Wednesday, December 17, 2014

That's the Brakes

I got the lower die for my press brake altered. I'm thinking I might need a little more reinforcement in the middle, however. There's roughly a 5/16" gap between the base plate of the die on both sides and the channel iron it's sitting on. I'm going to weld a tab of some sort in the middle, probably more for peace of mind than for anything else. The real weak link in the chain are the rods that support the whole works. There is a 3/4" round pin on each side that allows you to move things up or down as needed. The press has a 12 ton jack and it's managed to bend the rods a bit. If I'm going to put a big load on it I may need to beef up the lower support. Maybe make something that uses two rods per side rather than just the one. While I'm contemplating that, I'll work on getting the top die taken care of. 

I'm planning on using the pipe laying in the vee of the die to attach the top die to the press. The press has a 2" stub sticking down. If I bore out the pipe to slip over it I should have something I can then weld to the top die. The only problem with that pipe is the wall will be a little thin after I bore it out. If I wrap a piece of 1/8" flat around it to beef it up it'll have a 5/16" wall around it then. Add a couple of brackets to the ends of the die and I should be in business. Maybe wire brush it all down and then get a coat of paint on it next Spring.

I put the rear wheel back under the Sportster - looks pretty good with the chrome lever and rod. As always I ran into a couple of snags along the way. I had to Heli-Coil the hole for the forward mount on the chain guard but I new that. I also had to chase the threads on the axle and nut. I'm not sure how one vehicle could have so many damaged threads but this one sure does. Or did. I should have most of them fixed now. The gizmo that clamps on the brake rod to actuate the brake light switch doesn't want to clamp down tight enough. Looks like I'll have to weld in a little shim to make it grip a little tighter. The brake shoes looked good but I had to use most of the adjustment to get them to make contact with the drum. I'll get the chain on it and adjusted and then see where I'm at with the brakes. 

I checked the school calender and my vacation's not as long as I thought but I've got a good 3-1/2 weeks. I'm planning on finishing up all the mechanical things on the Sportster while I'm off and with a bit of luck, the wiring as well. With the new lights, heater and radio, it's pretty nice working out in the shop now. As long as it doesn't get super cold, might be able to get a couple of things done on the 900 as well.

Marching right along. 

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