Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shop Progress. Shrinking the design.

The hacker space (SLAC) has come along nicely and now we've got a work bench and a proper welding table.  The welder is a simple wire-feed 110v type, and I think it should be no problem to use.  The group actually has two.  Between that and the promised 3 or 4 grinders that will show up once the personal shelves are up, I think just about everything I'll need to actually fabricate this art car is now ready.

For the last 8 days, the donor truck has been at Tom's Truck Center getting routine maintenance and some small repairs done.  I'm gonna pick it up tomorrow morning before work, and tomorrow evening it will be at its new home at the hacker space.  Then the measuring can begin and final plans can be drawn up. I'm pretty sure I won't be building this to an exact plan... it will be more fabricated on the spot.

I started this weekend to render a new design using the smaller sized truck I actually bought.  The original design was for an 18-20 foot bed Isuzu FTR which is a 26,000 lb GVW truck, when I actually bought what amounts to an Isuzu NPR with a 12 foot bed and only a 12,500 lb GVW.  So it's basically half the size and carrying capacity.  Also I decided the ship needs to be angled a bit steeper as she goes down, so I wanted the propellers more visible.  And ideally the cab can be fully tilted forward for service with all the metal framework in place.  Those measurements will dictate the final dimensions.

As you can see, with the smaller truck, everything has to shrink.  The gray box in the background was the original ship's bridge.  The overall length will need to be reduced by about 4 feet.  In this partial rendering I haven't shortened it yet.  The deck of the truck is about 2 feet lower, so everything has to drop.  All the platforms and ramps also will drop.  I've been thinking long and hard about how to attach the ramps and that seems to be the biggest design challenge so far.  The front cab-over section will be hard to construct since the beams are so long, but how to attach the sides / hull with a proper folding hinge section is a pretty difficult design and engineering problem.  Anyway, that's all I have to share today.