Thursday, March 26, 2009


Thanks to all those who have suggested solutions for the warpage problems I've been having with the Pig Casting Machine's mold conveyor belt.  Especially thanks to the yahoo steel group.  
I still haven't quite figured out what is causing the problems, although I have been having many similar problems with other structures.  A big problem I think is recreating the prototype using beam sizes from the original plans.  These beams are small and very flexible - I might need to start to compromise a bit on sticking to scale in return for a more solid structure.   What I have learned - 
  • You can use heat, despite many warnings on this, to readjust the assembly.  I used an electric stovetop burner -  set on high and I moved the assembly back and forth over the heat with the bow facing up.  Doing this allowed the weight of the structure to sag the center - I quickly put the assembly on a flat surface and weighted down
  • Heat is only a temporary fix - eventually the warpage started to return.
The heating did allow me to flatten the structure enough to join the upper and lower belt assemblies using clamps, spacers,...etc.  See the picture for the details.  I'm hoping that by the time I add all the bracing,...etc.  the structure will be rigid enough to hold its own shape.  

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