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Learning how to build Lotus Seven replicas...together!
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Southern NH
Hey everyone! This is my first post, but I've been lurking for a while reading build logs, information, etc. I decided to build a Locost 7 a couple months back after deciding I wanted nothing more than to build a car from the frame up. I was originally going to build an Ar-i-el At-om type of frame, using a turbo MR2 3SGTE motor, but decided to start with something many others have done, and there were guidelines/instructions about how to build it. I've never built a car from the frame up before, so this is all new to me.

I'm an ASE Master Certified Technician, but do not currently work in the industry. I'm an electrical designer at an electrical engineering firm by day, hopeless car builder by night. I've forever wanted to own my own garage, and I hope that this car will be my introduction into my dream career of building/designing my own cars. Whether for future production or for my own small time use, doesn't really matter... all I know is that I hope to do this stuff for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I started a build log website to track all the nitty gritty details. Costs, materials, details, pictures, all of it. I'll be updating on here as well, and asking all of my questions here. I hope that everyone will be welcoming (I don't doubt it!), and give criticism, good, bad, ugly, doesn't matter to me. If I'm doing something dumb, obviously incorrect, please let me know before I get out of hand and have to redo a lot more than necessary. If I'm doing something awesome, don't hesitate to let me know, I won't get too upset! I won't be posting all my details here, but keeping most of them on the website. It'll just be easier for me to keep track of everything. Hopefully you guys will frequent the site, check it out, and give me feedback! I'll update here as I update there, so there won't be any missing info!

http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com

So, I started 2 weekends ago, going out and buying most of the necessary tools, materials, etc. (Can find a breakdown of what I've bought, spent, and where I bought it on the "Cost" page of my website located in my signature). I started, and finished my build table using MDF and steel studs like many other users here have on their builds... I felt like it was the best/easiest/fastest to construct and be strong as hell for what I needed. We'll see after a couple weeks how it holds up, but I don't have any doubts! (See 'Build Table' page on website for details on how I constructed it). Hopefully tonight I'll be able to get in the garage and start sketching out the frame on the table and get to cutting and tacking!

Image
Here's the workspace.

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Here's my.. uh.. 'metal working station'. Haha!

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Build Table materials.

Image
Here's the finished Build Table.

I don't think I've ever been more excited about anything I've done in my life (save for getting married, of course). My wife, parents, family, friends have always supported everything I've wanted to do, and this is no different. Feels good to have people backing your dreams and supporting your goals!

Anyway, let me know what you think... I'll keep you all updated with pics, blurbs, this that and the other thing. Keep checking back on my website and here for updates!

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-Brad
Build Log: http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com -- http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13293

This build is already locosting a fortune...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:19 pm 
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Toyotaphobe
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Not to burst your bubble, but in an effort to save you heart ache a little later on. I don't believe you'll be happy with those sawhorses as your base.

Not only will they "rock", but when you begin to put things on the table like engine and tranny I"m not sure I'd trust them.

Practice welding and build you a tube frame. It's a good head start on the process.

Oh, BTW - WELCOME! Insanity rules!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Southern NH
Well, the sawhorses also have extensions at the top, so they do in fact, go all the way (well almost) to each side of the table. For what it's worth, it does seem awfully stable at this point... I know adding a ton of weight to it will make it less stable, but for now, I think they will be fine. I'm not sure what I'm going to do once I have the engine/etc in the car... the table is way too high to be able to even lift the engine above the frame with the engine lift, so I'm imagining taking the frame off the table for engine location/etc. At that point, I may change the table design to include some type of jacking/wheels/more sturdy anyway. I do like the idea of building a tube frame type of stand for the table. At that point, I probably could have gotten away with not using steel studs at all, and using a single MDF sheet on a steel tube frame stand. -- Oh, future ideas!

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-Brad
Build Log: http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com -- http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13293

This build is already locosting a fortune...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:00 pm 
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The voice of reason
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Location: Massachusetts
Quote:
At that point, I probably could have gotten away with not using steel studs at all, and using a single MDF sheet on


No, you did it right. You can put something else under it when the time comes. No looking back, onwards!

And welcome...
:cheers:

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Marcus Barrow - Car9 an open design community supported sports car for home builders!
SketchUp collection for LocostUSA: "Dream it, Build it, Drive it!"
Car9 Roadster information - models, drawings, resources etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Southern NH
Haha! Thanks! Glad to see I started off on at least one good foot.. the other.. well.. hey, we'll see in time!

Also, each time I reply.. I get "This post needs to be approved by a moderator, blah blah"... is that because these are just my first couple posts, or is this just a feature of the Build Log forums? If it is due to post count... does anyone know how many is the magic number to start whoring posts like crazy (within reason... of course...)?

Edit: Just kidding, must have been posts. This posted immediately. Good game!

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-Brad
Build Log: http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com -- http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13293

This build is already locosting a fortune...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:36 pm
Posts: 1492
Location: meadview arizona
dude, just lay the tubes out and weld them up, don't worry about other stuff, you will adapt as you go.

there is enough info on this site to help with everything you need to know or do, and even don't do.

i wish i had a band saw.

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drag racers lament

oh to go down to the strip again where the blacktop meets the sky
all i ask is a small block and some fuel to make her fly
with slicks a smokin pushrods pokin next round i'll get a bye

she's up on song the shift was strong in the finals to boot
it's back to the pits and take it to bits and don't forget the shute
the final round was good and sound so come on give me the loot


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:11 am
Posts: 3013
Location: West Chicago,IL
Welcome aboard.

There are no limits, that I know of to the number of posts allowed. Just take a look at some of the builder's logs. Some of them are over 800 posts. I think you now are good to post freely as the number of posts (i think) is 3 to keep the scamers away.

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Southern NH
john hennessy wrote:
dude, just lay the tubes out and weld them up, don't worry about other stuff, you will adapt as you go.

there is enough info on this site to help with everything you need to know or do, and even don't do.

i wish i had a band saw.


What 'other stuff' are you referring to? Like, drawing it all out first? I mean.. I'd like to assume the cut lists and plans are 100% accurate, but one should never assume...

And yes, I know, that's why I'm using this place as my headquarters for information. No matter what I end up going with, I know someone else here has done it, or will be able to help me walk through something I don't 100% fully understand.

Go buy one! I got mine for like 180ish after a 20% coupon you can get in the back of any automotive magazine to harbor freight. I haven't used it yet, but from what I've read, it's a life saver. I need to pick up a new blade though... that seems to be the biggest down fall of the HF Horizontal Band Saws.

I bought a welder years ago when I was sure I was going to build an At-om frame... then never did. I'm glad it's going to finally stop collecting dust! -- Right now it's loaded up with .030 wire.. I've read some people using .030, but lots of others are using .023... anyone have any input with this? I'm using all 16g steel... it's a 120v miller made welder. Getting new wire/tips is inexpensive enough to just start with whatever is better, rather than fighting with the .030 and ending up changing later.

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-Brad
Build Log: http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com -- http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13293

This build is already locosting a fortune...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Always Moore!
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
For the gauges you are working with 0.023" will be fine. You need thicker wire for thicker material since it can deliver more current and more current = more penetration.

I use 0.030" and it works fine. It probably depends more on the welder and its ability to fine tune current and wire speed.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:20 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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Posts: 4997
Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Howdy Brad-
Welcome to the forum!

As for the "Build Table Critique"... Well, I used a set of good :?: sawhorses under my table and the frame came out almost :!: straight and square... Do make sure the table is level every time you start to measure something off of it or weld. Try to anchor the feet of the sawhorses, or at least chock 'em up with something so they don't move around. As soon as we started hanging mechanical components on the frame and it got heavy, on the floor it went.

If you start to do something dumb, let me know so's I can watch! :rofl: Nawww, just kiddin... It's a good group, ask away when you have questions, somebody will know the answer.

I wish you good luck with your build... Other'n that, keep us posted! Lotsa pictures... We like pictures...

:cheers:
JD Kemp

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Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Location: West Chicago,IL
Geeze! Who let JD in here? :shock:

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“Any suspension will work if you don’t let it.” - Colin Chapman

Check out my rotary build log: click here


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:30 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Southern NH
Andrew, thanks for the welding input. I'll start with the .030 since it's in there and see how that goes. If it seems to be blowing too many holes I'll go pick up some .023. After I mess with the settings of course. Will cut a couple pieces and test it out. I got probably double the .75x.75 16g square so i'll screw around with that first!

JD,These sawhorses have rubber feet on the legs and on the mounting surface, this thing doesn't budge. Nevermind the fact the table weighs north of 150 lbs with all this MDF. I'll be sure to keep an eye on the folding area to make sure it's not stressed too much (wouldn't want them collapsing and the table falling on a foot!... Might start wearing my steel toes in there!). And don't worry... if I know something dumb is around the corner, I'll set up the HD video camera on the tripod and capture it in glorious full 1080p w/ 5.1 surround for everyone to laugh at, haha!

Question already... and this is dumb. Real dumb. -- All the dimensions on the book plans downloaded off www.sevenesque.com are dimensioned in mm as well as inches. Though, the inches are decimal and not fractional. Which makes reading difficult, since inches are not x10 like mm are. ie. x.9 does not equal (x-9/10)... it would be.. 90% of 16 parts, yes? So .9 = 14.4/16ths? What the crap? --- I have a feeling I'm really REALLY overthinking this and it's making me worry about the rest of the build hahaha. I mean, come on, i'm practically an engineer with a background in technical drawing, this is not okay. I'm used to working in 1/8ths.. .125, .250, .325, .500, .625, .875, 1. -- all these random numbers .4 // .9 are really throwing me off my game. Can someone give me some quick and clear direction on this and make me stop thinking all crazy like? And don't bother, I don't even KNOW where I can get a metric tape measure / straight edge... I know, that would be the easiest way to go about this!

Or hell, know where I can get an imperial length measurement app for my TI-83+? HAHA. Or am I doomed to calc out each .xx and 'get close enough'?

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-Brad
Build Log: http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com -- http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13293

This build is already locosting a fortune...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:11 pm 
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Locostering Legend
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Posts: 710
It's easy working in metric when building a frame. Sears can sell you every metric measuring tool you need.

I find it easier to remember metric measurements vs. inches-fractions, or feet-inches-fractions. Give it a try.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:35 pm 
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Posts: 690
Location: Tennessee
JonW wrote:
It's easy working in metric when building a frame. Sears can sell you every metric measuring tool you need.

I find it easier to remember metric measurements vs. inches-fractions, or feet-inches-fractions. Give it a try.

I agree that working in metric would be easier if we were on the metric system. Unfortunately, we are not. Prices for metric bolts are much higher. I recently priced a 6mm x25mm bolt. It was $.55. A 1/4in x 1in bolt was $.05(a nickle). I can go to my small country hardware store and buy just about any bolt I will need. Class 5, class 8, whatever. Metric bolts are another story. Buying steel and aluminum in this country, will usually be in inches. I decided to build my car, a 442, in inches, so my frame is 46 inches wide not 1168mm(1168.4). Various other parts I have bought have been in inches. Pedals,brake lines, fuel lines master cylinder fittings etc.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:55 pm 
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Location: Southern NH
Photoman, I was only thinking about measuring the frame using the plans metric dimensions, as they are whole numbers and much easier to understand quickly, without tons of calculations. If the plans dimensions were converted into a fractional imperial value, rather than a decimal, I wouldn't be having any issues at all, but they aren't. .9 of an inch is some 14.4/16ths. So i'm really just trying to gauge how other people have dealt with this issue before I go and make some big measurement mistakes.

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-Brad
Build Log: http://www.BrokeAssSeven.com -- http://locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=13293

This build is already locosting a fortune...


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