Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Bike than Boat

The front gears are not yet set up, the rear are, the brakes work. As does the steering Some things I have noted...

  • The bent plywood seat is SO much better  than the original.
  • Foam sleeping mats for camping are perfect for lining the bent plywood seat.
  • The (very) tiny play in the linkage is not a problem at all.
  • I had to "fix" the USS as the original steering tabs were effectively longer at the forks, resulting in a gearing effect. The wheel turned less than the bars. (not good)
Some thoughts on riding the bike.
  • You can't easily move your body to balance. Counter Steering Helps a LOT. I learned this driving motorbikes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Countersteering
  • It's way easier to start off down a slight hill.
  • There's no suspension. I do appreciate that's obvious. But you can't lift up out of the saddle. I may "spring" the seat. I've seen suspension seats for normal bikes. We shall see.
  • The USS bars have a lot of leverage back and forth. Even tightening the bars a lot at the bracket does not stop me from moving them about if I push or pull to hard. I am thinking of welding them at a suitable angle.
  • A VERY light hand on the USS bars makes the bike travel in a straight line. Less is MORE. Hauling out of the bars as you start off makes for a very short journey.

I like it. I like it a lot. It will need a little more work. Some tweaking. Lights, mudguards, pannier brackets, paint, etc. Once it's presentable I'll post some pics.

My welding needs a LOT of work. Right now I can make stuff stick, and it will hold against a car jack. But I'm scoring about 0.2 our of 10 for artistic merit, and that's only cause they hate to give you 0.It will take a bit of practice before I'm prepared to go out in traffic, and I need a decent helmet mirror. 

plans, forum, tutorials etc. are here http://www.atomiczombie.com/

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A little about welding..

Some good books

  • Farm and Workshop Welding
  • How to Weld: Techniques and Tips for Beginners and Pros (Motorbooks Workshop)

Phases of not being able to weld (just stick welding mild steel - lets not get silly just yet)

  • Can't strike an ark
  • Can't run a bead
  • Can't run a neat bead
  • Bead is (too high,  too flat, undercuts the metal, laced with inclusions)
  • Can't join metal at all
  • Can break metal about with bare hands
  • Can break metal with hammer
  • Can sometimes break metal with hammer
  • *Can't make neat weld to join metal
  • Can't always make neat weld
  • Take a lot of attempts to dial in the right settings on a different type of joint.
If I get past this list, I'll consider my self to be about "beginner" status.

I guess it's true of so many things. They seem simple until you start to learn about them, and then you find out how much is involved.

Some Simple Ideas 

(Bear in mind I'm an utter novice, so this has very little authority behind it) 

Too cold, you only join the surface. Too hot you burn through.

Too Hot, Speed Up to compensate, and you don't deposit enough metal, you get undercutting.

Too Cold, Slow down to compensate, you end up with too much metal, and inclusions from the slag getting around you.

As you run a weld, the metal heats up, at the start it's stone code. Circle at start for a second before you start moving.

On thin stuff you need to do short welds, then let it cool. Repeat.

More weld material does not make a weld stronger, a nice convex fillet is stronger than a blob as the blob introduces a sudden change in thickness of metal, which is a stress point. The weld is stronger, the joint is weaker. It will break at the edge of the blob.

Buy an automatic helmet. As a beginner this makes a lot of difference.

* I'm about here, on a good day. With varying degrees of the preceding problems.

Monday, May 07, 2012

And now I'm learning to weld...

It's a long way from boats, but I'm planning on building a recumbent bike. See http://www.atomiczombie.com/

I've started learning to weld, there's tonnes of stuff out there, the good the bad and the ugly. Some of it is just plain wrong. The dedicated sites are better than instructables & such.

 Ymmv, given that I don't know a whole pile about welding, do take my recommendations with a whole pile of salt.