Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cooling Rack - Part Two

I've been hard at it... I assembled the whole front section of the rack today. First I did the driver's side:

Then I added the other side. The middle post is off center on purpose; I want to retain use of the cargo light.

Close up of the corner. Notice the concrete I filled the bottom with. This displaces condensate which might collect there:

A few more views of the truck with the rack:


I have completed the tuyeres (air nozzles). This is where the combustion air enters the hearth. They are made from 3/8" pipe fittings - a short pipe nipple, a cap with a hole drilled, and a reducer that the nipple fits into. This way I can change the lengths and nozzle sizes very easily if I need to. I have to connect the seven of them with some sort of manifold. Probably will just be another ring welded onto the flange.

I welded the pipe fittings outside the hearth, and then cut them off nearly flush. This leaves room for the intake manifold:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cooling Rack - Part One

OK, it's time to get serious. I have not seen directions on the net for doing this, so I will document how I build this thing very closely.

You saw the pipes I got:

2" pipe from a local gate company. Seems to be good solid stuff, although it's very rusty and will get you filthy handling it.

OK, 2" pipe goes into vertical members. Logical choice?  3" square tubing. I hunted some down at the local steelyard, and cut it into sections. I test drilled one with my $13 hole saw:

And test fit:

It seems to work. The drill "wallowed around" a little on these cuts, and so the fit was really easy. Good to go!

Today, I spent a long morning drilling 2" holes (65 of them). Here's the end result:

I will have to weld flanges on the bottoms to bolt down to the rails of the truck. That will also trap moisture and send it along to the collection point at the end.

Just to see how it will work, I test fit several pieces. I learned that 2" pipe does in fact fit in a 2" hole, just barely. But rusty pipe with a tang on the saw-cut....doesn't really fit. It fits better after some serious banging and sweating. I will have to grind the edges, and wire brush them to get some of the rust off. It's a good idea anyway, since I am welding the joints. All 65 of them...

Here's the pipes for the front by the window:

That's all for tonight. Watch for part two!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Grate and Cooling rack

I've been putting in some time on this project lately. I welded in a grate: 

 I have also begun on the cooling rack. Here's the first piece:

This will be the end point near the tailgate. I made sure the pipes fit before I drill all the holes. Sure enough:

More as it comes!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gasifier Update

Finally back to work on the gasifier. I cut the hopper down to size:

I had to do some thinking on how I was going to attach the hopper to the hearth. I decided not to make another set of flanges.  Instead I did this:

A ring inside the tank, tack welded in place and slips right in to the hearth section. I cut it from the same water heater tank that the hearth section and the hopper were from. I cut it open, trimmed a bit off and rewelded it in place:

So now they fit together like so:

You can see I added a spout for the condensate drain. Cut from my supply of 20' pipes. Ugly weld, but airtight:

So once the two sections are together, I need to ensure an airtight seal. Again I cut a ring from the water heater:

This time it has to expand. I will use flat stove rope for gasket material. It will be held together by a bolt, and removable if necessary.

And like so:

The whole thing together:

 Peek inside:

It's getting closer. I still have to work on the lid, tuyeres/air intake, and the second flange. Plus a bunch of other stuff.....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eating on the Road

Dad and I have done a fair bit of traveling together. For the past several years this has included taking our own food. We avoid eating out while we are traveling, because it is expensive and not particularly tasty. We can do at least that good on our own. Still, a week at Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia stretched our meal planning skills to the limits. Here's some of what we ate:
  • Cheerios for breakfast, with store bought milk....which is better than no milk.
  • Bread and butter. We go for the good stuff, and split one of Panera Bread Co.'s French baguettes.
  • Sausage and cheese. This goes with the bread and butter, "rounding out" the meal. 
  • Fried chicken from Walmart. One of the best deals going for ready-to-eat meat.
  • Home made potato salad. Goes with the chicken, and I usually eat some by itself later.
  • Pita bread. Maggie was kind enough to make this for us. Warms up nicely on a hot car roof...
  • Tuna salad, to go in the pitas.
  • Hummus, to go with the pitas. 
  • Olives, for our pita/hummus meals and for general snacking.
We had to supplement some meals, so we got: 
  • Little Caesar's pizza (split)
  • Walmart french bread, roast beef, and potato chips

That last is one of my favorites. Here's the roast beef sandwiches we made:

Very simple and cheap, and delicious. 

Sometimes we find places outside the car to eat. One of the spots we ate:

Elkins City Park. A nice shady area, with plenty of picnic tables.

Of course the laptop is a big help on the road as well. We fortunately had wireless access just about everywhere we went.

At the campground in the dark:

At the library (after closing time):

At the student lounge after lunch: