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 02-19-2005, 23:14 Post: 106469
tomrscott



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 Big Plasma Cutting Job tractor weights

Well the weather cleared up nicely while I was having my morning cup of coffee. Turned into a nice sunny day, so I got quite a bit of plasma cutting in today.

I've uploaded some pictures of a circle cutter jig I built for my plasma cutter, and some pictures of cutting out wheel weights.

I should describe this plate of steel I am cutting up a bit better. Forgot to get a good picture of the whole thing but this will give you a pretty good idea: It is about 19 feet long, by 58 inches wide. One long edge has a four inch edge rolled down, and the opposite edge has a four inche edge rolled up, but tha tedge has a about a five inch deep notch for about six or seven feet in the middle of the long side. Welded to the bottom side of the plate are three long pieces off angle iron, 3" x 3" x 1/2" thick, about sixteen feet long, and welded across one end of the plate were two pieces of angle stock, 3" x 3" x 3/8" thick, 56 inches long. This was one well-reinforced piece of steel! Fortunately, the angle stock was only welded on with stitch welds, about two or three inches of bead every foot or two.

In order to take the angle stock off, I first gouged out most of the weld bead with the plasma cutter gouging tip. This removes pretty much all of the weld bead, but leaves a thin smear of a weld down in the root of the joint. In order to help separate this, I took a 1/16" thick x 3" diameter air grinder and gouged a bit more of this weld smear away and then was able to get a 3" inch wide broad chisel into the crack with a hand sledge. After a few whacks, there was a loud "BANG!" as the last of the weld popped apart. From then on, once I had some prying force into the gap, I could go back and gouge out more weld and each weld would "BANG" itself apart, sometimes requiring a bit more encouragement from the local application of a broad chisel and sledge.

Using that process, I removed one of the 56" cross angles the other day, and this moring I removed the other one, and also removed one of the 16 foot long pieces from the underside with the whole plate lifted up on cinder block stacks of two blocks high. I was very careful to have everything well blocked before getting under it to work, and they used a lot of caution as that 16' length of 1/2" thick angle iron started to separate. But with all of those pieces removed, it left one long edge free to begin cutting circles.

I did take some pictures of the circle cutting. The first three are taken through a piece of plexiglass, so they are a bit cloudy. The first two shots are from about three feet away, and the third is about eighteen inches from the torch (all with self timers). The fourth shot is of my work setup with three disks cut out. I went on to cut three more for a total of six disks.

A pretty good day's work.

This project is not only going to yield a lot of wheel weights for my tractor, but a bunch of valuable steel for fabricating other projects.






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 02-20-2005, 19:54 Post: 106509
denwood



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 Big Plasma Cutting Job tractor weights

I don't want to hear any more about your plasma toy Wink yeah right It is making me jealuous. Especially since I am working on a large project right now using the oxy/acet. mess maker. I have got to get me one of those, maybe santa will bring one. You can label you pics if you go to a post you made and click on you own pics.






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 02-21-2005, 08:11 Post: 106535
shortmagnum

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 Big Plasma Cutting Job tractor weights

tomr, I've been following this project since you first posted about the idea. It looks like things are working great for you. Do you have a system designed for adding single disks one at at time to the wheels or will you have to weld them together to make one heavy unit for each side?
Dave






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 02-21-2005, 11:22 Post: 106543
tomrscott



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 Big Plasma Cutting Job tractor weights

Well, given that you haven't seen my name on the roster of Olympic weight lifters, I think I'll keep them as separate 22 pound disks, rather than a single 500 pound wheel weight! (grin)

Seriously, I am just going to use the four half inch carriage bolt holes that are provided on the wheels. I've got deep dish R4 wheels that are a good ten or eleven inches deep. Loading the weights up will be a challenge, but not impossible.

One idea is to park the tractor on a side grade incline so the wheel I'm working on is leaning into the tractor, that way the weights will not want to tip out of position. Then if I just lay a spacing bar in the bottom of the wheel to hold the weight stack up while I get the bolts cinched up, it should work fine.

Twenty two pounds at a time is just fine by me thank you very much! (grin)






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 03-15-2005, 01:29 Post: 108031
tomrscott



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 Big Plasma Cutting Job tractor weights

Brief update:

Stealing what time I could from other responsibilities, with the unseasonably warm dry weather we've had in Portland lately, I managed to get all 42 disks cut out in the last couple weeks. Since the plate these were cut from had lots of plates and brackets welded to the surface, which required gouging out welds to remove, it left many of the disks with significant surface grinding to clean them up so they will lay flat. After chipping the slag off, and grinding the surface welds, and grinding some rough edges, sanding off a few rust spots and some loose paint, I've now gotten over two thirds fully cleaned up and primed with rust preventive. Just another ten or a dozen disks to finish cleaning up, drill the holes, and some finish yellow paint, and I'll soon post some pictures of the finished product. (Tractors here are green with yellow wheels )



Plasma cutters rule!

Oh, came up with a clever way to justify a bunch of stick welding practice (which I sorely need) without wasting any material. The bottom disk in each wheel will rest against the wheel lugs, which means there would be some waste space around the lugs bolt heads. And, a by-product of cutting 42 circles out of a rectangle is a whole bunch of small pieces of scrap in various diamonds and triangles. What I plan to do is take the two worst disks surfaces and scrape the paint and rust off, then accurately layout where the lug bolt heads will hit, and weld on scraps and weld bead padding to full up the space on the bottom side of those first two disks (one on each side). I can weld a chunk of scrap onto a disk, letting it overhang the circumference, and then trim it flush with the circle jig, weld another next to it, cut a scrap to fit the spaces, and fill with padding. It won't matter if some of it is ugly, everything adds weight, nothing goes to waste, and I would get lots of practice.

My biggest struggle stick welding is remembering to keep moving the stick in to the bead as it burns up. It tends to get away from me and I get to long an arc. But I am very new to it.

More pics soon!






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