Everyone I know is cautiously peeking through the figurative bunker door hoping against hope that the election is over and that Trump is going to accept the results. Mrs. the Poet is celebrating a little early, I think. I’m still not taking full breaths yet.
What I have been doing is going over the Sprint-T front bulkhead over and over, looking for places to reduce weight/increase rigidity. I haven’t come up with much, as I have gone through this process hundreds of times already. Basically I’m going through and seeing if there is a way to beat the “choose two out of three” dilemma from the “cheap, strong, light” triad by changing size of the structural members. And I’ve got it down to “it depends on where the volume discount starts”, on the price difference between the sizes of the raw stock. Because of the SCCA rules I have to make some parts out of 1.5″ diameter 0.120″ wall DOM round stock, but the rest of the car I can make from 0.060″ wall, which will be more than enough if I use corrosion prevention to maintain wall thickness. But I can save weight even more by using smaller diameter stock for bracing, up to a point.
Some of the bracing will be easier and cheaper to make as an extension of the main frame members using the 1.5″ diameter 0.060″ wall stock, but some will be lighter/strong enough if I use 1″ diameter 0.060″ wall tubing. It’s basically a case of which is cheaper when I buy the stock, meaning I need to get both choices fully designed down to the BOM.
And I’m starting to fade, and have problems seeing, after a very exciting championship race for the NASCAR Cup, with congratulations going out to Chase Elliot. Chase wasn’t who I was rooting for, but with the way he won his way into the Four, and the way he dominated the race after getting moved to the back after failing his first two trips through tech, I concede his worthiness, especially when my choice finished 4th out of the four. Denny Hamlin is still the best active driver to never win a championship, a distinction I hope he loses soon next year.
Family tragedy struck one of the players in our group as her father-in-law died a few days before game. Also, I have been beset by allergies that have really upset my sleep cycle as my sleep aid is just a double-strength allergy pill, minus the buffers. So, instead of putting me to sleep, it just clears up my nose and eyes for the night until it wears off. I was awake after 0700 this morning even though I put myself to bed by 0500.
I ended up sleeping through most of the race today, but I did manage to tune in for the last 20 or so laps, watching Kevin Harvick chase Joey Logano and almost catch him until Joey used dirty air or lapped cars to slow him down to keep Harvick from passing. It was a master class on how to defend a lead in a Cup race. I’m not a fan of Logano, but I do give credit where credit is due, and Joey drove his butt off keeping Harvick at bay.
No progress has been made in the Sprint-T redesign. I have all the major pieces in place, and until I can get some raw stock, which is really hard to come by these days because of the one-two punch of tariffs and COVID19, I really can’t build anything. Even in the case that I was able to find the raw stock, the combination of the stock thickness and having tools sized for bicycle building and not hot rods leaves me with stock with the dimensions laid out but no way to cut and drill to the sizes needed and make the part. It is frustrating to have drills that won’t handle drill bits over 3/8″ when the smallest hole is just under 1/2″ and the big hole is 9/16″ to allow for the thread depth of the bolts and the tap that cuts the thread so those bolts can screw into the part. It’s a combination of lack of power in the motors and the chucks just not being physically big enough to hold the larger drill bits. And for my cutting tools the 1/4″ thickness is pushing the limits of the equipment because when I bought the tools years ago when I was building bicycles 3mm (1/8″) steel or 5mm aluminum was the heaviest stock I was going to ever cut. Building hot rods wasn’t even on my mind. Let’s just say I was in a bit of a state over cars since someone tried to kill me with one, actually several someones tried several times with varying degrees of success, but nobody actually killed me thank [$DEITY]. So for most of this century since the wreck, I have had varying degrees of antipathy about cars.
OK, let me take inventory of tools, parts and raw stock that I need to complete the Sprint-T. I need something that can make square or mitered cuts in stock at least 1/4″ thick in mild or chrome-moly steel. I need a drill press that can handle 3/4″ holes in the 1/4″ steels, and up to 1/2″ thick in aluminum. I need a welder that will weld over 1/4″ thick steel, and that will weld aluminum. I mean I can use oxy-hydrogen to weld aluminum now, but that is a very tricky technique for someone with cataracts to work with, and I’m not sure that it didn’t contribute to giving me cataracts in the first place. Anyway, after the tools I need lots of raw stock, DOM or chrome-moly seamless tubing in 1.5″ diameter and 0.120″ (7 sticks) and 0.060″ (5 sticks) wall thickness, some 1.25″ diameter DOM and 0.120″ (2 sticks) wall for making the tie rod, drag link, panhard rod, and the torque arm. Also needed is a metric buttload of hardware to connect things that have to be able to move in relation to other things, in various sizes from 3/4″ fine thread (pretty big) to 4-40 (tee-niny).
It’s getting late, so I’m wishing you a good night and pleasant dreams.
I had to take a pretty long trip to pick up some raw stock from the Lowe’s in the next town over. This required a bus trip of about 3 hours round trip, not counting waiting for transfers or missing a schedule that never showed up.
The real fun was carrying the raw stock in my hand from the Lowe’s to the bus stop 0.3 mi away and then the 0.4 mi from the bus stop home. Since I need my right hand to drive the cane that means I had to use my non-dominant hand to carry this.
That’s between 13 and 14 pounds of 2″ by 2″ by 0.25″ thick according to my bathroom scale, that I carried over three quarters of a mile in my left hand. And let me tell you, my left hand did not appreciate the exercise! My arthritis is really complaining about it, and the tendonitis from pinching bicycle fenders into shape back in the Naughties is making its displeasure known as well. I used the proven technique of holding the object to be weighed as I stepped on the scale, noting the weight, and then putting the object down where I’m not supporting it and noting the weight again and subtracting. This avoids the well-known problems with weighing light things like angle iron and cats on a bathroom scale.
A small part of that stock, about 8″ long, will become the steering arm that the drag link will connect to the pitman arm. I have no idea what I’m going to do with the rest of the stock, but I’m sure there will be something that needs bracing from a heavy-ass piece of steel and that for some yet-to-be-determined reason light tubing won’t work. Now let me do some sums and this steering arm will weigh something in the neighborhood of 2 ± pounds. That’s pretty heavy for a steering arm.
Now I need to take some precise measurements and lay out my dimensions before I start cutting stock, I mean I only have enough stock to make 5 plus of this part, so I can only screw up 4 times before I have to buy more stock and make another 4 hour trip to the next town over that I could get to in about 20 minutes if I could still ride my bike. Speaking of which I wore my “All-Powerful Bicycle Lobby” T-shirt, but it was in Latin, so nobody knew I was buying stuff to make a car while wearing a “Cars Suck” T-shirt.😇
The Superman car (sponsored by the movie Superman vs Batman) won the Sprint Cup race in Fontana today, and I got to watch the whole race because I was having an allergy attack and stayed home from church all day. I have been chugging coffee and tea and “other” beverages all day because if I stay hydrated I can see and talk, but as soon as I start drying out a little bit it’s like a gauze curtain has been dropped across my eyes. I mean it isn’t anything more than bothersome, certainly not so much as uncomfortable, just annoying. But I still don’t want to go to church in that condition. Weather.com reports that my discomfort is due to high tree sex activity in my area.
One of the things I did with my off time yesterday besides watching the 12 Hours of Sebring was to mock up the kit I’m building the mini Sprint-T from as an unchanneled body on top of the frame instead of the way the kit builds it with the frame covered by the body. I haven’t hung the wheels and axles on it yet, but the carbs on the Street Engine from the kit are just even with the top of the firewall, while the entire rear frame clears the bottom of the shortened pickup box that covers where the gas tank and battery would be on the 1:1 car. So if the kit was 1:1 I could put a slightly larger gas tank in the car.
Looks good, doesn’t it? I’m strongly thinking about doing the finished model like this
And while I’m thinking about it, this is $29 in raw stock, tax, and shipping fees.
There is enough flat sheet to make several frames, and a couple monocoque tubs, too. I have been thinking about that, using one of the engine kits to make a 1/25 V8 powered SCCA A/Mod Solo racer. The tricky part would be making room for real legs between the engine and the rear axle and keeping the weight and polar moments both down and maximizing downforce without a wing, and then putting the wing over the top like a sprint car or Supermodified. But that’s for later, after the mini Sprint-T is finished. As it is now I need to get 4 sets of Wide 5 wheels to make the wheels for the 3 cars (one car will have the race tires mounted, which will take 2 sets of wheels spliced together to fit the tire). Or 3 sets and turning some bar stock aluminum into wheel shells and the rims off of one set of wheels so the centers could be glued into the shells. Basically I would be doing a model version of this and this.
Speaking of wheels, I’m still debating the vendor for the wheels. I don’t have the skills to make a plug for making a mold to cast a set of wheels on my own, so those I have to buy. I can do things like turn raw stock into a reasonable replica of a straight axle with steering arms, 4 bar, and coilover brackets, because those are basically 2D cuts and glue them together to make them a 3D part. But I have never been any good at sculptures, complex 3D shapes are outside my skill sets even before I got my TBI. I might be able to do a simple shape with little surface detail, but a Wide 5 hub in scale with everything in the right place is way outta my pay grade. The best looking wheels I have seen so far are the W_1 from Ron Coon and the asawheel from VCG Resins. Either one will look great with the tires I have or the tires I want to get.
And these allergies are making me tired, so I’m wrapping this up.