What I did today -instead- of Rocketry.

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BDB

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I won the University teaching award today. It was a total surprise.

Tonight I was telling my wife that the award comes with cash, and the first words out of her mouth were “That’ll build a big rocket.”
 
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Steve Shannon

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I won the University teaching award today. It was a total surprise.

Tonight I was telling my wife that the award comes with cash, and the first words out of her mouth were “That’ll build a big rocket.”
Congratulations! What an honor!
 

jmuck78

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I won the University teaching award today. It was a total surprise.

Tonight I was telling my wife that the award comes with cash, and the first words out of her mouth were “That’ll build a big rocket.”
Congratulations! How big of a rocket?
 

Zeus-cat

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Making a part for a B-17 turbocharger.

An original:


Stainless steel sheet cut to shape and clamped to a jig. Pounding the exposed side to bend it 90 degrees. We use nylon, rubber coated or leather hammers to avoid seriously denting the steel and damaging it. The steel needs to shrink at the top of the curve and stretch at the bottom.



A dent that will need to be worked out.


Another dent


Working the dents out with the English Wheel.


About an hour of pounding and it is starting to take shape.
 

Jim Hinton

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Making a part for a B-17 turbocharger.
Zeuz-cat, you possess skills that are steadily disappearing from the American workforce. We need guys like you to train as many folks as possible. I'm in kind of the same situation. I have trouble finding anyone willing to listen.
Jim
An original:


Stainless steel sheet cut to shape and clamped to a jig. Pounding the exposed side to bend it 90 degrees. We use nylon, rubber coated or leather hammers to avoid seriously denting the steel and damaging it. The steel needs to shrink at the top of the curve and stretch at the bottom.



A dent that will need to be worked out.


Another dent


Working the dents out with the English Wheel.


About an hour of pounding and it is starting to take shape.
 

Zeus-cat

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I wish I could say we possessed a lot of skills, but we don't. It is very much an iterative learning process. We try something and if it doesn't work we try something else. Hand fabrication of steel is a very obscure topic and the internet has provided no help. We are literally beating on steel with hammers to shape it; nobody does that anymore. At least they don't do it to make parts with compound curves. We have made a lot of aluminum parts, but shrinking and stretching that is fairly easy. Steel just doesn't like to shrink and it ain't thrilled with stretching. At least there is no grain to worry about like in aluminum.
 

Jim Hinton

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Hey Zeus-Cat; I think that's the nature of metalworking. I do some machining, I'm actually about OK at it. Every time I start thinking that I know what I'm doing, reality reminds me what a novice I really am. I fear that we may take these skills with us when we shuffle off of this mortal coil. People will still need these things in the future. As we both know, these things are not easy to learn. They are much harder to learn with no help and training.

Jim
 

jqavins

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Geometrically, it would help to remove wedges of material from the areas that need to shrink. Bend until the edges meet, weld, and then continue the shaping. Structurally and otherwise, I don't know if that's acceptable.
 

BA_Incognito

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Were the original parts stamped? I can't imagine that those were all hand-made for all those B-17s.....
 

Zeus-cat

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Geometrically, it would help to remove wedges of material from the areas that need to shrink. Bend until the edges meet, weld, and then continue the shaping. Structurally and otherwise, I don't know if that's acceptable.
We actually tried that method the last time we attempted to make these parts. We drilled strain relief holes near the bend and then cut out sections. However, we had to abandon that attempt when we realized that the mold someone else had given us was made from a part that was out of spec. My coworker kept insisting that we could make it work, but I thought it would faster to make a new mold from an original that was the right shape (photo 1). We used the part shown and made a wooden box it could sit in. We filled all the holes and corroded areas with Bondo and then greased it up. We cut Styrofoam insulation to hold it in place and then poured Quickrete vinyl patching cement into the mold. A few days later it was ready. Unfortunately, trying to form steel over concrete results in a lot of rebound when you hit it with a hammer. I then made a two dimensional form from oak which can be seen in photo 2. A plywood piece on top sandwiches the steel so you can hit it and it stays on the mold.

Unfortunately it is a Catch 22 situation. The more you hammer steel to bend it, the harder it gets and the less it wants to bend.

If we get to the point of having to piece it together we will probably just use flat pieces and weld them. No sense making three dimensional pieces with complicated bends when two dimensional with a small flange on the edge to be welded would work just as well.

For now we are trying to do it the correct way, but they may change. My coworker is still in the "This ain't the half-a$$ed B-17 factory, we're gonna do it correctly." At some point if we don't make progress he will say, "(bleep) it! It ain't the frickin Concorde!"
 

Zeus-cat

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Were the original parts stamped? I can't imagine that those were all hand-made for all those B-17s.....
I assume they were stamped, but we have no capability to do stamping. We have a hydraulic press, but no forms. Besides, I doubt our press could form steel as it can only generate about 5,000 PSI, if that much. It can form aluminum, but it struggles on big pieces.

Some of the other stuff we have made has "tool holes" in them that serve no apparent purpose. I assume these holes are on the drawing so that the blanks could be positioned in a press and the part was stamped.
 

prfesser

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I won the University teaching award today. It was a total surprise.

Tonight I was telling my wife that the award comes with cash, and the first words out of her mouth were “That’ll build a big rocket.”
Congratulations! Only once did I even win the collegiate teaching award. No way would I ever have gotten the university one! Well done!

Best -- Terry
 

dhbarr

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Had breakfast with my dad, changed the oil in the tractor, cut down a couple of trees, and went car shopping.
 

jd2cylman

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Sent one of my collector tractors to a new home today. We did a lot of work to the tractor back in the 90's and then had it painted. Dad liked it so much it stayed in the garage in the house. But since my brother took over the farm, they're in his way more than interesting, and I don't have as much time to spend maintaining them anymore. So, new home and a little breathing room in my savings account.
 

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lakeroadster

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More time in the barn learning to use my wood lathe.

I turned a "koozie" to hold my whiskey high ball glass and a trio of candle holders.

I should be able to make some nice thin wall transitions and nose cones with this lathe.

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002.JPG 001.JPG 000.JPG
 

TALON

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Went to a friends farm out in East Texas. The mission was to fuse up the mortar racks for out Memorial Day fireworks show. We also built up the berm on the shooting range. I will be teaching the proper way to deploy a military long arm some tactics.
Oh, and Happy Easter. HE has Risen!
 

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Zeus-cat

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Awesome! That looks fantastic.

How about velcro?
It doesn't sit flush against the fireplace. I am thinking magnets on the steel fireplace frame and some chains to hook onto the back of the wood frame. I just need to find some black magnets so I can move the screen and just leave the magnets on when we use the fireplace.
 
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