And mark another
one down as completed!
Finally getting back to this one, that crappy spring arrangement for the tensioner arm always kinda bugged me. Yeah, this is all a bit of a slapdash build, but that was cheesy even for this monstrosity.
The new Wilmont, however, offered a more elegant solution, so I figured I'd implement it on this build. To that end, I found another chunk of the bar stock and made a longer copy of the tensioner arm.
And, in the interests of making the whole thing look at least a little
more professionally built, I mounted up the rotary table and milled the handle end of the bar nice and round.
Then, flipping around the opposite end, I milled just the one corner round to the same radius.
Switching back to the standard vise, I milled a couple pockets on each side of the last corner...
And then drilled and countersunk a hole in the center of the pocket.
I found a suitable extension spring in amongst my stashes o' parts, and nipped a ring from a chunk of old chain from yet another stash, and welded it on.
(Which I'm pretty sure is French for "Hey, a violin!"
That looks a LOT better than the previous version, in my opinion.
After that, we just needed to mount the motor and VFD. And, here I have to admit to a smidgen of simple greed. I wanted to keep the Baldor motor, as it's a brand-new, top-of-the-line name brand unit with a 7/8" output shaft, while the motor on the new Wilmont grinder was a non-name Chinese-made unit with a 5/8" output shaft. Both were 2HP and basically new, so thankfully, as they both had face-mount flanges, it was a simple matter to just unbolt one and remount the other.
And yes, the guy I'm selling this one to knows I'm making the swap, and has no problems with the deal. I'm not that
much of a jerk.
In any case, it also solved my motor mounting issue: The Baldors "footprint" hung over the edge of the machine's baseplate. I was going to have to make a sub-plate, both to fit the motor, and to add slots to the belt could be tensioned. The Chinese motor, on the other hand, had a narrower "foot" and already-slotted mounting holes.
Therefore I was able to drill the existing baseplate, cut and trim four 5/16" studs, and TIG weld them into place:
That lets me mount the motor directly and has built in-adjustment to tension the belt. Four stainless washers and nuts and she has her own complete drive for the first time ever!
Finally, we just need to mount the VFD. I found a section of 1x2" box tubing that was just about the exact size I needed, drilled and tapped four mounting holes for the control box in it, and then, after a quick test-fit, milled the bottom edge at about whatever that angle is.
Welded in place, with a second bar for a bit of triangulation...
Get the VFD mounted and wired...
I still need to add a T-handle to the bolt that clamps the arm in place, but apart from that, it's complete and ready to use!
Does it work? 'Course
Works like a champ, really. Tracks nice and straight, runs very smoothly and surprisingly quietly, and seems to have plenty of power, even though that particular belt is pretty well worn out. I'll throw in a couple new ones for the buyer, and I think he'll be really happy with it!