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Thread: First Build - Featherweight Bar Spinner

  1. #21
    Hello all,

    I’ve made a few changes to the design - mainly reducing the thickness of the chassis from 1/2” to 3/8” or even 1/4” where I think it will allow.

    The aluminium has arrived! I spent an hour making the attached cut The marked section is one of the bulkheads.

    This is the only remaining 1/2” section though so that’s as hard as the blade will have to work. They aren’t super fancy blades so I imagine I might go through a few but will see how it goes.

    Ive sent off a piece of 3/8” sheet to be cut by waterjet - this is for the V shaped arms at the front which are now much simplified. The shop is miles away and only open Mon-Fri so will be a while before I can pick them up! Lots to do before I need them anyway...

    Plan is to get the bulkheads cut and then start drilling holes for attaching the drive motors. I have a cheapy pillar drill which I am hoping will prove to be good value!

    As im at the startup phase - the biggest expense seems to be buying lots of little bits like drill bits, saw blades, files, lubricant etc. - all adds up!

    I’ll get some more cutting done this week(end).

    cheers,

    P.S. does this thread need to be moved to Build Diaries? Can a mod do that or do I need to start a new thread?
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  2. #22
    James Williams's Avatar
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    Looks like this thread is coming along well. I can certainly sympathize with being a newcomer & having the tools drain the budget! Don't worry about the thread, it's fine here.
    James
    Team Phyte

  3. #23
    McMullet's Avatar
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    Good going! Cutting 1/2" ally on a table saw looks scary.

    Has the design changed much with the move to home-building? I find my designs for robots feature a lot of rectangles, since I have to cut them myself, whereas stuff I design for work gets sent to a machine shop so it's all fillets and funny angles.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by McMullet View Post
    Good going! Cutting 1/2" ally on a table saw looks scary.

    Has the design changed much with the move to home-building? I find my designs for robots feature a lot of rectangles, since I have to cut them myself, whereas stuff I design for work gets sent to a machine shop so it's all fillets and funny angles.
    haha I’m actually surprised at how well it’s done considering it’s a £20 blade!

    It was a fairly simple design to begin with, but I have made it even more simple since I got some equipment to cut it myself.

    The main worry now is there are some large-ish holes to cut (up to 56mm diameter) that I’m not sure how I’m going to cut.

    thanks for the feedback!

  5. #25
    Perhaps you could use a hole saw?

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Eidg View Post
    Perhaps you could use a hole saw?
    I was thinking this but it’s 1/2” ally and not sure how good (expensive) a saw would be required!

  7. #27
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    I've cut through some thinner aluminium with a cheap hole saw. Took a while but worked fine and the saw managed OK. I think I did 3 pieces of 4mm thick sheet which is 1/2" total. That was only a 20 mm hole saw though. The other problem would be accuracy, you probably won't find a 56 mm hole saw and if you do it will probably cut 59 mm holes...

    I guess ideally you would want to use a milling machine and a boring bar to cut a hole that size, if you can get access to one.

  8. #28
    So the blade gave up on me before I could cut out one 120x210 bulkhead! it came in a pack of two (40/80 teeth) so will put the new one on and see how it goes!

    Ive also realised cutting straight lines even on a table saw is a little bit difficult but maybe that’s just me!

    I therefore bought a file yesterday so when I’m done cutting I can take the last few mm off. Is this viable with aluminium? I know it’s a soft metal but can I realistically take say 5mm off an edge without breaking an arm?

    im hoping this is super difficult mainly due to the thickness of the metal! As I said I’ve got 3/8” and 1/4” for the rest of the parts so it should get a bit easier lol

    cheers

  9. #29
    You would do better to invest in an small angle grinder if you are cutting

    metal out and a variety of blades for slitting/grinding.

    The thing about alluminium is that because its so soft , five minutes with a

    file and the file gets clogged and you spend more time cleaning it

    than filling-better to use a flap disk in a grinder.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by team death View Post
    You would do better to invest in an small angle grinder if you are cutting

    metal out and a variety of blades for slitting/grinding.

    The thing about alluminium is that because its so soft , five minutes with a

    file and the file gets clogged and you spend more time cleaning it

    than filling-better to use a flap disk in a grinder.
    thanks very much for the tip. I’ll take a look at some cheap grinders tomorrow.

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