New machine pix - at last!

Here are pictures of a machine that should be finished in a few days and I
have spent more than a year building, between phone calls and fire
extinguishing. There are a lot of cool subsystems that are "out of the box"
and not much "off the shelf". Every bit of my know-how went into it and I
had to learn some more. One BIG load of metalworking!!! Lots of kludges
because I designed around what stock I had in the bins rather than buying a
lot of stuff. I probably spent less than $1k for new stuff and scrounged
the rest. It's based on a commercial brush machine frame and will make a
very heavy duty "Butcher's Block" brush using flat wire. This will replace
a current machine that is over 100 years old, (except anything that moves)
and produce over twice the output without the highly skilled operator, it
will eliminate 3 operations and cut costs by over 20% not including the
overhead load. It will also cut 1.5 people that will be absorbed by other
departments. We figure that it will hit the fiscal at over $40k per year!
Cha-CHING!!! In retrospect, I should have done the whole project
differently. I should have done the system designs with no-holds-barred,
farmed out the machining, hired techs and had it on-line in less time. I
ran the project like a hobby...Duhhhh. The next project starts as soon as
this goes into full production. Most of the design work is done and I will
do it way different. It
will produce wire wheel brushes that will be higher speed rated and higher
quality and cheaper and faster to make.
In the pix you will notice the X-Y table is on Nyliners on cold-roll rod.
The table motion is controlled by the big cam wheels you see in the back.
We
made the cam sections on a CNC mill from a spreadsheet to G-code
translation. The stuff I am most proud of is the wire feed and cut system
that uses 1-way clutches, nyliners and an air cylinder. -works slick! It
started as a frame given to me by another brush co. I had or made most of
the standard parts and made all the conversion parts. Working with flat
wire can be a nightmare but I think I took most of the magic out. You can
see the brush it makes, pretty heavy-duty. We also do all the woodworking
here for all the brushes. We also make power tool, industrial wheels, knot
type and a lot of specials. Sorry about the picture quality, my camera
doesn't work the same since it quit and I took it apart and "Repaired" it.
But, now I have an excuse to get a new one.
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Reply to
Tom Gardner
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On Tue, 04 May 2004 13:49:43 GMT, "Tom Gardner" brought forth from the murky depths:
Paging Mr. Goldberg. Please pick up the nearest white courtesy telephone. ;)
Indubitably. I've fallen in love with my Nikon Coolpix 995.
Pretty cool, Tom. I'll bet you had fun between your hair-pulling bouts with -timing- the whole thing, too.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
Remarkably perceptive!!! All timing issues are in degrees of top-shaft rotation and most of them have good sized windows and a couple are down to less than 3 degrees. The "Kentucky Windage" is the fun part because the everything is a little different under power.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
A splendid machine.
I'm wondering what the worker's comp premiums are, what with the open belt and chain drives.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
We don't need no stinking guards!!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Is that a piece of scalp I see wrapped around that pulley?
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
guards are for the untalented
if you are good you can do it with half as many fingers
Reply to
williamhenry
OK,OK, There are guards for EVERYTHING!!! But, they will be the last thing that gets bolted on...right before a coat of paint. People will take better care of a freshly painted machine especially if you get their input as to color. I just brush grease on everything I don't want painted and spray away, then wipe off the grease. I was asked to paint it the color of sawdust mixed with oil...I don't THINK so!
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Congratulations Tom. It's good to see you're constantly innovating. May your business succeed for another 135 years.
Anyone know the most effective way to prevent ideas like Tom's from being stolen, short of absolute secrecy? I've heard that getting patents are a pain in the ass, and even then can be gotten around.
Reply to
Artemia Salina
I will NEVER patent anything again!!! When I patented my Impact Brush, I got a letter from a guy in Russia that wanted $50 for a translation of an article in a Russian industrial journal describing my patent with drawings, pictures and cut-aways. They didn't even give me credit!!!
Even in these pix, I made sure that if one of my competitors saw them. they couldn't figure out the missing pieces. I loved the "Rube Goldberg" references...if they only knew.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
On Tue, 04 May 2004 17:56:26 GMT, "Tom Gardner" brought forth from the murky depths:
Had I gone to college, I would have studied mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or both. Instead, I went to an automotive tech school and got to work earlier. (I never did like school and didn't want to put in another 6-8 years.)
I worked with a friend in SoCal for a couple years, taking on any mechanical problem people had. We worked on anything from granite grinding/polishing machines to Baird gamma cameras to bone densitometers to candy packaging machines. 'Twas lots of fun.
The candy sorting/weighing/packaging machines were the most complex as far as timing goes. But those pale in comparison to what you seem to have there, Tom. Got a JPG of the vacuum/pressure diagram? That'd tell me more.
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
In contrast, my first was in fine-arts and immediatly opened a custom van shop...then went back to school after my fill of partying.
That's quite a wide range of diciplins!!!
Well, no vacuum, and the air is simple. 1. Wire feed cylinder - cam controlled with simple micro-type roller switch 2. Safety lock-out prevents starting machine unless it is advanced from last hole to first, cam roller. 3. Ratchet advance cylinder moved big cam shaft from last to first hole upon reset, controlled by kneepad. 4. Air clamps to hold the blocks in, controlled by foot petal 5. Coiled air hose for the operator to blow-off....stuff.
It took me a day to get the timing dialed-in by moving cams and sprockets split-clamped on shafts. It still needs tweaking in the flat wire handling but should be no biggie. I hope I can walk away from it in a week or less. The basic frame is common here as I have 15 of them...they still surprise me though, and I know when to walk away.
Thanks for your kind words, making brushes has always been my passion...although I often wish that my great grandpappy owned a liquor store instead.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
On Wed, 05 May 2004 17:45:55 GMT, "Tom Gardner" brought forth from the murky depths:
Suckage.
...that Rube was a cartoonist and never did really build ANYTHING? Yeah, I knew that. (But didn't 2 years ago.)
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Reply to
Larry Jaques
Mrs Robinson's son Heath would be proud of it.
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Be an interesting mpg of the thing running when it is finally finished. Geoff -- Catapultam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam. I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head
Reply to
geoff merryweather

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