Friday, August 29, 2008

22, Accumulating more bits.

The first hurdle to be crossed was what I would use to spin the blade. As 3 phase power was out of the equation, an alternative had to be found. Stumbling blindly along without doing too much research, I followed up with someone's suggestion of a hydraulic system.

Scouring the local junk yards around Geelong, I happened across this piece of machinery at a tractor wrecker in Breakwater. It was an experimental contraption designed and built on the Mornington peninsula to form planting mounds, it was a failure. The good news was that its operating system was hydraulic, consisting of a 200 litre tank, a high volume pump, motor, heat exchanger, return manifold with filter and various lengths of hose and fittings. Great, I thought, my complete drive system and all for only $750.00, ....wrong, ...again!.
The motor was found to be far too slow, and, as more homework was done the list of more hydraulic parts required for the proper and safe operation of the saw continued to escalate.

The next thing from my shopping list to be located was a 250:1 reduction drive, procured from the same supplier as the main frame and thrown into the deal. This was to be used to transfer power from a variable speed electric motor to an endless cable. The cable was to be set in the floor to propel a trolley that would carry the stone.

The second most expensive component was to be the diamond blade. I splurged out the amount of $1800.00 and purchased a 1200mm, (4 ft), blade from "Australian Diamond Tools, in Heidelberg West, Melbourne, (highly recommended). This size would give me a maximum cutting depth of 460mm, I figured that anything smaller would be a waste considering the size of the machine. With this in my possession I was then able to match the rest of the bits to it.

The next major hurdle to be overcome was a power source. Given the size of the blade I had bought, I calculated that I would need about 40hp to run it effectively. A diesel motor seemed to be the logical answer, however, the asking price for an engine of this size was in the vicinity of $3,000 to $5,000. Time to think laterally again!. The solution, this time came in the form of a Nissan "Vanette".
After a bit of browsing in the "Melbourne Trading Post", I headed out to Epping after work one night and, after handing over $700.00, drove this little beast, part of the "Australia Post" fleet in a previous life, the 130 odd kilometres home. The 4 cylinder diesel purred along beautifully and I managed to get a bit of mileage out of the 3 months of registration left on it.

No comments: