Progress at Long Last

I stopped at the hardware store hoping to find some suitable rod that would fit the undersized bearings of the previous post. Naturally, the rod sizes they stock jump from 1/2″ to 3/4″ with nothing in between. While pondering the unsavory prospect of shaving down the diameter of a stainless shaft on the lathe, I wandered around the store aisles aimlessly. This is something I tend to do more often than not when I enter any hardware or mechanically inclined store – seeing the blue building insulation makes me think that I should build a hot wire foam cutter for R/C airplane wings, while the plumbing section reminds me that I’d like to build a pneumatic launcher with a Rainbird sprinkler valve as the core. Thank heavens the Boeing Surplus Store is now closed – if I ever would have entered their doors, I never would have left.

In my meanderings, I found a nice large 5/8″ diameter bolt that slipped through the bearings nicely (there’s a little bit of play, but I don’t think it will be an issue).  Unfortunately, I found that I had been a bit enthusiastic in welding the weight plates:

I seem to have run the weld bead up into the hole for the clamping screw, locking the screw into place.
On the bottom unit, I seem to have run the weld bead up into the hole for the clamping screw, locking the screw into place.

Fortunately, I was able to use an endmill to break through the weld and free the screw.  I did a test assembly of the bearing unit, and things looked pretty good:


I then shaved down the threads to about 1/2″ diameter so that I could use a piece of 1/2″ ID hose to couple the bolt to the motor shaft.  I also had to round the outer corners of the top weight to keep it from hitting the frame members.  After attaching the weight and bearing unit to the old motor mount plate, I reassembled the bucket frame and installed it on top of the springs.  I did have to reduce the spring height by 2″, but once assembled, the whole unit ‘felt’ about right.  I finished by adding the hose coupling and adjusting the motor height.

All that remains is the wiring.

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