4 Dec 2016

I’ve gone back and forth on whether to post non-Midlana content and decided you have a choice on whether to read what else I’m working on.

Work on the rotating drum filter continues and having a workshop sure makes things easier. The large ring was first bolted together using the top of the drum as a template – big mistake. Turns out plastic 55-gallon drums – while fine for their intended purpose – aren’t a good platform on which to build accurate “mechanisms.” That is, nothing is consistent, wall thickness varies tremendously, the top and bottom aren’t precisely flat or round (the top was out of round by 0.6″!), and neither top nor bottom is square to the sides. The fabricated ring had to come back off, epoxied together into a proper circle, then the original bolt holes “adjusted”, and finally the now-round ring forced onto the top of the drum to fix it’s bad attitude.

The filter’s changed some from its original design, with a stainless frame added so it can be removed and serviced rather than working on it inside the IBC container (the big white 275-gallon container). All the rest of the bits needed to finish it are on-hand, including plastic roller chain (I had no idea that existed), sprinkler valve, power supply, and timer module. I couldn’t help but notice how the gear assembly looks oddly like a clutch and flywheel assembly.

When the stainless frame was tacked together I went to turn off the welder and found water everywhere. There was a small leak I’d been ignoring and it promoted itself to “can’t ignore this” status. At first I thought I could just clip out the oddly bad segment (within 6″ of the end of the hose, which is never moved nor touched) but nope, it’s a crimped connection at the end. Of course the welding shop is closed on Sundays but then I realized the coolant unit could be unplugged and the welder used as an “air-cooled” unit. It works fine as long as no heavy welding is performed. Interestingly, unplugging the water cooling unit makes the welder so quiet I can’t even tell it’s on; the welder’s own fan only kicks on when under heavy use.

That Garolite is very tough stuff; I destroyed several saber saw blades before coughing up the money to buy proper carbide blades. I have to buy several more good blades to deal with the stainless material; the usual blades from Home Depot last about 1/2″. Mcmaster.com loves me right now…