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The Second Baby-Step with the Box and Pan Brake.

The clamp board with the steel edge

The clamp board with the steel edge

Remember, the reason babies are made close to the ground is so when they fall they don’t have very far to fall. Well, I am no baby, but I can avoid wasting a lot of time, money, and effort by moving forward in small steps and testing each step. I got several of those baby steps behind me, but I did fall. It was a minor fall, so soon I will be back up taking some more small steps and moving ahead again. Meanwhile I am learning.

In the last post about this home-made brake, “Progress on the Sheet Metal Box and Pan Brake“, I attached the hinges and hinge board to the base board.  The goal this time was to attach two handles on the hinged board, fabricate an edge for the clamp board and attach the edge on the clamp board.

Grinding the working edge on the metal for the clamp board

Grinding the working edge on the metal for the clamp board

The first step was to cut a piece of the steel 1″ X 5/64″ strip and grind an edge on it. This actually turned out to be an easier job than I assumed it would be. As shown in the 2nd picture, I did this with a drum sander on my Dremel tool. I clamped the strip on to my work bench, held the Dremel at about 45 degrees and ground away. The most important thing in this procedure is to keep the Dremel moving back and forth fairly quickly to prevent grinding in a groove.  I only consumed 3 of those small sanding drums doing this on this strip.

Checking the edge profile of the ground strip.

Checking the edge profile of the ground strip.

Every so often I would remove the clamps and look at the profile of the edge to see if I had ground down enough to get a good tight corner.  The third picture was getting close, but I still had a little more grinding to do.

Final cuts of the edge.

Final cuts of the edge.

After I got the edge profile I wanted, I did a few final strokes with a file down the length of the strip to make sure I did not have a groove or gully cut into the edge and for the very final step I checked the edge with a steel ruler as a straight edge. I have plenty to concern myself about on the final product with the probability that the hinged board will bow and the flatness issues talked about in the last post. I don’t want to add complications at this point by having a non-straight edge when with a little effort I can take care of that problem.

Attaching the edge to the clamp board.

Attaching the edge to the clamp board.

The next step was to use the router and cut away some of the wood of the clamp board to be able to attach the strip flush with the bottom of the board. I drilled and counter sunk two holes to attach the edge strip to the clamp board as shown in the picture to the left.  The first picture shows how the assembly looks from the top.

The way the clamp board will be used in the brake.

The way the clamp board will be used in the brake.

This pretty much completed my goals this time for the clamp board.  I then had to attach the two handles to the hinged board to be able to get the leverage necessary to bend the metal.  The way the clamp board will be used on the rest of the brake is shown in the next to last picture.  Now it is time to test it!

There was a couple of problems with testing it.  First I did not have any good really stiff material to hold the clamp board down.   Second, the only clamps I had available to clamp the necessary thickness were not able to apply a lot of force. But I did have some scrap sheet metal and I really wanted to try it out.

The very first bend.

The very first bend.

Try it out I did. I did manage to get a 90 degree bend but not a very sharp one. I would call this a fail, but I did get a big bunch of learning with that test. The only thing I had available at the time to clamp the clamp board was a section of 1 X 4 pine. Obviously that was kind of a flimsy clamp once it spanned the width of the brake. The surprise to me was that as the metal was bent it pushed the clamp board toward the rear of the brake. Probably it moved back about 1/2″ which is why I have such a big radius bend on the metal.

I have since purchased some clamps that should work for several tests.  The goal is to try to get a nice tight 90 degree bend.  Once I am successful on the tests for a piece of sheet metal equal to the width of the clamp board I will then proceed on with designing a permanent clamping system.   But as always a few more baby-steps before moving on.

Although not 100% successful so far, that is why the big automobile companies have test tracks and test equipment.  How long have they been building cars?  Yet they continue to test.

 

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The Second Baby-Step with the Box and Pan Brake.” by Create-and-Make.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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