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Metalworking questions

2009-01-02 18:39:25.963724+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

I'm building some appliance lifts. We'd love to use a pre-existing commercial appliance lift but nobody makes 'em the form factor we'd like. The Wood Technology SuperStar Appliance Lift comes the closest we've seen, but we really want 'em for appliances that are a foot or so high, max, and that one's 18".

I built a prototype of the mechanism out of 1/2" ply, but the thing ends up being 2" wide on either end by the time we account for screw heads and the like, and the plywood has a little bit of flex.

A few questions:

  1. Anyone got experience with cheap bearing systems for metal? We're not talking high speed, we're not talking a lot of use (rotate 90° when we pull out the appliance and put it back), so perhaps even a rivet that allows rotation (which would have the advantage of minimal protrusion)? Last time I did rivets was Pop Rivets in duct metals and similar thin sheet back when I was a kid.
  2. We need the arms to have an angle in 'em. I see two ways to this: Either cut it out of sheet stock with a jigsaw, or braze or weld two pieces of bar together. I think my across the street neighbor has an arc welder, last time I tried brazing with straight MAPP (not Oxy-MAPP) I had lots of trouble keeping the bike frame bits hot enough to get a good flow, and I gave away my Oxy-Acetylene torch a few years back. Anyone got experience either brazing with a basic hand-held MAPP torch on 1/8"x1" or so bar stock, cutting 1/8" sheet with a jig saw, or another way to do this?

[ related topics: Fabrication Bicycling Woodworking ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-02 21:46:27.504119+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Looks like an old style "typewriter lift" from those old metal desks that used to "hide" a typewriter. Anyplace handling old metal desks? - What about a diagonal slot with a pulley/counterweight?

As for cutting steel. Plasma torch. Best to treat it like a router, cutting jigs are needed for decent cuts. Welding: I haven't used my wire welder since I got a stick welder.. and I really want a TIG. Someday.. When I have a garage again.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-02 22:20:19.44294+00 by: Dan Lyke

Hmmm... I can probably rent a plasma cutter, but if I go that direction I'll just rent a welder (or see if I can borrow one from across the way) and cut my pieces from bar stock with the jigsaw or hacksaw.

We've got an old typewriter lift, taken from an old desk, but it's the wrong form-factor and has a lot of energy stored in those springs. A 3lb toaster is a far cry from a 60lb typewriter... The bigger lifts, like the typewriter lifts, also have a lot of stuff extending below the shelf, small size is paramount.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-03 00:17:15.481594+00 by: TheSHAD0W

If you can hinge the top of your counter, you can make something that lifts straight up, and that would be a lot simpler than the Wood Technology unit or any of the equivalents. Got a design in my head right now that'd require no springs or latches, just rollers. Should I post it?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-01-03 00:36:04.98482+00 by: Dan Lyke

Sure, we're looking at one that raises out of the top of a cabinet for a space in the bedroom (I was looking at a motorized worm drive made from threaded rod) but...

Part of the appeal of an up-and-out option is the extension of the countertop. This is going to be a very narrow counter, we're currently negotiating over how thin, I'm hoping for 12", I think our compromise is going to be circa 16" or so deep. So getting a temporary extra space along the front of the counter is good.

I need to learn a little more about rivets, like if I can blind rivet (which is apparently the non-trademarked name for a "pop rivet") a flanged bronze bushing, that'd be the ideal bearing, but I also need to know if I can do big blind rivets without spending over a Franklin and a half on a tool that'll do 36 rivets total.