Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Motorizing a slab roller, part two

When I ended Part One of how I added a motor to my slab roller, I'd just finished adding a shelf to the legs, thus giving myself a place to mount the motor.

Even though the motor that will drive the slab roller looks wimpy, it's not.

I decided mounting the motor control box would be my first task. It's location is important, and I didn't want it to be in an inconvenient location.

Looking at the end of the slab roller, it made sense to use some of the same bolts that were used to connect the legs to the apron. That metal is fairly beefy, and I didn't feel like drilling new holes, if I didn't need to. So I removed a couple of the bolts on each leg.

After a little measuring to determine the size for a piece of plywood, I propped the control box up against the plywood, to make sure I'd done everything correctly.

Of course, I couldn't use the old bolts that I'd removed from each leg, they were now too short, with the addition of the plywood. So I went over to my "bolt drawer".

Doesn't every one have one of those?

OK, it's a big mess. (I knew you were thinking that.) But it had exactly what I was looking for - longer bolts.

Then I drilled some holes for mounting the box to the plywood. Don't pay any attention to that dried blood on the handle of my drill. That's from a while ago.

Everything was going according to plan, I bolted the plywood in place, and then hit my first snag.

The location of the holes meant I needed to drill some new holes in the legs.

But remember that I mentioned those legs were made of heavy gauge of metal? I had to drill holes in the metal when mounting that shelf, and it wasn't any fun. In fact, it was probably the worst part of that whole task. So I put on my thinking cap and decided I'd add a couple spacers behind the plywood, so that the bolts wouldn't have to go through the legs.

Spacers? No problem... just a short walk over to the "Washer" drawer.

Pure washer heaven.

A couple of spacers later, and the control box is mounted. It's location is perfect.

It really went together quite easily.

Well, sort of. I scratched the crap out of my arm while reaching for something.

Considering how hot it was in my studio, I thought this would be a good time to quit for the day.

Oh, what was I thinking? I can't stop in the middle of something like this. So I started examining the motor, to figure out how to mount it.

Dave was kind enough to put a warning label on the plug that CANNOT be plugged into a regular wall outlet. And he left me a note that said I could mount the motor in one of two ways. I chose the four holes on the bottom.

Bolts, anyone? I'm the queen of bolts.

A couple of measurements, to determine the size of the plywood I'll need to cut.

A little more measuring, which brings up a pet peeve. Notice the tape measure, and how it reads upside-down?

That's why I bought several of these from Lee Valley, made for right-handers like me.

Isn't 93% of the world right-handed? Can anyone tell me why ALL tape measures don't read like the Lee Valley tape measure?

Just as I was ready to start mounting the motor to a piece of plywood, I realized I was running out of time. I have a class to teach in a few hours, and I need to clean up and print off a few hand-outs.

Stay tuned, the next step will be interesting....

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