Building the Treadsection

Aluminum Treadsection
   As usual for this project, my design for the treadsection was determined by the materials available. I didn't want to make a wooden treadsection, but I don't have the facilities for welding aluminum. So, I'm making mine from aluminum, but held together with bolts, blind rivets and epoxy. To better distribute the load, the axles for each side will go all the way across the base, and will be supported in part by a square-tubular alumuminum frame which will also provide a solid base for the interior leg supports. I found a local supply of 1/8" aluminum sheet, and I will use that sandwiched between two thicknesses of .05" aluminum to create a .225" vertical. A skin of aluminum sheeting (the roofing variety) will cover the base when finished, to provide a smooth surface and cover any seams.
Panel Decal Panel Template
Panel Decal Panel Template
   The first step was to scan the blueprints and print a decal on removeable label stock (laser). Because of the dimensions of the vertical panel, I had to print 6 separate sheets. I then transferred the labels to a sheet of .05" aluminum. I rough cut the outline of the template with the table saw (I found a 10" Freud non-ferrous 80T titanium/carbide blade that cuts through aluminum like butter), then on to the scroll saw for fine cutting and finally to the belt sander to finish the template. I will use the template as a pattern for cutting the vertical panels.

Last updated on Monday, July 28, 2014