Starting Yet Another Project

What does the beginning of a new DIY build looks like?  This is it.  Of course, there are the planning stages, the design stages, and then 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 all that is in 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 shop floor, a stack of drawings on the desk, needed tools all laid out, anticipation in the air, and more.

Steel Parts Cut to LengthShown 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 of the pile of cut parts shown in the next image.  It does not look like much yet, but this is actually a pretty good pile representing a couple days of just cutting, drilling, grinding, and preparing new parts from the raw material shapes.

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 is not the only material to work with – not by a long shot.  This project includes fabricating with wood, steel, aluminum, and plastic.  (And a bunch of purchased components as well.)

No, we won’t be molding any plastic, but we are using plastic raw materials in a number of ways.  Some CNC, and in the image attached, cutting plastic pipe for some needed cylindrical pieces.  (Note again the clamps here creating yet another, different kind of cheap, effective fixture.)

DIY Build - Pipe VacThis 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 does a pretty good job.  (Did not 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 necessary 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 should not overlook that.

This project will end up having CNC parts in both Aluminum and in Steel.  It will also have several parts cut from sheet on a water jet table.  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 are 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 is how we learn, and that is 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.  The principles of finishing and painting are actually for all kinds of projects, but this website focus is on DIY Build, so that article uses trailer painting as the example.

More to come later about parts of the project.  We will 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 !!

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