Greetings. Since I got back from my wedding, I’ve been working on making mounting brackets for the rails and the leveling feet. First I had to learn how to tap a hole. I’d never cut threads for bolts before.
The tap package should tell you what size drill bit to use. If not, check out this wikipedia article. Once the hole is drilled, put the tap in the tap wrench. I found it helps to put a little cutting oil on the tap before starting to cut the threads. On my first try, I found it was difficult to make sure the threads ended up perpendicular to the surface. I was using a 3/8″ tap on 5/16″ holes. I eventually decided to try drilling 3/8″ hole in a piece of bar stock to use as a guide to help keep the tap perpendicular. This worked great.
Then it was time to start making mounting plates for the rail. This process had a lot of steps since I wanted to use the plates as drilling and tapping guides for the threaded holes in the rails. First, I measured and drilled 5/16″ holes in the bar stock plates. Then I used those holes as guides to drill the rails. After that, I drilled out the holes in the bar stock to 3/8″ to use them as tapping guides. Once the holes were tapped, I finally drilled the plates on out to 5/8″ so there will be room for adjusting the rails for level and parallelism.
Next I needed to cut off my ill-conceived corner wheel brackets and cut and tap some bar stock to accommodate the new leveling feet. Removing the brackets was a pain. First I tried to just use the die grinder with a grinding bit. This was painfully slow. Same held true with a cutting wheel on the die grinder. Finally I borrowed a reciprocating saw. This made it easy to cut off the two ends and then I could get at the welds with my full size angle grinder. This went a lot quicker.
Then I cut 2 inch squares of bar stock and tapped those to accept the leveling feet.
After I had the leveling feet mounted, I tacked on the rail mounting plates and finish welded the risers. I’ll try to put up some pics of this in the next post. I’ll also be un-boxing and starting to mount the gear racks and v-rail. I’m pretty excited and nervous to start this phase of the project. Stay tuned!