Actually completing projects.

June 2nd, 2008

Yes, amazing as it seems I am actually finishing off some of my projects. No, not R2. He isn’t good enough. I have however finished the dumpster Dyco drill and it came up great in the end.

After cleaning up all the parts I spent a week or so painting them. It all got several coats of thick hammered finish green paint or satin black engine enamel. I find engine enamel is a great, hard wearing paint you can spray metal parts with without priming. After painting and reassembling all the parts I needed to finish off a few things. First was getting a new motor. As luck would have it one of my night classmates  happened to have an old motor lying about. I think this one might be 1/2 HP instead of 1/3 like the original but it fitted the drill perfectly. The base bolted straight into place and the shafts were exactly the same so the pulley fitted easily. The motor came to me bright red and since I had some bright red paint left over for my old MG I gave the motor a quick touch up and left it like that.

With the motor in place I needed the wiring. I got two heavy duty power leads from Surplustronics for about $3.50 each. One I cut the plug off to use as the lead to the motor. I used crimp terminals on all the connections. The switch is a 10 amp toggle. I bought one then discovered I have several at home as well. I fixed that through the existing hole on the left hand side of the drill body. I used a missile cover on the switch meaning you have to flip open the cover and flip the switch to turn it on but you can just hit the cover down to switch it off. Handy when the think you’re drilling catches and starts swinging about like mad! Generally you try to avoid that. The drill is earthed and I tested with a meter to make sure all the metal parts did have a good earth connection.

The final thing was replacing the handles. There were only two of the original handles left and they were in a sorry state.  The third was just a piece of 8mm or so threaded steel. I machined up some handled from 12mm diameter steel rod at my night class and planned to get some bolts to cut up to weld into holes I drilled into the ends of the rod to screw into the handle boss. Unfortunately after going to two different Repcos I couldn’t find the 3/8th UNC bolts I needed. Repco are pretty useless for such things. They have a display stand for them but no stock. Rummaging about at home I found I didn’t have any UNC bolts. With an old British car I do have a lot of UNF but had no coarse thread bolts. What I did have though were two grub screws. They were perfect. I brazed them into the ends of two of the rods. For the third I just chopped off part of the thread on the original mismatched handle. With them screwed into place the only thing left were end caps. Traditionally there are plastic balls on the end of the handles. 1, to give you something to grip and 2, so you don’t poke your eyes out on the damn things. I couldn’t find anything suitable to make nice, round ends so instead I used rubber chair feet. These seem to work well and certainly make the thing safer to use.

Finally I added a couple of rubber buffers ( rubber fuel hose slit down one side) over the lip of the cover. These just stop the top rattling about.

Now it is all done the drill works beautifully. It spins very true and is straight with no slop at all. It’s better than the cheap chinese one at my night class anyway. Changing speeds is easily done by flipping the top, slackening off the motor and then repositioning the belt. I’ve already been using it quite a lot doing various small jobs.  Here are some pictures of the finished item.


dyco_done2 The finished drill.

The other project I have almost finished is the Wimshurst machine. I am just waiting for the drive belts. Already though it can make 50mm or so long sparks just turning the discs by hand.  Once the drive belts arrive I can test the machine, paint it then write it all up.

I also finished the housing for the GPS clock. I just need to finish the electronics off now (adding a time zone changing feature) and then make up a board for it and mount it in the clock.

So, since all those projects are now nearly done I started working on the car again.  But that’s described on another, non-blog page entirely!

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3 Responses to “Actually completing projects.”

  1. Gerard Says:

    G’day mate

    Have you come across

    If not, you’d be a natural there. Happy surfing.

    Stuff for nothing? I like your style.


    Gerard Mostert
    Consulting arborist and general inquisitor

  2. Simon Says:

    Yes, I have seen Instructables actually. I look at everyday and they often have projects linking to there. Perhaps I should put something up there one day!

  3. schneidexe Says:

    I saw you Star Wars Asciimation today. Very cool, but the font style is not working in my browser (Firefox 3.6, Ubuntu). Adding “monospace” to the font list in the css section of screen fixes this problem. Maybe you can add this.