Saturday, September 15, 2007

Fabricating the Grill Body, pt. 3

So I've got the grill bowl welded; now it's time to make the lid. This is a little more complicated. I need a handle on the front, and some holes that I can open and close for smoking. If you've seen a Weber grill, they have a little rotating disc with four holes. If it lines up with the holes in the lid, you've got ventilation. If it doesn't, you don't. You can sort of see it in this photo:

Simple enough, right? But not that easy to make, as you will see...

I decided I would make my vent out of brass, because it looks cool and doesn't rust. I cut the shape out with the band saw and perfected it with the grinder. I taped it onto the lid piece, so I could drill through both at once and get the holes aligned perfectly.

Well, that sure came out shitty. The larger hole is completely crooked, not even close to round. The smaller one is smaller because I gave up halfway through. Either my drilling technique is flawed, or our equipment is trashed.

A punch didn't work either. Not even close.

I could have tried a lot of other ways to make this work, but I'm time-limited on this project. I decided to cut a big hole around the failed attempts. I'll figure out a way to make it open and close later. It will probably be a sliding cover.

Aaaaaaand, here is the lid all finished. It lines up well with the bowl; everything is looking OK so far. Next week I will build a hinge and handle. Hopefully I will have time to get a cover on that vent too.


Anonymous dids said...

Can you speculate on why the drilling failed? That step seems fairly simple compared to some of the other steps you have already done...what went wrong?

You have adapted nicely to some unexpected turns in the project; I think this is teaching you how to adapt and overcome as well as producing a darn fine grill. Keep up the good work!

8:24 AM  
Blogger John B said...

I would have drilled the pieces separately. Make the center hole in the brass piece then use a transfer punch to mark the steel piece. Lay out the four hole pattern on the steel as you did on the brass piece. Then drill separately. If the holes some how didn't line up exactly, you could have made the holes in the steel piece maybe a sixteenth larger in dia. You would see the holes in the brass on top and wouldn't know that the holes beneath in the steel were a bit larger. Also to me it looks like when you were drilling the brass, the drill bit dug into the brass and made it move. What you have to do is since brass is so soft, the drill will dig into it when you put pressure on it so you have to take the drill bit and knock off the sharp cutting edge a bit. That way it won't dig in. Run the drill motor at a higher speed when drilling brass.
Also when drilling a large hole in something, it's best to drill a smaller pilot hole first. That will help keep the drill from moving off the mark.

6:17 PM  

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