Friday, August 23, 2013

The Factory Cart

I am constantly surprised about the difficulty of handling some of our supplies and materials. Initially, we were positive that the forklifts would be enough to satisfy our handling needs but we were wrong. Because of this, we consistently have to design and fabricate stuff that can handle the sheer scale of our work. The handling techniques are often unexpected and the mass of our work continues to escalate.

With the hole between the warehouses completed, we needed a way to move materials back and forth between the two spaces.  Ken also needed a way to safely cut the large reclaimed timbers. The solution was a large factory cart that would serve multiple purposes. The cart would also allow us to receive materials from ground level and it would include rails on the bottom side so it could be moved with a forklift.

Steel frame on casters

The Studio requires something really large for the scale of materials that we use. However, there isn’t a lot of utility with a really long factory cart so Ken designed sliding extensions on both sides of the cart. The frame is steel and has an open center for cutting large pieces of wood. The cart also has removable handles and a sacrificial top.

Sliding extensions on both ends
It is a beast

We use this cart every single day in the Studio. It is so useful that we are contemplated fabricating a second one.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Connecting the Warehouses

Since we now have two warehouses side-by-side, we have the ability to connect the two so we can quickly access the materials stored next door. We keep our forklifts in the warehouse next door so we needed a connecting door that was large enough for our materials, and the forklifts. This would provide the studio with the ability to transfer equipment and materials from warehouse to warehouse seamlessly.

Before Picture

First, Ken met with a couple structural engineers to determine it was safe to cut a hole between the two structures. Instead of hiring contractors, Ken created a way to do the task himself (as usual). So for many days, the boys chipped away at a solid cinder block wall. Ken welded a structural doorframe that could accommodate for a garage door and reinforce the large hole.

Framed out

We now have a bay-sized garage door that allows us the ability to move materials and access our warehouse space with ease.