... The list goes on.
Regardless, I'm improving at this. If you're my customer, be of stout heart; I don't wish to exploit you, nor do I wish to undermine your confidence in my product by undervaluing it.
Maybe that's too much personal information to be spouting off on a website intended primarily for marketing purposes, but when in doubt, "the truth is generally preferable to lies".