Monday, June 11, 2012

Go cart gets side rails...

There was a short day working on the Go cart most of the morning was consumed trying to fix the front suspension.  The upper arms were mounted too close to the center.  I did get around to the side rails too.

Drip irrigation from a rain barrel

This weekend I tried to get more serious about utilizing a rain barrel for drip irrigation.  the first iteration dribbled water sufficiently but un-evenly.  I tried to level the line yesterday and got pretty good results but didn't get to test it.  I also fitted the rain barrel with a spigot valve to just gravity feed instead of siphon.
  Regardless, the soil is still like a sponge and very moist when the rest of the ground has dried up.  I credit that to the tilling and manure from earlier in the Spring.
The black weed control fabric has been a mixed success that may still pan out,  There is enough light getting through that weeds are growing. under the fabric and lifting it and plenty of weeds are striking for the hole where the plants pass through..  I am experimenting with moving a heavy black plastic through different areas of the garden and knock down weeds by starving them for light.

So far so good.  Will post pictures when the rain barrel is in full swing.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gardening May2012

The garden is planted in the back.  Tomatoes, melons, corn, pumpkins, lettuce, peas, beans, peppers, celantro, dill, onions, and CUCUMBERS!

Upcoming work

The next step will be to get the front suspension set up and tracking straight.  I need to make longer mounting tabs for the upper A-arms.  After that I intend to cut and bend the side rails and install the seat mount rails.
I need to think on the steering wheel mounts, shifter, start, and electrical controls.  The rear swing arm mounts will be  a couple box tubes with angle flanges to catch the swing arm pivot.  The swing arm/ engine mount needs to be made and that brings us to the differential and drive train.  Rear wheel hubs, brakes,  electrical wiring etc.  Keep watching.

Rebuild with stainless

I decided I needed to rebuild the frame with better steel.  The carbon steel (meaning I) was not welding very well and I thought the frame was weak. Here is a photo as I transferred the dimensions from the old frame to the new.  I tried to use 1 tube for the base of the chassis as I thought it would simply be stronger.  In the end I think it was much harder to keep it straight as I bent the tubing to the shape it needed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Go-cart building

Day off for the go cart.  The news yesterday was it took most of the morning to wait out the rain and clean up the mess that accrued over the winter. last year I focused on getting the front suspension structure made and the mounting points.  There still needed to be a rollbar and side rail structure.  I have been unhappy with the size of the chassis.  I really figured it out after I got the roll bar on and was going for the side rails.  It just looked too long- like I was setting up a four door.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Catch up Day

In the week after Christmas, Ralph and I worked on his Science fair project.  His Archery camp and other competitions in January meant we had to complete the build and experiment by January 2nd.  We didn't realize we had a problem with time until just before Christmas.
Anyhow, the four designs are constructed from Aluminum and riveted together.  I helped Ralph with the spindle mounts and hubs to get the blade power to a balanced shaft.  One of the things Ralph learned last year was that he needed a big enough impeller to overcome the friction of the bearings and generator and also that better precision and stronger materials were needed to ensure the windmills survived the test.  We cut Aluminum and riveted the pieces together after Bending, Ralph really seemed to like riveting and cutting the patterns out, but not good at drilling.  He also tapped threads into the hubs for the set screws.
Testing was done on Monday January 2nd and had good results consistent with expectations.  Clearly the conventional propeller had most energy from the same blade area.  The photos below are the Savonious design and the QR5.  I will try to get other pictures soon.