Using a crappy old pipe cutter is a good way of wasting expensive copper pipe. I found one in a box of plumbing supplies from my father. As long as I maintained significant sideways pressure during the first couple of rotations, it tracks true. Otherwise it travels a spiral. With only about 20cm of waste, I got the pipes I need. I’m guessing a bit on the exposed extension that will work, based on space available but with no idea about how I’ll run the pipes back to the manifold.
In any case, the pipes within pipes are ready for the LED ribbons, which I also cut to length. I purchased the waterproof ribbons this time, but they are stiffer due to the silicone coating and won’t conform to the copper pipes as well as the uncoated ones I’ve used in the past. I’ll think about it and have a go tomorrow.
I’m sure I’ll eventually find a use for the larger spiders. They might make nice wheels on a toy. The new ones fit the inside diameter perfectly. I had to sand the central holes a bit because apparently copper pipe isn’t exactly round.
The epoxy filled base delivery has been delayed a bit, so in the interim I’ll keep working on the pipes. I have the LED ribbon so tomorrow’s project will be to cut that into the 7 sections and start wrapping it around the pipes.
The base is with https://nine45.ca for filling with Epoxy. I should have it back in a few days. In the interim, I’ve been working on other projects from my list. The first was to build a set of “Kitchissippi” chairs. I had purchased the Easter White Cedar late last year, and it’s been stickered and acclimating since then. I’m building 4 chairs for the shop, so it took a while to make all the parts. They are all ready for staining once I can do it outside.
The past couple of days I’ve been working ahead on the light and water-related parts of the fountain. I cut the Acrylic tubes to length, although the shortest one needs a bit of adjustment. Today I made the top caps and a set of spacing spiders for the bases. The top caps worked great, the spiders, not. The spiders are a perfect match for the OD of the tubes, not the ID. Oops! I’ll make another set tomorrow.
In the main photo you can see the other two projects I’m working on – the Kitchissippi chairs, and some parts for the “Nahrung” sculpture.
Trimming the middle plug on the bandsaw didn’t take long once I had marked the limits. Once the glue was set on the middle, cutting off the extra joint sections didn’t take long either. Sanding the extra bits took about the same time, under 10 minutes. Now it’s ready for Nine45 to take it away and flood it with epoxy.
Today is the anniversary of my 49th birthday. I spent it happily in the workshop. The Wainlux laser engraver I had supported on Kickstarter last summer arrived this morning. It’s been delayed for various reasons, not least because the developers overshot their Kickstarter goal by over 100x. After loading the driver and software I ran 3 tests. They all worked fine without issues.
The goal for the day had been to glue up the centre plug for the fountain base. That’s done too.
Today was productive – I got more done than anticipated. After lightly sanding the flash off the wall segments I did a trial assembly. The fit is quite loose, so assembly was no problem at all. Then I applied a strap clamp to judge the size and fit. It was fine. Diameter is now 565 mm, almost exactly what I had planned. Then I applied glue to the interfacing joints and clamped the assembly for several hours. While the glue was setting I realised that the first pass pieces could be trimmed to use as infill. I set my mitre saw to the correct angle and trimmed the tenons off. That left several extra pieces and the remaining short board. It was all just enough to do a second course of infill.
Now there’s just the 290 mm diameter centre which I will infill with the remaining second attempt board sections. They will be rectilinear, since radial pieces would get too small to machine safely.
Another 3 or so hours of machine time and a bit of trial and error at the start, and the tenons of the wall segments are done. The first try, on the previous test piece, showed I again had the Y axis set incorrectly. I also increased the cut depth a bit. From there on, everything went smoothly.
After some fiddling and adjusting, I created 11 good wall sections. The first one turned into a test piece, since I got the Y and Z axis alignments wrong. So I had to cut another section from the board, the lower one in the second photo. Then it was just a matter of standing with the dust system hose in place to reduce the chip mess. Each section took about 15 minutes.
Tomorrow I’ll do the tenon side. I expect there’s be a bit of adjustment on the first one of those as well.
Yesterday the 2 long half-inch cutter bits arrived. Today I worked on the machining fixture. I had already added a reinforcing platform to the front. Today I machined it to height to accommodate the 16.3636 degree slope required. Then I carefully aligned the fixture on the CNC spoil board so that the X axis is as exactly inline as possible. The compression clamp on the right will ensure that the left of the workpiece is properly registered. I run 2 screws in from the left to be sure.
Something was off. I did manage to get the ring sections joined with the help of a strap clam and a big rubber mallet. But they didn’t want to close up, so I left everything clamped to the table and called it a day. It was New Year’s Eve so to time to go “celebrate”. I opened what I believe to be a 20 year old bottle of Mumm’s Champagne. It wasn’t very good and the remaining half will be dumped.
Today I looked carefully at the parts and the jig. Some sections had broken off the parts. As far as I can tell, the X axis of the fixture was slightly off parallel to that of the machine. It’s also likely that my XY0 was a millimetre or so to the right of where it should have been for a symmetrical cut. I added a reference board to the fixture which I will machine to a height to use for alignment in all 3 dimensions.
The other issue was that since I hadn’t allowed for the joint length, the wall sections are shorter than I had planned. So I cleaned up the widest 8/4 board I have and cut 11 new sections. This board is about 190 mm wide, so by the time the sections are cut they should be near the 170 mm that I want. That will get me back to the 550 mm or so finished diameter. I also added a bit more relief to the mortise pattern to make joining the pieces easier.
While I was doing the last few cuts I thought the bit was sounding slightly strained. It’s at least 10 years old and has seen quite a bit of use. So I ordered 2 new ones at Amazon. One’s an Amana 2″ and the other a Freud 2.5″. They won’t be here for at least a week, making this an even more long-term project.