Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Front End Loader

This is one of the most requested items by my kids.  Ever since I brought home the design they have been asking for it.  If I remember correctly my middle child actually slept with the plans the night I brought the plans home.  My oldest slept with the toy last night.  There are things that I like about it and things that I am going to modify. 
 First problem was all about the design process.  When I was putting it into the CAD system everything fit even though some of the joints were close or parts were thin.  The shovel caused the most grief.  Because the joints were tight, my first bucket did not move.  There were some modifications and I figure that I need to give the joints about an 1/8" tolerance.

The second mistake was trying to make the bucket thin.  I do have to give a little bit of back story on this process.  The bucket is made up of laminated pieces and to line all these parts up I marked 1/8" holes in precise locations in the pattern.  This allows an 8d brad nail to be put through the holes and line up the various parts.  I started with 1 1/2" thick material. The first mistake was that I cut out the part and then drilled the holes.  The 1/8" drill bit walked on a couple of the parts making alignment off. 
First assembly of the shovel.

My second mistake was using 1 1/2" thick material on a scroll saw with the wrong blade ( I used a #7 skip tooth).  The blade did not cut square.  I figured I could sand it all out.  This is probably why my sander belt sander died.  So I sanded all out and sanded to the assembly holes, which were less than a 1/16" from the edge.  I still did a dry fit which is when I found out all my joints were locked.  So I went back to the design and moved all my joints out and all the pieces of the bucket were made with 3/4" pieces.  I also thickened the wall of the shovel.  The second shovel went together much easier and less sanding.
 This was a fun little project and with a lot of discoveries.  Glad I finally completed it for my kids so now they can pressure me into a garbage truck.

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