The rebirth of the Spanco is closer to being done.
Today's project was to straighten out the bent base. Working off some ideas I had, and some suggestions from Keith Fenner over at Turnwright Machine Works
I rigged up a "press" to do the straightening.
I used my open 6X10 trailer as a workbench. It's pretty stout and can easily handle the A frames sliding back and forth across the rails.
I laid the A frame across it on some 2X4's. Then I placed some I beam behind the base at the center post and diagonal brace, and added a piece of 4" tube behind that to squeeze the beam back into shape.
This was the press. 1/2" all thread and some slotted angle.
I left the all thread and the angle long since I will use it for something else later.
It fit on the frame like this with the frame straddling the point of the bend.
I double nutted the outer end of the all thread so I could tighten the rod against the inner nut and use my impact to do the initial tightening.
Then I tightened
It took a couple tries to bend the base straight again. I tightened it, backed it off, checked for straight, and then repeated a couple times until it was pretty straight.
Not perfect, but close enough.
Then I turned to mounting the casters. When I bought the replacement wheel, I also bought 4 swivel locks. They just mount on the base along with the mounting bolts. As luck would have it, the mounting holes in the base were an exact match for the casters. Some times it's better to be lucky than good!
I had previously pumped the casters full of grease. There are three zerks on each one - one for the swivel, one in the wheel bearings, and the other between the axle and a bushing that the bearings ride on. I cleaned up the excess grease before setting the frame back down.
While I had the A frame laying across the trailer, I stood up the I beam and mounted it to the A frame to get a better sense of what I need to do to fabricate the mounting clips.
I just used washers to hold it up for a few minutes, then removed the beam and walked it over to the side. Walking a 8" X 11' beam standing vertically can be a thrill.
Got to keep it vertical, or bad things can happen.
I set the one A frame down on the wheels and rolled it over to the I beam and tied it off. It rolls nicely on the wheels, and with the casters locked was really stable.
Then I mounted the casters on the other A frame and set everything off to the side and tied it off. As I was doing so, I noticed the one end of the base was tweaked where the caster mounted. This time, I just got the 5 lb sledge and gave it some love taps.
The next and final step is to fabricate the beam clips. I've taken measurements and have worked on a couple designs. If I only had a big 'ol Bridgeport mill, I know I could fab them easily. It will be a little more challenging with a grinder and other power tools, but I know I can get it done.
Then it's time to mount the beam and have a gantry