This is what the beginning of a new DIY build looks like. Of course, there’s the planning stages, the design stages and finally the acquisition stages where all the raw materials begin to come in. With all of that behind us, this is the start of the build, including the images below. Funny how the start of this project looks so much like the start of the last one . . . . A pile of cut steel in the middle of the garage floor, a stack of drawings, needed tools all laid out, anticipation in the air, and more.
Shown in the top photo, fetching material is one of the first steps. Then, cutting the steel into all the necessary pieces. The stack of steel on the trailer is the beginning to the pile of cut parts shown in the next image. It does not look like much yet, but it’s actually a pretty good pile representing a couple days of just cutting, drilling and preparing the raw material.
What will it look like tomorrow? That remains to be seen, but this is the start of our next big project. Over the next few weeks it will take shape and transform. Our DIY build will come from this, and a whole lot more.
The Plastic Side
While we talk a lot about fabricating with steel (and aluminum) on this website, that’s not the only material to work with — not by a long shot. This project includes fabricating with wood, aluminum and plastic. (And a bunch of purchased components as well.) No, we won’t be molding any plastic, but we are using plastic pipe for some needed cylindrical pieces. (Note again the clamps here creating yet a different kind of cheap, effective fixture.)
This stuff starts life as a long sewer pipe we picked up from a local supply house, Winwater. The PVC makes a mess of little ‘chips’ when you cut it, but fortunately it vacuums up OK.
This photo shows an attempt with the shop vac to contain the obnoxious plastic ‘dust’. And, it actually did a pretty good job. (Didn’t get it all, but certainly the lion’s share.) All the static from the rotary burr makes the stuff stick to everything.
The little cutouts are not precision, but they actually look pretty good. Careful hand work with lots of patience does it OK. Too bad the pipe only comes in shades of puke green. Anyway, I think these pipes will do the job just fine.
CNC And DIY Build Fabrication
Sometimes the DIY build requires more than the skills and equipment we have. And this is no exception. I certainly wish I had a CNC mill with all the peripherals and accessories, but I don’t. A water jet table or laser cutter would be good too.
Fortunately, I know a few machinists around town, so getting some special precision parts is only a visit away. Oh, and the money. I guess I shouldn’t overlook that.
This project will end up having CNC parts in both Aluminum and in Steel. It will also have several parts cut on a water jet table and still more, plastic and hardwood parts cut on a CNC router. Wow. This makes me both tired and excited just thinking about it all.
Although we don’t normally think about it this way, a first DIY build is a lot like making a prototype. Especially when we customize. We have not done it like this before, but we’re going to do it as a DIY build, and prototype or not, it must perform. That might mean we have to tinker some, or rebuild certain areas as we learn, but that’s how we learn, and that’s how we end up with great DIY stuff.
Please Visit Again
Please join us for more and perhaps learn some recommendations for Trailer Frame Painting. It’s actually for all kinds of projects, but this website focus is on DIY Build, so that article is about trailers.
More to come later about parts of the project. We’ll use it to illustrate some fun things in DIY that can make projects more successful. Please come back to read the rest.
In the meantime, we wish for you . . . Good Luck With Your Next DIY Build !!