It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Monday, September 18, 2017

Whoa, go, whistle and ring controls

Each evening and some time on weekends I sneak back out to the shop to work on my personal project - the little rail truck for the Persnickety and Doodle Railway. Progress has been rapid of late but there's a whole lot of pieces to fabricate and then weld in place. Cables need to be hooked up and tested, fastened permanently in place and then adjusted to work perfectly.

There have been a LOT of pieces of sheet metal and plate to cut for this project. In the picture below there are more than seventy different plasma cut pieces of steel visible. There are hundreds more custom designed pieces in the vehicle. The MultiCam CNC plasma machine has been getting a good workout!

In the first shot below I have hooked up the throttle. It was the last of the controls to be done. In the picture the throttle is the lever nearest to the pickup box. The large ratcheted handle on the running board is the Johnson bar. This controls the variable speed transmission. Pushing the bar forward moves the truck in that direction and pulling it back reverses the vehicle. The top forward lever is the brake control, complete with ratchet and T handle. Pushing it forward activates the disc brake on the rear axle. If I leave the ratchet engaged it acts as a hand brake.

On the other side of the driver's cab is the sidecar where my little passengers will ride. Between the cockpits are two noise levers which can be easily reached by either occupant. The rear handle operates the bell. Simply pushing and pulling it swivels the bell and the more vigorously it is pumped the louder and more frequent the noise. I suspect this is going to be very popular with the little ones. The forward lever is a little harder to reach (by design). Pulling it back controls the whistle lever and activates the antique brass whistle which is powered by compressed air. The five gallon compressed air tank resides under the truck seat. It is VERY LOUD! 

With the controls now all installed and functioning it is time to design, fabricate and install the brackets for the gauges and the whistle. Stay tuned...