Contact Us


2012-Jul-28 - Wooroloo - Steelworks #42
Tim and I left home at 8.30 am and then returned around 6.00 pm.

Tim made good progress on the painting but I found the bracing process very slow going.

First I shovelled out two barrow loads of clay and cleaned up the area around the water tank where I needed to mount the brackets.

Next I measured up the positions on the ground and up at the overhead PFC's.

I drilled small pilot holes in the PFCs so that I could run criss cross string lines to check for accuracy.

This all looked good so I drilled mounting holes in to the cement slab to take the dynabolts for the brackets.

Unfortunately I had not brought my impact drill or the bits that came with it.

Instead I needed to use my hammer drill and my standard 10mm masonary bit.

This meant that I was only able to drill 80mm holes instead of 100 mm holes and had to mess around trimming the flanges off the dynabolts to achieve a good fix.

The brackets are now very securely fastened to the slab.

Next I needed to drill 12 mm holes in to the overhead PFCs.

This is a difficult job and one I do not like at all - drilling through 7mm of steel flange from underneath.

I progressed through a 4mm pilot, then a 10 mm pilot and finally the 12 mm drill bit.

I had real trouble with the 10 mm hole with the drill bit screeching and binding.

Even though I had several attempts at sharpening the drill bit I just could not get it to cut well.

Eventually I accidentally blued the drill bit and ended up cutting off 30 mm of damaged flute before regrinding a completely new cutting face.

This fixed the problem and after that the drill bit worked very well.

Next, I held one of the ring pieces up to the intersection of the string lines and marked up the drill hole positions.

Again progressive drilling of 4 holes out to 12 mm but as this cyclinder material was only 4mm thick this was an easy job.

Now I was ready to cut a thread on to the 12 mm rod I had brought with me.

However, I suspect that there is something wrong with the 12mm 1.75 cutting die. It seems to be a millimetre or two under size.

I even went around to Ross and begged him for advice but in the end he concurred and agreed that it was undersize.

It was only a very cheap set so next week I will go to Rudds, take along a sample piece of rod and nut and get them to set me up with the appropriate cutting die and a good large handle.

I was a bit disheartened that I could not complete this stage of the project.

However, I went on to experiment with the bending stage.

The other week I had purchased a propane blowtorch so that I could heat and hammer the required angles in to the rod.

I gave this a try and ended up putting reasonably sharp bends in to 4 pieces of rod.

After this, dusk was nearing so it was time to pack up and head home.

Once again I am discovering that something I had hoped would take one day will turn in to a 4 weekend project.

During the week I purchased a number of dies and broke a few tools.

In the end I learned that my kit of dies does not work because it is really intended for cleaning up existing threads.

The button die that eventually worked for me has a gap for adjustment, and a really tapered lead in.

The trick is to cut the thread first of all with the loosest possible diameter and then do a second run with the minimum diameter.

Also a better result is obtained when bending the rod by clamping the heated piece in a vice as opposed to striking it with a hammer.

Bracket dynabolted down

Propane blowtorch

Bending heated rod in a vice

Button die - 12 mm 1.75 pitch

Cutting a thread