Height Adjustable Grates!

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Joe Jones
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

djreiswig wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 10:17 am
Surprisingly, it happens occasionally. :Yay
I am just a guy who doesn't like pieces scraping against each other, when a bearing could solve the issue. But given the low speed of the mechanism as it will raise and lower, I think a simple spritz of silicone once in a while would solve that problem.

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by weldguy »

I think the washer idea is brilliant. Simple and effective for sure.
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

If I drill and tap the gears so I can mount a flat washer to the outside of the gear, it would work well. Or I could TIG weld washers to the gears, I suppose. I will come up with some way to keep the gears aligned as they climb and descend the vertical gear racks. Ideally, something that follows the gear rack itself, rather than a wheel off to one side, riding a leg surface.

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

All of the issues have been solved! Now I have to get out there to make the mechanism. I still need to design and make (have made) the mount plates for the transmissions and the drive motors. That will be a job for SENDCUTSEND. The finished product is not far away now!

Joe
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Dirtmotor »

Why do you need 4 motors ? looks like 2 would work .
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

Dirtmotor wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 10:08 am Why do you need 4 motors ? looks like 2 would work .
Thank you for the question!

ONE would work if it were strong enough. These are small, geared 12VDC motors. When you have a device with many linked shafts and such, you encounter TOSRION issues. Since the square of shafts, couplings, and transmission is not rock solid, twisting only one or two of the shafts would create torsion that would cause lagging and uneven vertical movement of the gears. Also, the motors have brakes in them, so when the device climbs or lowers to a specific point, all four of the gears supporting the grate deck are LOCKED to the gear racks at all four corners and cannot rotate even slightly. There is less opportunity for vertical "play" in the action, which makes for a more stable deck. Add to that, the assumption that the motors might be lifting more than just the grate deck itself.

Since I did not design or manufacture the motors, I have to work with off-the-shelf products, and adapt them as best I can.

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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I am deciding whether to notch the table frame to make room for the vertical gear racks, or expand the frame and create brackets to retain the original rail positions. I am leaning toward expanding the frame dimensions a bit so that PlasmaCam cannot complain about notching their frame components. The notches wouldn't really affect anything except PlasmaCam's pride.

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by weldguy »

Not familiar enough with the Pcam frame to have advice as to what to do but I say who cares what Pcam thinks, its your table, do the easiest option that will work the best.
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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weldguy wrote: Mon Apr 22, 2024 10:54 am Not familiar enough with the Pcam frame to have advice as to what to do but I say who cares what Pcam thinks, its your table, do the easiest option that will work the best.
Yes ... :roll: ... That is generally the case. however, PlasmaCam seems to deem ANY alteration of a table as a valid reason to void the warranty. Drill ONE HOLE into a frame member to mount cord holder or an air line, and your warranty is VOID.

This is the reason my 6" Rail Riser Kit requires NO DRILLING or other modifications of the table in order to install it.

Now, for this grate deck elevator, I will have to drill some small, seemingly benign holes into the 11 gauge steel legs to mount the vertical gear racks, but I am almost certain that PlasmaCam would see that as a horrific alteration of the original design that could split the Universe when done improperly, so they will probably declare a table with this mod to be "Out of Warranty." Never mind that there are holes drilled into the legs already, to receive the side panels some people use to contain the smoke and dust. But THOSE holes were drilled by highly trained technicians carefully recruited from a superior species on another planet, and the holes were done in strict laboratory conditions, so that no structural damage to the legs could occur during the drilling process. :lol:

I have house guests for the next few days, and then other things that are once again getting in the way of my progress, but I WILL get this thing done! They are going to treat my home's ground foundation for termites, and then the vinyl windows will be replaced. Meanwhile, the grass is growing wildly while my John Deere mower is in the shop, and the ROBOT mower is still in the box. :Sad

I REALLY need to find a good, reliable, intelligent assistant!

Joe
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by weldguy »

Well how long of a warranty to those things have anyway. I say make swiss cheese of it if you need to.
Joe Jones wrote: Mon Apr 22, 2024 11:22 am I REALLY need to find a good, reliable, intelligent assistant!
:HaHa good luck
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

I will pull out one of the 4x4 tables and flip it over to separate the main frame that supports the grate slats from the legs. The legs will be bolted as a square frame both top and bottom, NOT using the rails as part of the frame. I think I will use 1-1/2" x 1/8" angle iron to make the new frame rigid.

Once that is done, I will mount the vertical gear racks and position the motors and transmissions for a nice steady climb and descent. I sure could use some help on this project!

I am going to use SENDCUTSEND to manufacture the four mount plates that will mount both the motors and the transmissions to the existing frame bolts, so no drilling is required. Also, once I get this all together, I will post the source for all of the components so other people can do the same modification by purchasing the same parts through Amazon. I will probably just order the motor mounts in quantity, and sell them at cost + shipping to anyone who wants to do this mod to his or her table.

Four additional brackets will be needed to position the rails at the factory span distance, because the legs will all be about 3/4" farther out in both directions. So as to not need to modify the gantry or the rails, I have decided to mount the rails ABOVE the tips of the standard PlasmaCam legs, so that they can be moved inward without needing to trim off the top points of the legs which would otherwise be in the way. So the rails look like they will be about 2.5 inches higher, or whatever the height of the rails is. But when this is all together, the table will function as normal, except for the ability to raise and lower the grate deck inside of the legs with a simple push of a button. :mrgreen: It will also make the PlasmaCam pipe cutter obsolete, as pipe cutting can be set up and used in a matter of a couple of minutes, WITHOUT the need to disassemble the table.

Joe
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by weldguy »

Sounds like your getting close! Looking forward to seeing it in operation.
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

5-05-24 Update!

It is Cinco De Mayo, for those who may care. :roll: This is the date that is responsible for my relocation to Kentucky. :HaHa

Lightning, thunder and rain are now my Kryptonite! Can't work outside in that mess.

Four friends are dropping in from out of town very soon, so house guests will occupy the next couple of weeks of my time. My temporary roommate returns tomorrow from Illinois (supposedly) and she will move her stuff out and return to her home up there. I let her stay here in a warm home for the cold Chicago winter.

Meanwhile, the second robot mower arrived and is working great! It mows between rainfalls. People are actually driving here from the other side of town, just to watch my two robots mow my lawn. I should charge admission! I am looking at adding bright white LED lights to the front, so the optical sensors can see at night. The mower DOES mow at night, but it loses its orientation, resulting in interesting patterns mowed into the lawn in the morning :lol:

I have acquired three additional 4x4 tables, and I have my eye on several more. ALL of them will receive this grate elevator conversion, and most, if not all of them will be legally sold to new owners, with the requisite Transfer of Ownership docs and a robust DesignEdge license that I may enhance with additional upgrades prior to the sale. The additional upgrade sales will make PlasmaCam happy. I will work out the details when the time comes.

I may have a helper! A friend who works (worked?) at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green hinted that he may be looking for work soon. I am guessing that the plant is going to have another long layoff, as $100,000.00+ cars are not flying off of the dealer lots in this economy. :Sad He will be a GREAT helper.

Stay tuned! Things are moving along ... It shouldn't be long now, before the first working table is completed.

Joe
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

I picked up another 4x4 tonight on an auction. A DHC2 with a Hypertherm 45 machine for $3,250.00 :mrgreen:

Gotta go on a road trip to pick it up, but ... $3,250.00

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Dirtmotor »

Just curious does that price include buyers premium and sales tax ?
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

Dirtmotor wrote: Wed May 08, 2024 8:36 am Just curious does that price include buyers premium and sales tax ?
No, the total price was $3,888.00 Still a great price for a barely used PlasmaCam table and a HyperTherm 45 plasma machine!

I am bidding on another one also. If I win that one, I will jog down to get it before returning home again. One is up by New York. The other is down in the Carolinas. It will either be a 4-day road trip or a 5-day road trip.

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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We will pick up the first table tomorrow in Connecticut, and then head down to South Carolina to pick up the other one that I got for only $625.00 :mrgreen:

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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One in the truck, with the Hypertherm PowerMax 45 and the hand torch. It will require two days of driving to reach South Carolina where the other table awaits. We disassembled and loaded this one into the truck in only 20 minutes!

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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Half-way there! we pick up the second table Monday morning, before heading back to Kentucky.

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by rdj357 »

weldguy wrote: Tue Apr 23, 2024 9:38 am Sounds like your getting close! Looking forward to seeing it in operation.
:HaHa
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

Closer than you might imagine. I now have an assistant! I have the parts necessary to convert one table to the grate elevator system. If it works successfully, I will order four more sets from Amazon and convert the other four tables. Then I will sell all five tables most likely.

Joe
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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Here we are in South Carolina. We pick up DHC2 #2 of this road trip ... (#5 of 5 :mrgreen: ) tomorrow morning before returning to Kentucky.

Joe
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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I now have five tables here to convert. A guest is staying through Thursday night, and then I am dealing with the window people on Friday. I had quite a scare as the IRS sent me a love letter stating that I owed them nearly $50K. :shock: My accountant discovered the error, and I am instead receiving a little over $12K in OVER payments to the IRS. Whew! :HaHa

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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

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Joe Jones wrote: Tue May 21, 2024 11:19 am I now have five tables here to convert. A guest is staying through Thursday night, and then I am dealing with the window people on Friday. I had quite a scare as the IRS sent me a love letter stating that I owed them nearly $50K. :shock: My accountant discovered the error, and I am instead receiving a little over $12K in OVER payments to the IRS. Whew! :HaHa

Joe
Geeez, you may need a new accountant. If the IRS never came knocking you may have never seen that 12k
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Re: Height Adjustable Grates!

Post by Joe Jones »

There is a special place in Hell for EVERY person who helped the IRS in any way.

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