"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Dauntless Received

I received the Dauntless kit a few days ago. Back on 9/22/11 to be more accurate. The kit is basically a box full of die cut wood parts. Just what I expected. The hull size is 49.5 x 14 inches.

I am currently looking for a flat working surface upon which to construct the hull. It needs to be fairly large but somewhat portable. I want to be able to move the large construction out of the way when necessary to work on other projects.

What I will use is a hollow core narrow width door and probably cut down the OAL a bit. They are generally 80 inches tall and I only need about 60 inches. I know how to splice the end back into the cutoff. I have done it before. I only need 15 inches in width but may have to go to a narrow standard door of 24 inch width. Half (one panel) of a 30 inch bifold is the perfect working surface, but hard to find.

For the boat I already have a (probably CNC) project to make several inline motor mounts from aluminum. Sketches are already on my desk. I need to refine it in CAD. More info to come. This is going to be a long project, I think.

This will probably be the last I publish about the general boat construction here. Check out the RoboBoatBlog.net for more about non machine shop construction.

What I will include here are any machining or metal projects that relate to the boat construction. I am thinking of things like making my own brass propellers and other interesting bits and metal pieces.

Dauntless Ordered

Dumas Model of the Dauntless

Oh boy… I am in big trouble now. I have a new passion. It is the construction of the boat Dauntless. I just haven’t seemed to be this excited about a hobby project made from wood since I was building and flying model airplanes. This is liable to become an obsession. There just something about a model boat that is going to be four foot long or there about.

I especially like the idea that I am going to be doing a lot of engineering and special construction for this project. Everything from the control system to the smallest hardware detail will be under my decision on how it will be made.

I also see a lot of fun in operating the boat once it becomes water worthy. I would really like to find some locals in North Texas who have the same interest. I am not looking for help but rather kindred souls who also build and operate large scale boats.

Another scheme I am harboring (pun intended) is to look for opportunities for products I can offer in my web store. I am thinking various components for large scale model boats that perhaps I make in my machine shop. I am thinking drive shafts, fittings, maybe even cast parts (from pewter) for ships fittings.

Machining Job for Roboboat

I just ordered a couple (2) 6-18 Volt Johnson 9167AK electric motors for the Roboboat project. I do not yet know if they are suitable. I’ll discover that once I receive them. This is part of the problem when buying something you can’t first touch and feel. Especially if it something you have never owned in the past.

The specifications seem to be OK and the cost was very low (about $7.00 each on eBay) so I figured it was worth the risk. That is all part of the cost when creating a prototype. If anything the motor’s physical size is what has me concerned. They just don’t seem to be big enough for the power they can handle. That is about 49 watts each. They weigh in at .45 pounds each so they seem to have some mass.

Johnson makes or sells a huge variety of small DC motors. These motors I picked are not the highest RPM but do have a lot of torque for their size. I also have to pay attention to the power they use as I don’t want to haul around large expensive batteries. I then also have to stay within the ratings for my speed controllers.

The reason I am posting this here is that part of my plan is to design and build (machine)suitable aluminium motor mounts for these (or any) electric motor I choose. High power also equals high heat so I need to design for the heat these motors are sure to produce. Of course I don’t expect to be running the motors at full power. (I could be wrong.) A lot will depend on prop size and pitch. Lots of variables.

The roboboat project is not intended to produce a high powered fast competition model boat. I am… Continue reading

Other Kinds of Projects and Materials

I am currently doing some design work with microprocessors. The first mission is to control a model boat. My intention is to include some computer “smarts” with some of my new projects. Why? Well, because I like to play with the little computers. I will be using machining to make housings for the computer components and some parts for the boat.

I realize that not all machine shop projects are for the making of other machines. The machine shop is intended to shape materials mostly* by lathe turning or milling into a part or product for any use imaginable. I have decided to start looking for those other uses, the freedom of unlimited possibilities.

Some of my recent “other uses” have been with the CNC carving and machining in 2D and 3D. That’s not making another machine but it is certainly machine shop work. The casting of pewter using aluminum molds also involves machine work. Pewter doesn’t “stick” to aluminum.  So if I want to make a cast part over and over, I machine the mold out of aluminum. That is machining. Making a master part by machining a metal or wax master then making a rubber mold to make more parts is also not out of bounds in my shop.

I don’t want to become narrow by thinking everything that is machined is part of a machine like a steam engine or IC motor, Ha!

Machining a dozen custom hinges from brass for a woodworking project is still machining.

Also occasionally missing from my thought picture is metal is not the only material that can be machined. I know that is pretty obvious. I have done a lot of machining in wax (mentioned above) and occasionally in plastic.  3D carving with CNC in wood, particle board… Continue reading

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