You're probably wondering how much progress was made over the Winter months. Well, with so many other irons in the fire, the builder did not make as much progress as one might think. The main issue with the logging disconnects is that so many of the parts need to be fabricated BEFORE assembly could start. Otherwise, there's nothing to hold the truck together. A disconnect is not like a standard freight car truck where there's a bolster, (2) side frames, (2) wheel 'n axle sets, bearings and other assorted suspension hardware. There's a bit more hardware for the disconnect.
A fixture was set up on the mill so each bar could be drilled for the thru bolt holes. Here again, once a particular hole dimension was set, drill one end of the bar, flip the bar around 180 deg...and drill the opposite end. Repeat for all other similar bars. When that operation was completed for the 1st set of holes, index the mill table for the next set of holes. Whether talking about bending or drilling, consistent and repeatable bends and holes were needed. Holes were drilled slightly oversized for the 10-24 studs. In a few cases, had to run the drill thru the stack of holes to get the stud thru the holes (easily) and then nutted.
The first few side frames that were assembled used 3D printed journal boxes. Why? The builder didn't have enough cast iron journal boxes. So, he designed and programmed his own journal boxes. Since the wheels/axles don't need the same type of suspension as a "normal" freight car truck, it was thought this method COULD work. Time will tell if that concept works.
In the next photo, we have one of the earlier attempts to fit parts together. Side frames for this truck had cast iron journal boxes. The builder was experimenting with the spacer for the log support. Later on, another idea was used for that support piece.
When the builder was reasonably satisfied sub-assemblies could proceed, sides frames were sand blasted and painted. The longitudinal timbers for the "main frame" were fabricated which included gluing a couple white oak boards together. Running those over a jointer/planer to square up. Cut to length. Glued. Sanded, rounded the edges and eventually painted as well.
As the builder continue to use his 3D printer more and more, he decided to try his hand at programming and printing builder/owner plates. He printed these "plates" with raised lettering. After painting the entire plate black, he would come back with a rubber roller that was rolled in white paint and then rolled over the raised lettering to transfer the film of paint to the plate. Here's a sample how this turned out. He would eventually redo the plate and program/print something that was a bit smaller.
Within the last few weeks, the prototype disconnect truck really started to take shape. Once again, the 3D printer was used to make the logging support spacers. The outboard spacers were made to fit inside a short piece of aluminum square tube...using the piece of tubing to bear the log weight. There are (4) of those support across the entire width of the disconnect...(2) with tube supports...(2) without.
The center swivel plate also started to take shape along with the actual log bolsters. These were made by welding (2) pieces of steel "T" section together to make a "track". A second smaller "track" was made for the sliding log chocks. Chains for setting and locking the chocks in place in keyhole slots were made in the appropriate pieces.
Here's another view.
Is there still more work to do? Absolutely. The swivel plate will have (2) angled stops to keep the log tracks from swiveling too far. While each disconnect had manual brakes...this is being evaluated for working or non-working brakes. All this to be decided sometime soon.
How's that for a catch up? See you again soon. Carl B.
Life is like a sewer...what you get out of it depends on what you put into it!
I don't walk on water...I just learned where some of the stepping stones are!
I love mankind...it's some of the people I can't stand!