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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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 Post subject: Not Dead Yet!
PostPosted: April 1, 2010, 2:57 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Well, it's been a while, but things have been moving along on my project. Unfortunately, these things are not photogenic. But, for the record, I've:

* Completed an excellent, full semester welding course at a local college (MIG, TIG, Arc & flux-cored);

* Had my garage rewired from one lowly, 15A, 110V circuit shared with our 2 bathrooms to having 2 new,
separate, 20A, 110V circuits, each with 2 quad outlets plus a 30A, 220V, single phase circuit;

* Sold off all my home gym equipment, which took up all the space I'll need for a workbench and power
tools;

* Purchased my core bootstrapping tools including a vise, welder (on order), cutoff saw and drill press;

* Designed my steel workbench + storage racks.

I'm just waiting for my welder to arrive and then I can create my first piece of infrastructure. I'm expecting to dismantle my donor car in late May and start the redesign of the chassis based on those parts in June. Yes, it's slower than I'd like, but I have to be realistic about my available free time.

Cheers all,

Lonnie


Attachments:
File comment: Some essential tools. I couldn't resist the mini-lathe. It has about 2 hours on it and I got it for a song from Craig's List.
First-Tools.jpg
First-Tools.jpg [ 119.21 KiB | Viewed 9356 times ]
File comment: I decided a 110V welder would not meet all my needs, so now there's a 220 circuit.
30A-220V.jpg
30A-220V.jpg [ 29.7 KiB | Viewed 9356 times ]
File comment: I've got 4 of these in the right garage bay and workbench areas.
110V-Quads.jpg
110V-Quads.jpg [ 72.85 KiB | Viewed 8396 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: April 1, 2010, 3:59 pm 
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Joined: January 14, 2006, 1:06 pm
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Location: Vista (north of San Diego CA)
Lonnie,

Nothing wrong with taking the time to do it right. It took me about 5 years of "preparation" before I started welding. What welder did you wind up ordering?

John


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PostPosted: April 3, 2010, 10:04 am 
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Hi John,

My first welder is going to be a Harbor Freight 220V, 160A MIG and flux-core welder (item# 93793). It's a very basic welder and I'm only going to use it with flux-core. I've found a very nice Lincoln Electric filler wire that is all position and pretty low on splatter and makes strong, decent looking welds. Since I'm basically building infrastructure now, I needed something inexpensive, fast and strong that could do thicker metal for workbenches, tool stands, storage racks and so on. I plan on doing the chassis and thinner parts with TIG. I learned to love TIG in the welding class I took although I struggled for 3 days to get a handle on TIG-welding aluminum. It was worth it though. The long range plan is for a Miller Diversion 165 unless they come up with something better between now and the time I'm ready to buy.

Your car looks sharp by the way.

Cheers,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: April 21, 2010, 4:16 pm 
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Joined: April 16, 2010, 12:19 pm
Posts: 462
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Hi Lonnie,

I just started my Locost build and am thinking of using the Gibbs chassis as a starting point. Would you be willing to share your Solidworks model (which is outstanding by the way!)?

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Getting Close
PostPosted: July 20, 2010, 6:26 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
There has been a lot of effort put into reworking the garage. Many years of accumulation of stuff, a complete home gym and much other, little used equipment was cleaned up and sold off. But, I'm now actually completing real infrastructure for the Locost build and just a couple of weeks away from kick-off.

I've got a workbench, vise, cutoff saw, band saw, welder, clamps, etc., and I'm ready for my first task which is building a quick mockup of the cockpit. Once I find the dimensions we like best, I'll start the final, overall layout of our chassis. Many details of the running gear and suspension mounts and supporting systems won't be finalized until my donor has been dismantled and the parts properly measured and fitted out. Still, we've come a long way.


Attachments:
File comment: This are just samples of the building materials to allow be to figure out optimum settings on my welder for tube, sheet and plate and try out the English wheel.
Metal-Samples.jpg
Metal-Samples.jpg [ 76 KiB | Viewed 8771 times ]
File comment: The basics are all there. Even the plywood for the build table and the MDF for the cockpit mockup are present now.
Basic-Setup.jpg
Basic-Setup.jpg [ 43.59 KiB | Viewed 8771 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: August 15, 2010, 9:54 pm 
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Arrrgh! This stuff always ends up taking 5 times longer than you think, but I'm pretty much ready to go with the mockup. The welder welds, the drill press drills, the cutoff saw cuts, the grinder grinds, the vise holds and I have some space to do the mock-up and (I think) I have enough material to get the job done.

Hopefully, my next entry will show version 1 of the mock-up. I expect I'll have 3-4 versions of it before I'm completely happy and ready to commit to the final design.


Attachments:
File comment: Now pretty well organized and usable.
Small-Completed.jpg
Small-Completed.jpg [ 89.47 KiB | Viewed 8587 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: October 19, 2010, 7:23 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Through a revisit of McSorely's website I discovered a reference to a new 3D model of his 442 chassis on another website. That got me thinking that I should take a look at the 442 chassis and compare it to my current selection. I knew the 442 cockpit was quite large, but didn't know if it would be more suitable to the V6 I'm using than the Gibbs chassis, which is the 2nd generation Haynes Roadster.

After loading the 3D Gibbs chassis model (right hand drive) and the newly acquired 3D of the 442 into Alibre Design, here is how they compared. I still see the Gibbs chassis as a better fit for my needs. The engine bay is considerably wider and I like the taller rear too. The cockpit on the Gibbs design is smaller, but not that much.

Attached are perspective, top, side, rear and front views. The McSorely 442 design is the red chassis.


Attachments:
File comment: Perspective - Gray = Gibbs, Red = McSorely
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-3Qtr.jpg
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-3Qtr.jpg [ 147.01 KiB | Viewed 8376 times ]
File comment: Top View
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-Top.jpg
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-Top.jpg [ 101.19 KiB | Viewed 8376 times ]
File comment: Left Hand Side (U.S. Driver's Side)
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-LHS.jpg
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-LHS.jpg [ 66.91 KiB | Viewed 8376 times ]
File comment: Front View
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-Front.jpg
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-Front.jpg [ 126.37 KiB | Viewed 8376 times ]
File comment: Rear View
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-Rear.jpg
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-Rear.jpg [ 124.49 KiB | Viewed 8376 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: January 11, 2011, 8:23 am 
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Location: Visalia, Ca
Impressive build log so far, can't wait to see some construction!

Rod

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PostPosted: January 11, 2011, 8:39 am 
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Thanks for the overlay. I didn't realize the tunnel was so low on the McSorley Design.

On the Gibbs, consider replacing the green tubes with the blue.

Consider a Miwaukee handheld bandsaw or even the cheap HBF/Northern Tool unit versus the chop saw. The difference is night and day.


Attachments:
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-LHS.jpg
Gibbs-vs-McSorely-Chassis-LHS.jpg [ 29.3 KiB | Viewed 8261 times ]

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PostPosted: January 11, 2011, 3:47 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Thanks, Rod. Yes, the day has finally arrived. The next few weeks will be a little mundane with a lot of dismantling going on. But still, it's an exciting milestone.

Cheers,

Lonnie


Locost 5.0 wrote:
Impressive build log so far, can't wait to see some construction!

Rod

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: January 11, 2011, 4:13 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Miatav8,MstrASE,A&P,F wrote:
Thanks for the overlay. I didn't realize the tunnel was so low on the McSorley Design.

On the Gibbs, consider replacing the green tubes with the blue.

Consider a Miwaukee handheld bandsaw or even the cheap HBF/Northern Tool unit versus the chop saw. The difference is night and day.


Yes, the tunnel on the McSorley chassis looks tiny, especially when compared to the Gibbs chassis, which is pretty close the the original "book" design.

The idea of the portable bandsaw is worth checking out. Are you able to hold it steady enough to get a nice straight cut? I know my work with a hand held hacksaw tends to go crooked in larger or thicker materials. I bought the ubiquitous Harbor Freight metal cutting band saw for plate work, but was going to use the chop saw for tubes and RHS. I did find a home machine shop site that has a nice design for a stationary stand for the HF unit. It turns it into a fairly decent vertical bandsaw and gets rid of their flimsy tilting stand, which I think is dangerous.

Yes, I can see the paths you have in blue are very direct and simple. I think the slant-down to the back of the cockpit is more tradition than necessary engineering. I notice one clever new Sevenesque design called the Toniq keeps the impression of the steep drop down in its fiberglass bodywork even though it's not really that deep in the chassis tubes and is covered up by a pseudo-door structure. I see a number of Aussie 7s (Clubmans to them) have also done away with it and use horizontal top rails. I'm going to consider doing that too along with a deeper top tube as suggested in the Aussie mods for V6s and Wesley Linton thesis.

Cheers,

Lonnie

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


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PostPosted: January 11, 2011, 6:19 pm 
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I use it like a vertical floor model by holding it upright on a table to feed small pieces through. Unlike the HF the model Milwaukee I have does not have a trigger lock so it makes it a bit awkward. IMHO, a die grinder is more dangerous.

For cutting precise lines that are no more than 4 inches, the throat is that width so the exposed blade can make the full width cut at one time. For a long cut where the blade is 90 degrees to the line, mark the full line with a straight edge and sharpie. It is easy to watch the cut progress and you control the rate with the material feed rate.

For long pieces, you can clamp the material down. I've stood, holding the saw vertically against my chest (cutting side away from me) and fed the material through with the other hand. It isn't high rpm and has very little inertia to hurt you. It is very easy to control.

Don't let the full weight of the machine feed the cut.

The hf served me well for many years even though mine is an early unit and there have been a few improvements in the design over the years. I wore out the plastic gears in mine. Now they are metal.

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 Post subject: Change of Build Log Name
PostPosted: February 26, 2011, 6:42 pm 
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Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
As things have moved along, I've needed to change my design to fit my donor. Although the front end layout and passenger compartment look pretty much like the (2nd generation) Haynes Roadster, I've also changed the size and gauge of several members and it's a left hand drive. The rear end is a hybrid of the original Champion chassis plus ideas of my own as I'm using the Mustang 7.5 inch, live rear axle. I'm also incorporating good ideas stolen from builders in other parts of the world, primarily the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. It would be unfair to say mine is a "this" or a "that" chassis now but it's not my own either, although I'll have to take responsibility for it, whatever the outcome proves to be.

The "steal with both hands" comes from a transgression of mine in design school many years ago. Like many beginning design students, my first big project was heavily influenced the work of my favorite designer at the time, a well-known Italian. When it came to the classroom critique of my project, the professor spotted my borrowing right away, rightly considered my work a tepid, uninspired, interpretation of a true master and said in disgust, "For Christ's sake Lonnie, if you're going to steal then steal with both hands, it has more integrity."

Needless to say, that remark has stuck with me and influenced me over these many years. If you see an idea here similar to your own it could be that I've just stolen it. We all do it. Artists even have a fancy word for it, appropriation, which sounds a lot nicer than stealing. However, stealing is why each generation does not have to reinvent the wheel. But, I'll save you the wondering and just have the integrity to say it right out loud.

Cheers,

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886


Last edited by Lonnie-S on March 13, 2011, 7:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Start of the Start
PostPosted: March 5, 2011, 8:12 pm 
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Joined: October 24, 2008, 2:13 pm
Posts: 4151
Location: Carlsbad, California, USA
Finally, I'm underway for real. Yesterday afternoon I found a local service shop that would empty and recycle my A/C refrigerant. Other shops wanted $90-120 to do it and I knew that was way out of line. This fellow did it for free and has a machine that cleans and recycles the material.

At my request, he disconnected the evaporator canister and the other 2 spring clip connectors that take special tools, so I wouldn't have to rent them from an auto parts store. I want to sell all the parts I'm not using in the Locost. He only charged me a few bucks for labor. He earned his money. They'd been on there since '94 and it was a definite skinned knuckle situation.

Today is day one of actual disassembly. The donor went out for its last drive so I could burn off as much fuel in the tank as possible. I'm at the point where I need the donor parts in hand to mock things up and finalize the major hard points of the chassis and suspension.


Attachments:
File comment: Just the start. I can't believe how many connectors there are. Gotta record & photo them.
Day-One-Disassembly.jpg
Day-One-Disassembly.jpg [ 126.83 KiB | Viewed 8035 times ]

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Damn! That front slip angle is way too large and the Ackerman is just a muddle.

Build Log: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=5886
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PostPosted: March 5, 2011, 8:30 pm 
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Revolutionaries refer to it as "LIBERATING" can you use it in a sentance ? yes; I liberated these weapons from their capitalist running dog oppressors, comrad.
I personlly think of it as borrowing on a permanent basis; and then there's that old saying "I'll owe it to you forever before I'll cheat you out of it" :roll:

Just a guy daydreaming outloud?

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