Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Set of City Trucks

I just finished a set of three city trucks.  It was a pretty humbling experience.  The last of the designs came out so well that I was pretty confident in these designs.  The first and biggest mistake I did was not look at the wheels before putting them in the design.  I used 1 1/2" in wheels instead of the 2" wheels in the dump truck and grader.  I needed these to look smaller because they were smaller vehicles.  I assumed they were the same peg and width as the 2" ones.  They are not.  They use a 7/32" peg and are only 1/2" thick.  The proportions were a little off.  Not to mention I drilled all the holes wrong and had to plug an re-drill them all. The second issue was I mixed up parts and did not realize it until after I had machined them all.  So I added to my scrap block pile.  The last big mistake was proportions.  I had grand visions of the cherry picker and that is what they became, too grand.  I designed a small maintenance truck and put a high wire lift on it.  For this lift to work I would need to put out riggers on it.

I did a couple of things different with these trucks.  On the final dry fit I posted pictures on Facebook with the instructions to criticize it.  I did not want the "looks great" posts, I want to improve.  I appreciate all the comments from the post.  So the new designs will not change the wheels.  I am kind of locked into the wheel size.  The rear wheel base will be widened to bring the wheels out.  The Cherry picker and stake bed trucks will now have duel axles.  The lift on the cherry picker is going to see a 30% reduction.

There were a couple of things I learned that were quite unexpected.  The first one was when I was sanding the engine blocks.  These are made by gluing up several pieces of wood and cutting the angle.  The angle cut goes through one of glue joints.  I labeled my parts and it just happened that my label showed through on one of the pieces.  I would have never expected for the wood to be that transparent and to cause a problem.  When I was assembling the cabs, I was doing them with my kids.  I was assembling parts on a piece of counter top.  First thing was I did not check for movement after all the parts were clamped together.  The second problem was there is a slight warp to the counter top that I did not realize.  Minor problems but they caused problems for the wheel alignment. 

On a side note, I highly encourage having kids help with building to toys.  It makes them some much more special to them.

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